Bana, aka: Bāṇa; 21 Definition(s)


Bana means something in Hinduism, Sanskrit, Buddhism, Pali, the history of ancient India, Marathi. 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

Natyashastra (theatrics and dramaturgy)

One of the additional Single Hands (hasta):—Bāṇa (arrow): the three fingers joined just touch the thumb, and the little finger is extended. Usage: the number six, Nāla-nṛtya.

Source: The mirror of gesture (abhinaya-darpana)
Natyashastra book cover
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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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Shaktism (Shakta philosophy)

Bāṇa (बाण):—One of the persons joining Śiva during the preparations of the war between Śankhacūḍa and the Devas, according to the Devī-bhāgavata-purāṇa (9.20.22-53). All persons attending were remained seated on beautiful aerial cars, built of jewels and gems. The war was initiated by Puṣpadanta (messenger of Śiva) who was ordered to restore the rights of the Devas. .

Source: Wisdom Library: Śrīmad Devī Bhāgavatam
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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.

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Pancaratra (worship of Nārāyaṇa)

Bāṇa (बाण, “arrows”):—One of the nine symbols representing the cosmic principles of the universe, according to the Pāñcarātra literature. These nine weapons and ornaments symbolize the principles which they represent as the presiding deity. The Arrows (bāṇa) represent the five senses.

Source: Wisdom Library: Pāñcarātra
Pancaratra book cover
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Pancaratra (पाञ्चरात्र, pāñcarātra) represents a tradition of Hinduism where Narayana is revered and worshipped. Closeley related to Vaishnavism, the Pancaratra literature includes various Agamas and tantras incorporating many Vaishnava philosophies.

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Shilpashastra (iconography)

Bāṇa or the arrow is so represented as to appear to be made of wood, and is tipped with a metallic point, its tail-end having a few feathers stuck in it. The arrows are put into a quiver slung on the back. An arrow is extracted from it for use with the aid of the fore-finger and the middle-finger.

Source: Google Books: Elements of Hindu iconography

Bāṇa (बाण, “arrow”) refers to one of the several “attributes” (āyudha) or “accessories” of a detiy commonly seen depicted in Hindu iconography, defined according to texts dealing with śilpa (arts and crafs), known as śilpaśāstras.—Bāṇa or the arrow is so represented as to appear to be made of wood, and is tipped with a metallic point, its tail end having a few feathers stuck in it. The arrows are put into a quiver slung on the back. An arrow is extracted from it for use with the aid of the forefinger and the middle finger.

Source: Shodhganga: The significance of the mūla-beras (śilpa)
Shilpashastra book cover
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Shilpashastra (शिल्पशास्त्र, śilpaśāstra) represents the ancient Indian science (shastra) of creative arts (shilpa) such as sculpture, iconography and painting. Closely related to Vastushastra (architecture), they often share the same literature.

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Purana and Itihasa (epic history)

Bāṇa (बाण) is the name of a gaṇa (attendant of Śiva), mentioned in the Skandapurāṇa 4.2.53. In this chapter, Śiva (Giriśa) summons his attendants (gaṇas) and ask them to venture towards the city Vārāṇasī (Kāśī) in order to find out what the yoginīs, the sun-god, Vidhi (Brahmā) were doing there.

While the gaṇas such as Bāṇa were staying at Kāśī, they were desirous but unable of finding a weakness in king Divodaśa who was ruling there. Kāśī is described as a fascinating place beyond the range of Giriśa’s vision, and as a place where yoginīs become ayoginīs, after having come in contact with it. Kāśī is described as having both the power to destroy great delusion, as well as creating it.

The Skandapurāṇa narrates the details and legends surrounding numerous holy pilgrimages (tīrtha-māhātmya) throughout India. It is the largest Mahāpurāṇa composed of over 81,000 metrical verses, with the core text dating from the before the 4th-century CE.

Source: Wisdom Library: Skanda-purāṇa

1) Bāṇa (बाण).—(BĀṆABHAṬṬA) I. A Sanskrit poet who lived in the 7th century A.D. He was a member of the assembly of emperor Harṣavardhana. 'Harṣacarita' (prose) is the most important work of Bāṇa. Though many of the descriptions in this book contain exaggerations it affords plenty of scope for investigation into the features of ancient Sanskrit literature. He has mentioned about Vyāsa, Bhaṭṭāra-hariścandra, Sātavāhana, Pravarasena, Bhāsa, Kālidāsa and such others.

