Bhishana, aka: Bhīsana, Bhīṣaṇa, Bhisana; 13 Definition(s)


Bhishana means something in Buddhism, Pali, Hinduism, Sanskrit, Jainism, Prakrit, 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.

The Sanskrit term Bhīṣaṇa can be transliterated into English as Bhisana or Bhishana, using the IAST transliteration scheme (?).

In Hinduism

Purana and Itihasa (epic history)

Bhishana in Purana glossary... « previous · [B] · next »

Bhīṣaṇa (भीषण).—Son of Baka. From the day his father was killed by Bhīma Bhīṣana was impatiently waiting for revenge. When the Pāṇḍavas began the Aśvamedha yajña he obstructed it at a place near Ekacakra. Arjuna fought and killed him. (Jaimini Aśvamedha Parva, Chapter 22).

Source: Puranic Encyclopaedia

1a) Bhīṣaṇa (भीषण).—A Vānara born of Pulaha.*

  • * Brahmāṇḍa-purāṇa III. 7. 179.

1b) A son of Hṛdīka.*

  • * Matsya-purāṇa 44. 82.
Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: The Purana Index
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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Shilpashastra (iconography)

Bhīṣaṇa (भीषण) is the Sanskrit name of a form of Bhairava. According to the Rudrayāmala, there are eight main forms of Bhairava who control the eight directions of this universe. The term is used throughout Śilpaśāstra literature.

Bhīṣaṇa has the following eight manifestations:

  1. Bhīṣaṇa,
  2. Bhayahara,
  3. Sarvajña,
  4. Kālāgni,
  5. Mahāraudra,
  6. Dakṣiṇa,
  7. Mukhara,
  8. Asthira.

All these have a red color and should carry in their hands the kuṇḍa, the kheṭaka, the parigha (a kind of club) and bhiṇḍipāla.

Source: Wisdom Library: Śilpa-śāstra
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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Katha (narrative stories)

Bhishana in Katha glossary... « previous · [B] · next »

Bhīṣaṇa (भीषण) is the name of a warrior who fought on Sūryaprabha’s side but was slain by Kālakampana, who participated in the war on Śrutaśarman side, according to the Kathāsaritsāgara, chapter 47. Accordingly: “... and again [after slaying many warriors] he [Kālakampana] slew five others that met him in fight, Bhīma, Bhīṣaṇa, Kumbhīra, Vikaṭa and Vilocana.”.

The story of Bhīṣaṇa was narrated by the Vidyādhara king Vajraprabha to prince Naravāhanadatta in order to relate how “Sūryaprabha, being a man, obtain of old time the sovereignty over the Vidyādharas”.

The Kathāsaritsāgara (‘ocean of streams of story’), mentioning Bhīṣaṇa, 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
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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In Buddhism

Tibetan Buddhism (Vajrayana or tantric Buddhism)

Bhīṣaṇa (भीषण) refers to one of the eight charnel grounds (śmaśāna) of the Kāyacakra, according to the 10th century Ḍākārṇava chapter 15. Accordingly, the kāyacakra refers to one of the four divisions of the nirmāṇa-puṭa (‘emanation layer’), situated in the Herukamaṇḍala. Bhīṣaṇa is associated with the tree (vṛkṣa) named Ḍombara and with the hell-guardian (narakapāla) named Ḍombarī.

Source: The Structure and Meanings of the Heruka Maṇḍala
Tibetan Buddhism book cover
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Tibetan Buddhism includes schools such as Nyingma, Kadampa, Kagyu and Gelug. Their primary canon of literature is divided in two broad categories: The Kangyur, which consists of Buddha’s words, and the Tengyur, which includes commentaries from various sources. Esotericism and tantra techniques (vajrayāna) are collected indepently.

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In Jainism

General definition (in Jainism)

Bhishana in Jainism glossary... « previous · [B] · next »

Bhīṣaṇa (भीषण) participated in the war between Rāma and Rāvaṇa, on the side of the latter, as mentioned in Svayambhūdeva’s Paumacariu (Padmacarita, Paumacariya or Rāmāyaṇapurāṇa) chapter 57ff. Svayambhū or Svayambhūdeva (8th or 9th century) was a Jain householder who probably lived in Karnataka. His work recounts the popular Rāma story as known from the older work Rāmāyaṇa (written by Vālmīki). Various chapters [mentioning Bhīṣaṇa] are dedicated to the humongous battle whose armies (known as akṣauhiṇīs) consisted of millions of soldiers, horses and elephants, etc.

Source: Een Kritische Studie Van Svayambhūdeva’s Paümacariu
General definition book cover
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Jainism is an Indian religion of Dharma whose doctrine revolves around harmlessness (ahimsa) towards every living being. The two major branches (Digambara and Svetambara) of Jainism stimulate self-control (or, shramana, ‘self-reliance’) and spiritual development through a path of peace for the soul to progess to the ultimate goal.

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Languages of India and abroad

Pali-English dictionary

Bhishana in Pali glossary... « previous · [B] · next »

bhīsana : (adj.) dreadful; horrible.

Source: BuddhaSasana: Concise Pali-English Dictionary

Bhīsana, (adj.) =bhiṃsana (q. v.) Pv IV. 35 (v. l. in PvA. 251), explained by bhayajanana PvA. 251, where C. reading also bhīsana. (Page 506)

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

Bhishana in Marathi glossary... « previous · [B] · next »

bhīṣaṇa (भीषण).—a S Frightful, fearful, formidable.

Source: DDSA: The Molesworth Marathi and English Dictionary

bhīṣaṇa (भीषण).—a Frightful.

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

Bhishana in Sanskrit glossary... « previous · [B] · next »

Bhīṣaṇa (भीषण).—a. [bhī-ṇic-suk lyu] Terrific, formidable, dreadful, horrible, frightening; बिभ्युर्बिडालेक्षणभीषणाभ्यः (bibhyurbiḍālekṣaṇabhīṣaṇābhyaḥ) Śi.3.45.

-ṇaḥ 1 The sentiment of terror (in rhetoric); see भयानक (bhayānaka).

2) Name of Śiva.

3) A pigeon, dove.

4) The olibanum tree.

-ṇam 1 Anything that excites terror.

2) Terrifying, causing terror.

Source: DDSA: The practical Sanskrit-English dictionary

Bhīṣaṇa (भीषण).—(1) n. of a yakṣa: Mmk 44.3; (2) n. of a nāga: Mmk 454.16; (3) n. of a locality: Māy 28.

Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: Edgerton Buddhist Hybrid Sanskrit Dictionary

Bhīṣaṇa (भीषण).—mfn.

(-ṇaḥ-ṇā-ṇaṃ) 1. Horrible, terrific, formidable. 2. Hard, harsh. 3. Exciting the sentiment of horror, applied to poetical compositions. m.

(-ṇaḥ) The olibanum tree, (Boswellia thurifera.) 2. A name of Siva. 3. A pigeon. n.

(-ṇaṃ) 1. Horror, terror the property that excites fear. 2. The sentiment of horror as the object of poetical com position. E. bhī to fear, in the causal form, aff. lyuṭ or yuc, and suk aug.

Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: Shabda-Sagara 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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