Bhagavan, Bhagavān: 9 definitions



Bhagavan means something in Hinduism, Sanskrit, 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.

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In Hinduism

Pancaratra (worship of Nārāyaṇa)

Source: SriMatham: Vaiṣṇava Iconology based on Pañcarātra Āgama

The term Bhagavān indicates the one who possesses Bhaga—the ṣaḍguṇas, or the group of six blessed qualities. They are

  1. jñāna (knowledge),
  2. aiśvarya (sovereignty),
  3. śakti (ability, potency),
  4. bala (strength),
  5. vīrya (virility, unaffectedness)
  6. and tejas (splendour).
Pancaratra book cover
context information

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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Purana and Itihasa (epic history)

[«previous (B) next»] — Bhagavan in Purana glossary
Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: The Purana Index

1a) Bhagavān (भगवान्).—The principal and eternal god;^1 the sum and substance of the three Vedas; bha.— cherisher and supporter of the universe; ga,—the leader or creator; bhaga indicates six properties, dominion, might, glory, splendour, wisdom and detachment; va, elemental spirit in which all beings exist and which exists in all beings; thus it is the name of Vāsudeva.*

  • * Viṣṇu-purāṇa VI. 5. 69-79.

1b) A Tuṣita God.*

  • * Brahmāṇḍa-purāṇa II. 36. 10.

1c) The quality of bhaga and sadbhāva.*

  • * Vāyu-purāṇa 5. 36.

1d) One of Danu's sons.*

  • * Vāyu-purāṇa 68. 5.
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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Natyashastra (theatrics and dramaturgy)

Source: Wisdom Library: Nāṭya-śāstra

Bhagavan (भगवन्, “holy one”) refers to a specific “mode of address” (nāman) used in drama (nāṭya), according to Nāṭyaśāstra chapter 19. Bhagavan is used to address the Gods and certain ascetics.

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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Vaishnavism (Vaishava dharma)

Source: Pure Bhakti: Bhagavad-gita (4th edition)

Bhagavān (भगवान्) refers to “the Supreme Lord, complete in six opulences: beauty, wealth, strength, fame, knowledge and renunciation. Literally, vān–‘possessor’, bhaga–‘opulence’”. (cf. Glossary page from Śrīmad-Bhagavad-Gītā).

Source: Pure Bhakti: Bhajana-rahasya - 2nd Edition

Bhagavān (भगवान्) refers to:—The Supreme Lord; the Supreme Personality of Godhead. (cf. Glossary page from Bhajana-Rahasya).

Vaishnavism book cover
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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’).

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General definition (in Hinduism)

Source: Red Zambala: On the Salvific Activities of God

The 6 attributes of the Lord (Bhagavān) that relate to sentient beings are:

  1. jñāna = knowledge,
  2. bālā = strength,
  3. aiśvarya = sovereignty,
  4. śakti = omnipotence,
  5. vīrya = creative potency,
  6. tejas = splendour.

It is because of these six that He is called ‘Bhagavān.’

Languages of India and abroad

Marathi-English dictionary

Source: DDSA: The Molesworth Marathi and English Dictionary

bhagavān (भगवान्).—m (S) The Supreme Being, God.

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

bhagavān (भगवान्).—m The Supreme Being, God.

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 dictionary

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

Bhagavan (भगवन्):—[from bhaj] in [compound] for vat.

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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