Bhishana, Bhīsana, Bhīṣaṇa, Bhisana: 31 definitions


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

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)

[«previous next»] — Bhishana in Purana glossary
Source: Puranic Encyclopedia

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: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: The Purana Index

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

  • * Brahmāṇḍa-purāṇa III. 7. 179.

1b) A son of Hṛdīka.*

  • * Matsya-purāṇa 44. 82.
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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Shilpashastra (iconography)

Source: Wisdom Library: Śilpa-śāstra

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.

Shilpashastra book cover
context information

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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Kavya (poetry)

[«previous next»] — Bhishana in Kavya glossary
Source: Wisdom Library: Kathāsaritsāgara

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: Brill: Śaivism and the Tantric Traditions (kavya)

Bhīṣaṇā (भीषणा) refers to “horrific”, according to Bāṇa’s Kādambarī (p. 224-228).—Accordingly, “[Going ahead a little, he then sees that the Goddess Caṇḍikā] was enclosed by a door made from the ivory of wild elephants, as yellowish-white as fragments of ketakī filaments, and an iron architrave bearing an ornamental garland of black iron mirrors surrounded by a row of red yak tail whisks resembling a garland of Śabara heads horrific with tawny hair (kapila-keśa-bhīṣaṇā)”.

Kavya book cover
context information

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’.

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Ayurveda (science of life)

Veterinary Medicine (The study and treatment of Animals)

Source: Shodhganga: Portrayal of Animal Kingdom (Tiryaks) in Epics An Analytical study

Bhīṣaṇa (भीषण) (lit. “one who is terrifying”) is a synonym (another name) for the Pigeon (Kapota), according to scientific texts such as the Mṛgapakṣiśāstra (Mriga-pakshi-shastra) or “the ancient Indian science of animals and birds” by Hamsadeva, containing the varieties and descriptions of the animals and birds seen in the Sanskrit Epics such as the Ramayana and Mahabharata.

Ayurveda book cover
context information

Āyurveda (आयुर्वेद, ayurveda) is a branch of Indian science dealing with medicine, herbalism, taxology, anatomy, surgery, alchemy and related topics. Traditional practice of Āyurveda in ancient India dates back to at least the first millenium BC. Literature is commonly written in Sanskrit using various poetic metres.

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Shaktism (Shakta philosophy)

Source: Google Books: Manthanabhairavatantram

1) Bhīṣaṇa (भीषण) refers to the “frightening”, according to the Jayadrathayāmala verse 2.19.27-29.—Accordingly, “Having gone to a place where there are no people, a mountain peak, the bank of a river, a frightening cremation ground [i.e., bhīṣaṇaśmaśānaṃ bhīṣaṇaṃ], a beautiful deserted forest or a secluded part of the house at night or wherever (else) one pleases, or having reached (that) great place which is a sacred seat of Yoginīs and levelled the ground, extract the Vidyā”.

2) Bhīṣaṇa (भीषण) refers to “fearsome (waves)” (washing against the shore), according to the Ṣaṭsāhasrasaṃhitā, an expansion of the Kubjikāmatatantra: the earliest popular and most authoritative Tantra of the Kubjikā cult.—Accordingly, “(Jālandhara) is in the southern corner of (Kailāśa). It shines (like) the moon and has the moon’s radiant lustre. Its form is that of the city of the Half Moon. It has deep lakes and rivers full of waves [i.e., jala-kallola-gambhīra]. It contains the ocean of the six planes, and is fearsome (with the many great) waves that wash against its shores [i.e., vīcī-taraṅga-kallola-taṭa-āsphālana-bhīṣaṇa]. That city of the Supreme Lord is on top of the lord of the principles. It is adorned with snow (white) moonstones and varied enclosing walls, archways, and palaces (aṭṭāla). It possesses many qualities and wonders. [...]”.

Shaktism book cover
context information

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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Shaivism (Shaiva philosophy)

Source: SOAS University of London: Protective Rites in the Netra Tantra

Bhīṣaṇa (भीषण) or Bhīṣaṇasvana refers to a “terrible (noise)”, according to the Netratantra of Kṣemarāja: a Śaiva text from the 9th century in which Śiva (Bhairava) teaches Pārvatī topics such as metaphysics, cosmology, and soteriology.—Accordingly, [verse 10.1-7ab, while describing the appearance and worship of Bhairava]—“Now, at this moment, I shall explain the distinct appearance of Bhairava, [who] resembles an ointment [that clears the eye]. He has a nature that burns up and dissolves all things. Five-faced, atop a corpse, ten-armed [and] terrible, he resembles troops with demon mouths. He rumbles, [producing] a terrible noise (bhīṣaṇa-svanagarjantaṃ bhīṣaṇasvanam), speaks with a gaping mouth [adorned with] with large tusks, [his face] bent in a frown. [...] Having worshipped Bhairava, [the Mantrin] remembers being joined in union [with] him, [in the same way as] dissolution in fire”.

