Brahmadatta; 5 Definition(s)


Brahmadatta 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.

In Hinduism

Kathā (narrative stories)

Brahmadatta (ब्रह्मदत्त) is the name of a King of Benares, whose story is told in the tale called ‘King Brahmadatta’, according to the Kathāsaritsāgara, chapter 3.

In chapter 19, Yaugandharāyaṇa instructs king Udayana to conquer king Brahmadatta first. Accordingly, “... this King of Benares named Brahmadatta is always your enemy, therefore conquer him first; when he is conquered, conquer the eastern quarter and gradually all the quarters”.

The Kathāsaritsāgara (‘ocean of streams of story’), mentioning Brahmadatta, 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
Kathā book cover
context information

Kathās (कथा) are special kind of Sanskrit literature: they are a kind of a mix between Itihāsa (historical legends) and Mahākāvya (epic poetry). Some Kathās reflect socio-political instructions for the King while others remind the reader of the historical deeds of the Gods, sages and heroes.


1a) Brahmadatta (ब्रह्मदत्त).—The son of Nīpa and Kṛtvī daughter of Śuka; a Yogi; wife Go and son Viṣvaksena;1 king of Sālva (s.v.);2 killed by Kṛṣṇa.3

  • 1) Bhāgavata-purāṇa IX. 21. 25; Matsya-purāṇa 15. 10.
  • 2) Bhāgavata-purāṇa X. 52. 11[8].
  • 3) Ib. X. 52 [56(v)8].

1b) The son of Aṇuha and Kīrtimatī.*

  • * Brahmāṇḍa-purāṇa III. 8. 94; 10. 82; 74. 268; Matsya-purāṇa 49. 57; Vāyu-purāṇa 70. 86; 73. 31; 99. 180; Viṣṇu-purāṇa IV. 19. 45-6.

1c) The son of Vibhrāja, the Pāñcāla king; in previous birth Pitṛvarti (s.v.), a son of Kauśika; his queen Sannati, daughter of Devala, being in one of her previous births the cow of Garga, was killed by Kauśika's sons during a famine; was anointed the Pāñcāla king, and his two brothers in his previous birth, became his ministers; both king and queen once visited the pleasure garden and were taken by surprise at the sight of the love quarrels between two ants who were husband and wife; the wife accused the husband of taking pieces of modaka (sweetmeat) to a neighbouring lady-love, an ant; the husband confessed that it was offered so thinking that she was herself, his own wife and that he would behave more carefully in future; B. understood this as he could follow the language of all insects by divine grace; when Sannati thought that the king laughed at her and took it seriously, he took a vow for seven days and at the sight of Sudaridra, the Brahmana, remembered his past and became a Siddha himself having anointed his son Viśvakṣena on the throne.*

  • * Matsya-purāṇa 20. 23-38; 21. 16, 24-35.

1d) A royal line of 100 warriors cf. Jātakas: vāyu p. 376 (Car. Lec. 1918. p. 56).*

  • * Matsya-purāṇa 273. 72; Vāyu-purāṇa 99. 454.
(Source): Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: The Purana Index
Purāṇa book cover
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The Purāṇas (पुराण, purana) refers to Sanskrit literature preserving ancient India’s vast cultural history, including historical legends, religious ceremonies, various arts and sciences. The eighteen mahāpurāṇas total over 400,000 ślokas (metrical couplets) and date to at least several centuries BCE.

General definition (in Hinduism)

Brahmadatta (ब्रह्मदत्त):—Son of King Nīpa and his wife Kṛtvī (daughter of Śuka). He was a great yogi and had a son named Viṣvaksena by the womb of his wife, Sarasvatī. (see Bhāgavata Purāṇa 9.21.25)

(Source): Wisdom Library: Hinduism

Brahmadatta (ब्रह्‍मदत्‍त): King of Benares

(Source): WikiPedia: Hinduism

In Buddhism

Mahayana (major branch of Buddhism)

Brahmadatta (ब्रह्मदत्त) is the name of a king of olden times subdued by the Buddha mentioned in order to demonstrate the fearlessness of the Buddha according to the Mahāprajñāpāramitāśāstra chapter XL.1.4. Accordingly, “a hundred thousand Che-tseu (Śākya) who all were great kings in Jambudvīpa, king Fan-mo-to (Brahmadatta), etc., all became his disciples”.

Brahmadatta is the dynastic name of the kings of Benares: many jātakas in which they make an appearance concern early times. At the time of the Buddha, Kāśī (Benares) was incorporated into the kingdom of Kosala, and Prasenajit reigned over both countries.

(Source): Wisdom Library: Maha Prajnaparamita Sastra
Mahayana book cover
context information

Mahayana (महायान, mahāyāna) is a major branch of Buddhism focusing on the path of a Bodhisattva (spiritual aspirants/ enlightened beings). Extant literature is vast and primarely composed in the Sanskrit language. There are many sūtras of which some of the earliest are the various Prajñāpāramitā sūtras.

Relevant definitions

Search found 136 related definition(s) that might help you understand this better. Below you will find the 15 most relevant articles:

Sagara Brahmadatta
Sāgara, (cp. Epic Sk. sāgara) the ocean D. I, 89; A. II, 56, 140; III, 52; V, 116 sq.; Vin....
Suta Brahmadatta
1) Suta, 2 (Sk. suta, pp. of sū (or su) to generate) son Mhvs 1, 47; fem. sutā daughter, Th. 2...
Catumasika Brahmadatta
1. Catumasika Brahmadatta - A king of Benares. Going to his park in the early summer, he rest...
Culani Brahmadatta
King of Uttarapancala, in the country of Kampilla. His chaplain was Kevatta. For their story ...
Kiki Brahmadatta
Son of Suyama and great grandson of King Kiki; see Ekadhamma Savaniya Thera (1).
Padalola Brahmadatta
King of Benares. He loved dancing, and had three houses in which young, middle aged, and old ...
Sitaluka Brahmadatta
King of Benares. He left the world and lived in the forest, but there he lacked food and drin...
Vibhusaka Brahmadatta
A king of Benares, so called from his great fondness for ornaments. He developed the habit of...
Anivatta Brahmadatta
A king of Benares; so called because he never left a thing half done. One day on his way to t...
Cakkhulola Brahmadatta
King of Benares. He was very fond of watching dancing and had three dancing halls where girls...
Ekaputtika Brahmadatta
King of Benares. He had only one son, of whom he was extremely fond. One day when the king wa...
Ekavajjaka Brahmadatta
A king. He was extremely obliging, and would grant an interview to any who desired it, no mat...
kāśī (काशी).—f Benares. kāśīphaḷa n A pompion, gourd.
haṃśā (हंशा).—m Laughter or laughing.--- OR --- haṃsa (हंस).—m A swan or goose; a duck. A gande...
sarasvatī (सरस्वती).—f The goddess of speech and eloquence, speech.

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