Caturmukha, aka: Catur-mukha; 7 Definition(s)

Introduction

Caturmukha means something in 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.

Alternative spellings of this word include Chaturmukha.

In Hinduism

Vastushastra (architecture)

[Caturmukha in Vastushastra glossaries]

1) Caturmukha (चतुर्मुख):—One of the eight types of villages, according to Chapter 9 of the Mānasāra (called the grāmalakṣaṇam). The Mānasāra is one of the traditional authorative Hindu treatises on Vāstuśāstra. The form of this village is said to be tattadrūpeṇa, which means it represents the form of the meaning of its Sanskrit name.

2) Caturmukha (चतुर्मुख) refers to a type of temple (prāsāda) classified under the group named Kailāśa, according to Samarāṅgaṇasūtradhāra chapter 49. The Kailāśa group contains ten out of a sixty-four total prāsādas (temples) classified under five prime vimānas (aerial car/palace), which were created by Brahmā for as many gods (including himself). This group represents temples (eg. Caturmukha) that are to be globular shaped. The prāsādas, or ‘temples’, represent the dwelling place of God and are to be built in towns. The Samarāṅgaṇasūtradhāra is an 11th-century encyclopedia dealing with various topics from the Vāstuśāstra.

Caturmukha is mentioned in another list from the Samarāṅgaṇasūtradhāra chapter 56, being part of the group named Nigūḍha, containing 5 unique temple varieties.

Caturmukha is also mentioned as a classification of ‘temple’ in the Īśānaśivagurudevapaddhati which features a list of 52 temple types. This list represents the classification of temples in South-India.

3) Caturmukha (चतुर्मुख) refers to a category of gopura, which is the “tower” built above the gateway of a house, palace or Buddhist monastery.

(Source): Wisdom Library: Vāstu-śāstra
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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Purana

[Caturmukha in Purana glossaries]

Caturmukha (चतुर्मुख) 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 Caturmukha 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): Wisdom Library: Skanda-purāṇa

Caturmukha (चतुर्मुख).—Brahmā (s.v.) as Vedarāśī with Gāyatri and Sāvitri; acted as Udgāta for Soma's Rājasūya and officiated as priest for Umā's marriage;1 three avastas of: as Brahmā, Kāla and Puruṣa, creating, destroying and as being indifferent; hence three guṇas, three agnis, three Vedas and three worlds.2

  • 1) Matsya-purāṇa 4. 7-12; 6. 25; 23. 20; 53. 7; 154. 483.
  • 2) Vāyu-purāṇa 5. 15-17.
(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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Itihasa (narrative history)

[Caturmukha in Itihasa glossaries]

Caturmukha (चतुर्मुख) is a name mentioned in the Mahābhārata (cf. XIV.8.30, XIV.8) and represents one of the many proper names used for people and places. Note: The Mahābhārata (mentioning Caturmukha) is a Sanskrit epic poem consisting of 100,000 ślokas (metrical verses) and is over 2000 years old.

(Source): JatLand: List of Mahabharata people and places
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Itihasa (इतिहास, itihāsa) refers to ‘epic history’ and represents a branch of Sanskrit literature which popularly includes 1) the eighteen major Puranas, 2) the Mahabharata and 3) the Ramayana. It is a branch of Vedic Hinduism categorised as smriti literature (‘that which is remembered’) as opposed to shruti literature (‘that which is transmitted verbally’).

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Shaivism (Shaiva philosophy)

[Caturmukha in Shaivism glossaries]

Caturmukha (चतुर्मुख) or Caturmukhāgama refers to one of upāgamas (supplementary scriptures) of the Bimbāgama which is one of the twenty-eight Siddhāntāgama: a classification of the Śaiva division of Śaivāgamas. The Śaivāgamas represent the wisdom that has come down from lord Śiva, received by Pārvatī and accepted by Viṣṇu. The purpose of revealing upāgamas (eg., Caturmukha Āgama) is to explain more elaborately than that of mūlāgamas (eg., Bimba-āgama) and to include any new idea if not dealt in mūlāgamas.

(Source): Shodhganga: Iconographical representations of Śiva
Shaivism book cover
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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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Kavya (poetry)

[Caturmukha in Kavya glossaries]

Caturmukha (Apabhraṃśa Caumuha=nominative Caumuhu), we see that he was one of the greatest Apabhraṃśa epic poets, though known at present only from a few quotations and references. Though a Brahmanical author, he receives homage from Jaina poets, who indicate also that he was the pioneer of the ‘classical’ form of Apabhraṃśa epic, which moreover became the classical form of epic continued in later languages such as Avadhī. Thus Svayambhū (Riṭṭhaṇemicariu 1.1.10) says that Caumuhu ‘made over to him’ the paddhaḍiā (metre) ‘entwined with’ the chaḍḍaṇi, duvai and dhuvau.

(Source): Google Books: Indian Kāvya Literature
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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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Languages of India and abroad

Sanskrit-English dictionary

[Caturmukha in Sanskrit glossaries]

Caturmukha (चतुर्मुख).—an epithet of Brahmā; इतरतापशतानि यथेच्छया वितर तानि सहे चतुरानन (itaratāpaśatāni yathecchayā vitara tāni sahe caturānana) Udb.

Derivable forms: caturmukhaḥ (चतुर्मुखः).

Caturmukha is a Sanskrit compound consisting of the terms catur and mukha (मुख). See also (synonyms): caturānana.

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Caturmukha (चतुर्मुख).—having four faces.

-khaḥ an epithet of Brahmā; त्वत्तः सर्वं चतु- र्मुखात् (tvattaḥ sarvaṃ catu- rmukhāt) R.1.22. (-kham) 1. four faces; Ku.2.17.

Caturmukha is a Sanskrit compound consisting of the terms catur and mukha (मुख).

(Source): DDSA: The practical 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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Relevant definitions

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