Shaivism book cover
context information

Shaiva (शैव, śaiva) or Shaivism (śaivism) represents a tradition of Hinduism worshiping Shiva as the supreme being. Closely related to Shaktism, Shaiva literature includes a range of scriptures, including Tantras, while the root of this tradition may be traced back to the ancient Vedas.

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Pancaratra (worship of Nārāyaṇa)

Source: Shodhganga: Kasyapa Samhita—Text on Visha Chikitsa (p)

Bhīṣaṇa (भीषण) refers to a “fierce (weapon)”, according to the second chapter of the Kāśyapa Saṃhitā: an ancient Sanskrit text from the Pāñcarātra tradition dealing with both Tantra and Viṣacikitsā (Toxicology).—The Kāśyapasaṃhitā describes the different forms of Garuḍa in the five bhūta-maṇḍalas on which the aspirant has to meditate upon to cure the snake-bite victim from the poison which could have killed him. In the Vāyu-maṇḍala, meditating on Garuḍa, the vāhana of Viṣṇu, seated in the eight-petalled lotus, with eight shoulders, holding in his hands, the conch, discus, nectar, snake, sāla and muṣṭi, the fierce (bhīṣaṇa) daṇḍāyudha decimate the poison and its spread.

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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In Buddhism

Tibetan Buddhism (Vajrayana or tantric Buddhism)

Source: Wisdom Library: Tibetan Buddhism

Bhīṣaṇa (भीषण) is the name of a Rākṣasa mentioned as attending the teachings in the 6th century Mañjuśrīmūlakalpa: one of the largest Kriyā Tantras devoted to Mañjuśrī (the Bodhisattva of wisdom) representing an encyclopedia of knowledge primarily concerned with ritualistic elements in Buddhism. The teachings in this text originate from Mañjuśrī and were taught to and by Buddha Śākyamuni in the presence of a large audience (including Bhīṣaṇa).

Source: The Structure and Meanings of the Heruka Maṇḍala

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: OSU Press: Cakrasamvara Samadhi

1) Bhīṣaṇa (भीषण) refers to “horrible (gigantic fangs)”, according to the Cakrasaṃvara Samādhi [i.e., Cakrasamvara Meditation] ritual often performed in combination with the Cakrasaṃvara Samādhi, which refers to the primary pūjā and sādhanā practice of Newah Mahāyāna-Vajrayāna Buddhists in Nepal.—Accordingly, “Standing on top of Mahābhairava and Kālirātrī, embracing Vajravārāhī, With both arms holding a vajra and bell, adorned by a crest of dreadlocks, Decorated by a crown of skulls, holding a half moon on top of the head, Topped by the form of the Viśva Vajra, a fierce face, horrible gigantic fangs (daṃṣṭrotkaṭa-bhīṣaṇa), Possessing the emotions beginning with the erotic, putting on a tiger skin, Wearing a garland of half a hundred human heads together, Possessing the six seals, adorned with a necklace, bracelets, Ear-rings, girdle, a crest jewel, (and) covered in ashes”.

2) Bhīṣaṇa (भीषण) is the name of a Bhairava deity [i.e., oṃ bhīṣaṇabhairavāya svāhā], according to the Vāruṇī Pūjā [i.e., Varuni Worship].

Source: MDPI Books: The Ocean of Heroes

Bhīṣaṇā (भीषणा) refers to a “terrifying” (deity), according to the 10th-century Ḍākārṇava-tantra: one of the last Tibetan Tantric scriptures belonging to the Buddhist Saṃvara tradition consisting of 51 chapters.—Accordingly, “[...] [Standing on] Bhairava and Kālarātri on fire on the sun [disk] on the pericarp [of the lotus], [Heruka] is dancing. [He should visualize Heruka] [...] always having [his] mouth open [and showing] large fangs from the right and left [parts of the mouth]. [Three faces looking to the south, west, and north are colored] yellow, red, and in sequence (viz., green), [respectively,] and the other [fourteen] faces are colored like a black bee [He should meditate on Heruka, who] *is greatly awful and laughs loudly and* is grinning and terrifying (bhīṣaṇā). [...]”.

Tibetan Buddhism book cover
context information

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)

Source: Een Kritische Studie Van Svayambhūdeva’s Paümacariu

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.

General definition book cover
context information

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

[«previous next»] — Bhishana in Pali glossary
Source: BuddhaSasana: Concise Pali-English Dictionary

bhīsana : (adj.) dreadful; horrible.

Source: Sutta: The Pali Text Society's 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)

Pali book cover
context information

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

Source: DDSA: The Molesworth Marathi and English Dictionary

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

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

bhīṣaṇa (भीषण).—a Frightful.

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: DDSA: The practical Sanskrit-English dictionary

Bhīṣaṇa (भीषण).—a. [bhī-ṇic-suk lyu] Terrific, formidable, dreadful, horrible, frightening; बिभ्युर्बिडालेक्षणभीषणाभ्यः (bibhyurbiḍālekṣaṇabhīṣaṇābhyaḥ) Śiśupālavadha 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: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: Edgerton Buddhist Hybrid Sanskrit Dictionary

Bhīṣaṇa (भीषण).—(1) name of a yakṣa: (Ārya-)Mañjuśrīmūlakalpa 44.3; (2) name of a nāga: (Ārya-)Mañjuśrīmūlakalpa 454.16; (3) name of a locality: Mahā-Māyūrī 28.

Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: Shabda-Sagara Sanskrit-English 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: Benfey Sanskrit-English Dictionary

Bhīṣaṇa (भीषण).—i. e. bhi, [Causal.], + ana, I. adj., f. ṇā. 1. Horrible, [Pañcatantra] 174, 11. 2. Awful, [Uttara Rāmacarita, 2. ed. Calc., 1862.] 42, 8. Ii. m. 1. The sentiment of horror, as the object of poetical composition. 2. The olibanum tree, Boswellia thurifera. 3. Śiva. Iii. n. 1. Horrer, the property that excites fear. 2. An object of horror, [Mānavadharmaśāstra] 3, 9.

Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: Cappeller Sanskrit-English Dictionary

Bhīṣaṇa (भीषण).—[feminine] ā & ī terrifying, frightening ([genetive] or —°), awful, horrible.

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

1) Bhīṣaṇa (भीषण):—[from bhī] mf(ā or ī)n. ([from] [Causal]) terrifying, frightening, formidable, horrible (with [genitive case] or ifc.), [Mahābhārata; Kāvya literature] etc.

2) [v.s. ...] = gāḍha, [cf. Lexicographers, esp. such as amarasiṃha, halāyudha, hemacandra, etc.]

3) [v.s. ...] m. ([scilicet] rasa) the sentiment of horror (in [poetry or poetic] composition), [Horace H. Wilson] (cf. bhayānaka)

4) [v.s. ...] Name of Śiva, [cf. Lexicographers, esp. such as amarasiṃha, halāyudha, hemacandra, etc.]

5) [v.s. ...] a form of Bhairava (= Yama), [Catalogue(s)]

6) [v.s. ...] Boswellia Thurifera, [cf. Lexicographers, esp. such as amarasiṃha, halāyudha, hemacandra, etc.]

7) [v.s. ...] Phoenix Paludosa, [cf. Lexicographers, esp. such as amarasiṃha, halāyudha, hemacandra, etc.]

8) [v.s. ...] a pigeon, dove, [cf. Lexicographers, esp. such as amarasiṃha, halāyudha, hemacandra, etc.]

9) [v.s. ...] Name of a Rākṣasa, [Catalogue(s)]

10) Bhīṣaṇā (भीषणा):—[from bhīṣaṇa > bhī] f. Name of a goddess (= Nirṛti), [Varāha-mihira’s Yogayātrā]

11) Bhīṣaṇa (भीषण):—[from bhī] n. the act of terrifying or frightening, [Mahābhārata]

Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: Yates Sanskrit-English Dictionary

Bhīṣaṇa (भीषण):—(naṃ) 1. n. Horror, terror. a. Horrible, terrific; hard, harsh. m. Shiva; the olibanum tree.

Source: DDSA: Paia-sadda-mahannavo; a comprehensive Prakrit Hindi dictionary (S)

Bhīṣaṇa (भीषण) in the Sanskrit language is related to the Prakrit words: Bīhaṇa, Bīhaṇaga, Bīhaṇaya, Bhīsaṇa, Bhesaṇa, Bhesaṇā.

[Sanskrit to German]

Bhishana in German

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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Hindi dictionary

[«previous next»] — Bhishana in Hindi glossary
Source: DDSA: A practical Hindi-English dictionary

Bhīṣaṇa (भीषण) [Also spelled bhishan]:—(a) fearful, frightening, scaring; awful; tremendous; hence ~[] (nf).

context information


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Prakrit-English dictionary

Source: DDSA: Paia-sadda-mahannavo; a comprehensive Prakrit Hindi dictionary

Bhīsaṇa (भीसण) in the Prakrit language is related to the Sanskrit word: Bhīṣaṇa.

context information

Prakrit is an ancient language closely associated with both Pali and Sanskrit. Jain literature is often composed in this language or sub-dialects, such as the Agamas and their commentaries which are written in Ardhamagadhi and Maharashtri Prakrit. The earliest extant texts can be dated to as early as the 4th century BCE although core portions might be older.

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Kannada-English dictionary

Source: Alar: Kannada-English corpus

Bhīṣaṇa (ಭೀಷಣ):—[adjective] causing great dread, fear or terror; terrible; dreadful.

--- OR ---

Bhīṣaṇa (ಭೀಷಣ):—

1) [noun] the quality of being dreadful, terrible; dreadfulness; frightfulness.

2) [noun] a man causing dread; a dreadful, terrible man.

3) [noun] Rudra, a terrible form of Śiva.

4) [noun] a small, flat drum that can be hung in front of one’s belly and played with two thin sticks.

5) [noun] (rhet.) the sentiment of horror.

context information

Kannada is a Dravidian language (as opposed to the Indo-European language family) mainly spoken in the southwestern region of India.

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