Harṣacarita, in a sense, is a Romance. It is divided into eight Ucchvāsas. From the first two or three chapters informations could be had of Bāṇabhaṭṭa. His mother Rājyadevī died when he was a little boy. At the age of fourteen his father also died. After that he arrived at the palace of Harṣa. The story of Harṣacarita begins with the death of Prabhākara-Vardhana, father of Harṣa. The Book ends with the story incomplete. Harṣacarita is the only historic prose work available in Sanskrit. (See full article at Story of Bāṇa from the Puranic encyclopaedia by Vettam Mani)

2) Bāṇa (बाण).—A mighty and powerful Asura. Genealogy and birth. Descended from Mahāviṣṇu in the following order: Brahmā-Marīci-Kaśyapa-Hiraṇyakaśipu-Pṛahlāda-Virocana-Mahābali-Bāṇa. Getting a boon. Bāṇa began his reign with the city of Śoṇitapura as his capital. Then he went to the vicinity of the Himālayas and began to do penance thinking of Śiva. Śiva made his appearance and asked him what he wanted. He requested that he should be considered as the son of Pārvatī and that he should be given thousand hands so as to destroy all his enemies. Śiva granted him the boon. From that day onwards Pārvatī considered him as the younger brother of Subrahmaṇya. He returned to his Kingdom and began to reign. Battle with Śrī Kṛṣṇa and his fall. (See the word Aniruddha). Other information. (1) In the Purāṇas Bāṇāsura is often called by the name Mahākāla, which is the name of an attendant of Śiva. (Mahābhārata, Ādi Parva, Chapter 65, Stanza 20).

2) Śukrācārya (the teacher of the Asuras) always worked for the uplift of Bāṇa. (Mahābhārata, Sabhā Parva, Chapter 38, Stanza 29).

2) In the Battle with Śrī Kṛṣṇa, Bāṇa was helped by Śiva, Subrahmaṇya, and the Gods like Agni (fire) and others. (Mahābhārata, Sabhā Parva, Chapter 38).

2) Śrī Kṛṣṇa cut down the thousand hands of Bāṇa with his Cakrāyudha (the wheel weapon). (Mahābhārata, Sabhā Parva, Chapter 38).

2) Bāṇa often stood under the cover of the mountain of Krauñca and attacked the devas (gods). So once Subrahmaṇya had to cut the mountain Krauñca with his arrows. (Mahābhārata, Śalya Parva, Chapter 46, Stanza 82).

3) Bāṇa (बाण).—A warrior of Subrahmaṇya. Mention is made about this Bāṇa in Mahābhārata, Śalya Parva, Chapter 45, Stanza 67.

4) Bāṇa (बाण).—An asura. During the regime of Śrī Rāma this Asura fought against the King and his brothers. A Śivaliṅga had been consecrated in the throat of this asura. So it was not possible for Lakṣmaṇa to defeat him though he had fought with him for so many days. Lakṣmaṇa heard an etherial voice saying, "Unless and until the image of Śivaliṅga is removed from his throat Bāṇa could not be killed." By the operation of arrows Lakṣmaṇa smashed the image of Śivaliṅga in his throat. With the same arrow he cut the throat of the asura also and thus Bāṇa was killed. (Kampa Rāmāyaṇa, Uttara Kāṇḍa).

