Bhringi, Bhṛṅgī, Bhṛṅgi: 13 definitions



Bhringi 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.

The Sanskrit terms Bhṛṅgī and Bhṛṅgi can be transliterated into English as Bhrngi or Bhringi, using the IAST transliteration scheme (?).

In Hinduism

Purana and Itihasa (epic history)

Source: Wisdom Library: Skanda-purana

Bhṛṅgī (भृङ्गी) 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 Bhṛṅgī 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: Puranic Encyclopedia

Bhṛṅgī (भृङ्गी).—A Maharṣi who was a devotee of Śiva. Once he went to Kailāsa and began to go round Śiva to pay homage to him. But since Pārvatī and Śiva were sitting together as one body, he could not go round Śiva separately. He did not have much reverence for Pārvatī. So he took the form of a female beetle (Bhṛṅgī) and bored his way through a hole made in the place where their bodies were united and thus went round Śiva alone. Pārvatī was angry at this slight shown to her and cursed him to become physically weak. His legs became so weak that they were unable to support his body. So he prayed to Śiva again and he blessed him with a third leg. In this way Bhṛṅgī became a Maharṣi with three legs. (Maharṣis).

Source: Shiva Purana - English Translation

Bhṛṅgī (भृङ्गी) is the name of a deity who fought on Vīrabhadra’s side in his campaign to destroy Dakṣa’s sacrifice, according to the Śivapurāṇa 2.2.37. Accordingly:—“[...] Vīrabhadra took up all the great miraculous weapons for his fight with Viṣṇu and roared like a lion. [...] A noisy terrible fight ensued between the Gaṇas and the guardians of the quarters, both roaring like lions. [...] Bhṛṅgī was struck by the wind god with his weapon of great force. Vāyu was struck (in return) by Bhṛṅgī with a powerful trident”.

Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: The Purana Index

1a) Bhṛṅgi (भृङ्गि).—The head of a Śiva gaṇa.*

  • * Brahmāṇḍa-purāṇa III. 41. 28; IV. 30. 75; 34. 89.

1b) An image of, in attendance on Śiva.*

  • * Matsya-purāṇa 259. 24; 266. 42.
Source: Shodhganga: The saurapurana - a critical study

Bhṛṅgi (भृङ्गि) is the name of a Gaṇa-chief who was previously known as the demon Andhaka, according to the 10th century Saurapurāṇa: one of the various Upapurāṇas depicting Śaivism.—Accordingly, “[...] Bhairava having pierced the demon [Andhaka] at the edge of the dart danced. Thereby Andhaka became free from the sin of running towards his mother and ultimately praised Śiva with a lengthy stotra. Śiva was pleased with the demon and granted him the status of the leader of Gaṇas called Bhṛṅgi. Then Śiva gave Andhaka a form with three eyes, blue neck and matted hair and Pārvatī adopted him as her son”.

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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Rasashastra (chemistry and alchemy)

Source: Wisdom Library: Rasa-śāstra

Bhṛṅgī (भृङ्गी):—One of the sixty-eight Siddhauṣadhi, as per Rasaśāstra texts (rasa literature). These drugs give siddhi (success) in mercurial operations. Even so, they are more powerful than rasa (mercury) itself. These may perform all the kāryas (‘effects’) and grant dehasiddhi (‘perfection of body’) and lohasiddhi (‘transmutation of base metals’) both.

Rasashastra book cover
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Rasashastra (रसशास्त्र, rasaśāstra) is an important branch of Ayurveda, specialising in chemical interactions with herbs, metals and minerals. Some texts combine yogic and tantric practices with various alchemical operations. The ultimate goal of Rasashastra is not only to preserve and prolong life, but also to bestow wealth upon humankind.

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Vastushastra (architecture)

Source: Shodhganga: Temples of Salem region Up to 1336 AD

Bhṛṅgi (भृङ्गि).—Bhṛṅgi is three- legged and two-handed. He has a Jaṭa coiffuer. He wears necklaces and upavīta made of bells. Bhṛṅgi is supposed to have a rickety figure, with his skeletal frame prominently visible. But in this example, he is not represented so. He has a supple body but the idea of his skeleton is symbolically represented through prominently visible ribs on his chest.

Vastushastra book cover
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Vastushastra (वास्तुशास्त्र, vāstuśāstra) refers to the ancient Indian science (shastra) of architecture (vastu), dealing with topics such architecture, sculpture, town-building, fort building and various other constructions. Vastu also deals with the philosophy of the architectural relation with the cosmic universe.

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Ayurveda (science of life)

Source: Shodhganga: Edition translation and critical study of yogasarasamgraha

Bhṛṅgī (भृङ्गी) refers to the medicinal plant known as “Clerodendrum serratum L. Moon” and is dealt with in the 15th-century Yogasārasaṅgraha (Yogasara-saṅgraha) by Vāsudeva: an unpublished Keralite work representing an Ayurvedic compendium of medicinal recipes. The Yogasārasaṃgraha [mentioning bhṛṅgī] deals with entire recipes in the route of administration, and thus deals with the knowledge of pharmacy (bhaiṣajya-kalpanā) which is a branch of pharmacology (dravyaguṇa).

Ayurveda book cover
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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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General definition (in Hinduism)

Source: Google Books: The Bijak of Kabir

The buzzing of the black bee (bhṛngī), symbolizing the guru, attracts the insect, which becomes so entranced that it is eventually transformed into a bhṛngī.

In Buddhism

Tibetan Buddhism (Vajrayana or tantric Buddhism)

Source: The Indian Buddhist Iconography

Bhṛṅgī (भृङ्गी) is the name of a Goddess commonly depicted in Buddhist Iconography, and mentioned in the 11th-century Niṣpannayogāvalī of Mahāpaṇḍita Abhayākara.—Her Colour is blue; she has four arms.

Bhṛṅgī is described in the Niṣpannayogāvalī (dharmadhātuvāgīśvara-maṇḍala) as follows:—

“Bhṛṅgī is blue in colour and he holds in the first pair of hands the blue rosary and the kamaṇḍalu. In the second pair the añjali is shown”.

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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Languages of India and abroad

Sanskrit dictionary

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

1) Bhṛṅgī (भृङ्गी):—[from bhṛṅga] f. (cf. [gana] gaurādi) idem, [Kāvya literature; Kathāsaritsāgara]

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

3) Bhṛṅgi (भृङ्गि):—[from bhṛṅga] m. Name of one of Śiva’s attendants (cf. next), [Vāmana-purāṇa; Religious Thought and Life in India 441.]

[Sanskrit to German] (Deutsch Wörterbuch)

Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: Böhtlingk and Roth Grosses Petersburger Wörterbuch

Bhṛṅgi (भृङ्गि):—m. = bhṛṅgin Nomen proprium eines Wesens im Gefolge des Śiva [VĀMANA][Pāṇini’s acht Bücher 45. im Śabdakalpadruma] [VYĀḌI] zu [Hemacandra’s Abhidhānacintāmaṇi 210], wo bhṛṅgiri st. bhṛdiri zu lesen ist.

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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