Brahmayaksha, Brahmayakṣa, Brahma-yaksha: 1 definition



Brahmayaksha means something in Jainism, Prakrit. 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 Brahmayakṣa can be transliterated into English as Brahmayaksa or Brahmayaksha, using the IAST transliteration scheme (?).

In Jainism

General definition (in Jainism)

[«previous next»] — Brahmayaksha in Jainism glossary
Source: The Jaina Iconography

Brahmayakṣa (ब्रह्मयक्ष) or simply Brahmā is the name of the Yakṣa accompanying Śītalanātha: the tenth of twenty-four Tīrthaṃkaras or Jinas, commonly depicted in Jaina iconography.—The tree under which Śītalanātha attained the Kevala knowledge is Vilva (Aegle marmelos), The Jaina texts assign tohim the Yakṣa named Brahmā and Yakṣiṇī named Aśokā (Digambara: Mānavī). The Digambaras regard the Aśvattha (Ficus religioso) as his emblem, the Śvetāmbaras Śrīvatsa (wishing tree) for the same.

Brahmayakṣa is invariably given four faces, three eyes, eight hands, and a lotus seal. The difference lies in respect of the attributes held by the eight hands. The Śvetāmbara Brahmayakṣa bears the following objects in his hands:—a citrus, club, noose, Abhaya, mongoose, mace, goad and rosary. The Digambara variants are: a bow, staff, shield, a sword, Vara-Mudrā etc, The conception of this Yakṣa has much in common, together with the name with that of the Brahmanic deity Brahmā. The same four faces (Caturmukha ) an epithet of Brahmā, the lotus seal etc. are attributed to this demi-god. His Yakṣiṇī Aśokā (of the Śvetāmbaras) has the lotus-seat while the same Yakṣiṇī as represented by the Digambaras has black hogs for her chariot and with the emblemof dawn may be said to be the Aurora of the Jainas.

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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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