Source: Puranic Encyclopaedia

1a) Bāṇa (बाण).—The eldest of the one hundred sons of Bali; wife Lohinī and son Indradhanvan; had one thousand arms and was ruling from his capital Śoṇitapura; pleased Śiva by praise; was a devotee of Śiva; and became the head of the gaṇas; in return for his services, the Lord Śiva guarded his city;1 took part in the Devāsura war between Bali and Indra; fought with Sūrya and was helped by his 99 brothers; a friend of Kaṃsa and Jarāsandha; he welcomed Jarāsandha, and offered to help him and sent his two ministers and a vast army with Jarāsandha.2 Once addressed Śiva that he found no use for his thousand arms for there was none to fight him, and even the elephants at the quarters ran away in fear of him; Śiva replied that soon there would be somebody equal to him who would put down his pride of power.3 The marriage of his daughter Uṣā was the cause of a battle between Śiva and Kṛṣṇa; the guards of the harem once reported to Bāṇa that they suspected the presence of some male in Uṣā's palace; soon he found Aniruddha there and imprisoned him to the distress of his daughter; was attacked by Satyakī when Śoṇitapura was besieged by the Vṛṣṇis; found his army scattered and rushed towards Kṛṣṇa leaving Satyakī, when his charioteer and horses were killed; Koṭarā his mother appeared before Kṛṣṇa naked and with dishevelled hair, while Bāṇa entered his city; once again attacked Kṛṣṇa who chopped off his arms when Śiva praised Kṛṣṇa as Brāhmaṇa and pleaded for his devotee, Bāṇa, being left with his four arms remaining; deprived of all except two on account of Aniruddha; release of Aniruddha.4 Capital Tripura. The gods appealed to Rudra and in the meantime Nārada made Bāṇa's wives leave the path of strict chastity and prepared the way for the Asuras' ruin. Rudra put the city to flames; appealing with a liṅga on his head, he was blessed. Attained mokṣa by satsaṅga;5 killed by Kṛṣṇa.6

  • 1) Bhāgavata-purāṇa VI. 18. 17-18; X. 62. 2; 88. 16; Brahmāṇḍa-purāṇa III. 5. 42-4; 73. 101; IV, 29. 123; Matsya-purāṇa 6. 10, 13; Vāyu-purāṇa 67. 83; Viṣṇu-purāṇa I. 21. 2; V. 1. 24.
  • 2) Bhāgavata-purāṇa VIII. 10. 19, 30; X. 2. 2; 36. 36; [51 (v) 1-18].
  • 3) Ib. X. 62. 2-11.
  • 4) Ib. X. 62. 1 28-35; 63. 8, 17-21 30-49; 61. 23 (9); III. 3. 11; XI. 12. 5. Viṣṇu-purāṇa V. 32. 7-8; 33. 1-50.
  • 5) Matsya-purāṇa Chh. 187-188.
  • 6) Vāyu-purāṇa 98. 102.

1b) A son of Danu and Mahāsena.*

  • * Matsya-purāṇa 6. 20; 245. 12.

1c) Śiva gaṇas.*

  • * Brahmāṇḍa-purāṇa III. 41. 27.
Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: The Purana Index

Bāṇa (बाण) is a name mentioned in the Mahābhārata (cf. I.59.19, I.65, IX.44.62) and represents one of the many proper names used for people and places. Note: The Mahābhārata (mentioning Bāṇa) is a Sanskrit epic poem consisting of 100,000 ślokas (metrical verses) and is over 2000 years old.

Source: JatLand: List of Mahabharata people and places
Purana book cover
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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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Dhanurveda (science of warfare)

Bāṇa (बाण) refers to a weapon (an arrow, a shaft made of reed). It is a Sanskrit word defined in the Dhanurveda-saṃhitā, which contains a list of no less than 117 weapons. The Dhanurveda-saṃhitā is said to have been composed by the sage Vasiṣṭha, who in turn transmitted it trough a tradition of sages, which can eventually be traced to Śiva and Brahmā.

Source: Wisdom Library: Dhanurveda
Dhanurveda book cover
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Dhanurveda (धनुर्वेद) refers to the “knowledge of warfare” and, as an upaveda, is associated with the Ṛgveda. It contains instructions on warfare, archery and ancient Indian martial arts, dating back to the 2nd-3rd millennium BCE.

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Katha (narrative stories)

Bāṇa (बाण) is the name of an Asura who lost his daughter Uṣā to Aniruddha, according to the Kathāsaritsāgara, chapter 31. The story of Bāṇa and Uṣā was narrated by Kaliṅgasenā to Somaprabhā in order to demonstrate the similarity between the story and her situation involving the Udayana (king of Vatsa).

The Kathāsaritsāgara (‘ocean of streams of story’), mentioning Bāṇa, is a famous Sanskrit epic story revolving around prince Naravāhanadatta and his quest to become the emperor of the vidyādharas (celestial beings). The work is said to have been an adaptation of Guṇāḍhya’s Bṛhatkathā consisting of 100,000 verses, which in turn is part of a larger work containing 700,000 verses.

Source: Wisdom Library: Kathāsaritsāgara

Bāṇa (बाण).—In the Harṣacarita Bāṇa devotes the first two Ucchvāsas and even a portion of the third to biographical matter. Bāṇa gives us a legendary account of the birth of Sārasvata, one of the remote, though not direct ancestors, who was the son of the Goddess Sarasvatī and the sage Dadhīca and the cousin of Vatsa, the progenitor of the mighty race in which Bāṇa was born.

Bāṇa’s father was Citrabhānu who was the son of Arthapati. His great-grand-father was Pāśupata who was the son of Kubera, a descendant of Vatsa. Bāṇa’s mother was Rājadevī who died while the poet was yet a child. He was all the more dear to his father, who was like a mother to him.

His two works, Harṣacarita and Kādambari stand at the head of the two classes of prose i.e. Akhyāhikā and Kathā. Ancient Sanskrit writers have appreciated his worth and bestowed on him due praise.

Soḍḍhala refers to him frequently in his work. He has been made a character of the story in the name of Tilaka, who listened to his Udayasundarīkathā and became free from the curse.

Source: Shodhganga: A critical appreciation of soddhalas udayasundarikatha
Katha book cover
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Katha (कथा, kathā) refers to narrative Sanskrit literature often inspired from epic legendry (itihasa) and poetry (mahākāvya). Some Kathas reflect socio-political instructions for the King while others remind the reader of important historical event and exploits of the Gods, Heroes and Sages.

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Jyotisha (astronomy and astrology)

Bāṇa (बाण).—1. Arrow. 2. Height of an arc or segment of a circle. Note: Bāṇa is a Sanskrit technical term used in ancient Indian sciences such as Astronomy, Mathematics and Geometry.

Source: Wikibooks (hi): Sanskrit Technical Terms
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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General definition (in Hinduism)

Bāṇa (बाण) is a Sanskrit word translating to “Arrow”.

Source: Wisdom Library: HinduismBana is a King of the solar dynasty and an ancestor of Rama. He is the son of Vikukshi and the father of Anaranya. Source: Apam Napat: Indian Mythology

India history and geogprahy

Bāṇa.—(IE 7-1-2; EI 25), ‘five’. Note: bāṇa is defined in the “Indian epigraphical glossary” as it can be found on ancient inscriptions commonly written in Sanskrit, Prakrit or Dravidian languages.

Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: Indian Epigraphical Glossary
India history book cover
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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

Pali-English dictionary

bāṇa : (m.) an arrow.

Source: BuddhaSasana: Concise Pali-English Dictionary

Bāṇa, (cp. Vedic bāṇa) an arrow Mbhv 19. (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.

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Marathi-English dictionary

bana (बन).—n (Poetry. vana S) A wood, a grove, a plantation. 2 m An order, or an individual of it, of the gōsāvī.

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bāṇa (बाण).—m (S) An arrow. 2 A rocket, whether the missile weapon or a sky-rocket. 3 A stone found in the Narmada river, worshiped as an emblem of Shiva. 4 fig. (Compared from his bareness to the bāṇa or lingam.) A term for a man without wife, or family, or home, or friends, or money. 5 Gunwale of a boat. 6 As intended in the following ex. asō bāṇasaṅkhyā divasānta || suvēlē paryanta jāhālā sata ||. An arrow of kāmadēva the god of love. His quiver is charged with five, viz. aravinda, aśōka, cyūta, nava- mallikā or mōgarā, nīlōtpala. 7 Distance from the ecliptic or celestial latitude.

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bāṇa (बाण).—a (Or nirbāṇa) That has quitted or is without house, family, and worldly concerns. Compare Sig. IV. of bāṇa the noun.

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bāṇā (बाणा).—m ( H) Profession, pretension, priding or pluming one's self (of or upon any particular accomplishment or virtue): also any department, province, field, sphere, peculiar unto; the forte or element of. v bāḷaga. For exemplifications of this latter division of the sense See śāstrībāṇā. 2 A manner or fashion of dress, a costume. 3 A kind of rocket. 4 The woof or weft. 5 A weapon,--a sort of paṭṭā with a thick-edged blade and a wooden hilt.

--- OR ---

bānā (बाना).—m (Better bāṇā) The woof.

Source: DDSA: The Molesworth Marathi and English Dictionary

bana (बन).—n A wood, a grove.

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bāṇa (बाण).—m An arrow; a rocket.

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bāṇā (बाणा).—m Profession, pretension. Priding or pleasing oneself. A costume.

Source: DDSA: The Aryabhusan school dictionary, Marathi-English
context information

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.

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Sanskrit-English dictionary

Bāṇa (बाण).—1 An arrow, shaft, reed; Bṛ. Up.3.8.2; धनुष्यमोघं समधत्त बाणम् (dhanuṣyamoghaṃ samadhatta bāṇam) Ku.3.66.

2) An aim or mark for arrows.

3) The feathered end of an arrow.

4) The udder of a cow.

5) The body (śarīra); ते प्रकाश्श्याभिवदन्ति वयमेतद्बाणमवष्टभ्य विधारयामः (te prakāśśyābhivadanti vayametadbāṇamavaṣṭabhya vidhārayāmaḥ) Praśna Up.2.2.

6) Name of a demon, son of Bali; cf. उषा (uṣā).

7) Name of a celebrated poet who lived at the court of king Harṣavardhana and flourished in the first half of the seventh century; see App. II). He is the author of कादम्बरी, हर्षचरित (kādambarī, harṣacarita) and of some other works; (Govardhana in his Āryāsaptaśatī 37 speaks in these terms of Bāṇa :-jātā śikhaṇḍinī prāg yathā śikhaṇḍī tathāvagacchāmi | prāgalbhyadhikamāptuṃ vāṇī bāṇo babhūveti ||; so hṛdayavasatiḥ pañcabāṇastu bāṇaḥ P. R.1.22).

8) A symbolical expression for the number 'five'.

9) A sound voice.

1) Fire.

11) Lightning.

12) A form of Śiva.

13) The versed sine of an arc.

-ṇaḥ, -ṇā The hinder part or feathered end of an arrow.

-ṇaḥ, -ṇā, -ṇam a blue flowering Barleria -नीलझिण्टी (nīlajhiṇṭī) (Mar. korhāṃṭī); अनाविलोन्मीलितबाणचक्षुषः (anāvilonmīlitabāṇacakṣuṣaḥ) Ki.4. 28. Śi.6.46.

Derivable forms: bāṇaḥ (बाणः).

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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Relevant definitions

Search found 195 related definition(s) that might help you understand this better. Below you will find the 15 most relevant articles:

Pañcabāṇa (पञ्चबाण).—epithets of the god of love; (so called because he has five arrows; their ...
Bāṇaliṅga (बाणलिङ्ग) refers to a type of Caraliṅga (mobile liṅga), as mentioned in the Śivapurā...
Puṣpabāṇa (पुष्पबाण) or Puṣpavāṇa.—m. (-ṇaḥ) An epithet of the god of love.
Bāṇapura (बाणपुर).—Śoṇitapura, the capital of Bāṇāsura. Derivable forms: bāṇapuram (बाणपुरम्).B...
Bāṇadhi (बाणधि).—a quiver; क्षीणबाणो विबाणधिः (kṣīṇabāṇo vibāṇadhiḥ) Mb. 8.63; बबन्धाथ च बाणधी ...
Picchabāṇa (पिच्छबाण) or Picchavāṇa.—m. (-ṇaḥ) A hawk.
Bāṇāsura (बाणासुर).—A thousand-armed demon (asura) slain by Lord Kṛṣṇa.
Ravi-bāṇa.—(IE 7-1-2), ‘one thousand’. Note: ravi-bāṇa is defined in the “Indian epigraphical g...
Bāṇasutā (बाणसुता).—an epithet of Uṣā, daughter of Bāṇa; see उषा (uṣā). Bāṇasutā is a Sanskrit ...
Kusumabāṇa (कुसुमबाण).—1) a flowery arrow. 2) Name of the god of love; अभिनवः कुसुमेषुव्यापारः ...
Bāṇayojana (बाणयोजन).—a quiver. Derivable forms: bāṇayojanam (बाणयोजनम्).Bāṇayojana is a Sanskr...
Bāṇāśraya (बाणाश्रय).—a quiver. Derivable forms: bāṇāśrayaḥ (बाणाश्रयः).Bāṇāśraya is a Sanskrit...
Ayugmabāṇa (अयुग्मबाण).—&c. having odd (5) arrows; Name of Cupid. Derivable forms: ayugmabāṇaḥ ...
Bāṇagocara (बाणगोचर).—the range of an arrow; अवतीर्णोऽसि रतिरमणबाणगोचरम् (avatīrṇo'si ratiramaṇ...
Bāṇagaṅgā (बाणगङ्गा).—Name of a river said to have been produced by Rāvaṇa's arrow; सोमेशाद् दक...

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