Caturvaktra, Catur-vaktra: 7 definitions

Introduction

Caturvaktra 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 Chaturvaktra.

In Hinduism

Purana and Itihasa (epic history)

[«previous (C) next»] — Caturvaktra in Purana glossary
Source: archive.org: Shiva Purana - English Translation

1) Caturvaktra (चतुर्वक्त्र) refers to a “Rudraksha with four faces”, according to the Śivapurāṇa 1.25, while explaining the greatness of Rudrākṣa:—“[...] a Rudrākṣa of four faces (caturvaktra) is Brahmā Himself. It quells the sin of man-slaughter. Its vision and its contact instantaneously bestow the achievement of the four aims of life”.

2) Caturvaktra (चतुर्वक्त्र) is the name of a leader of Gaṇas (Gaṇapa or Gaṇeśvara or Gaṇādhipa) who came to Kailāsa, according to the Śivapurāṇa 2.1.20. Accordingly, after Śiva decided to become the friend of Kubera:—“[...] thinking thus, Rudra, desirous of carrying out the wish of Śiva (the supreme Brahman) sounded his drum that gave out the divine Nāda. Its resonant, reverberating sound pervaded the three worlds (trailokya) heightening enthusiasm and called upon everyone in diverse ways. On hearing that, [...] the leaders of Gaṇas revered by the whole world and of high fortune arrived there. [...] Nīla, Deveśa and Pūrṇabhadra each with ninety crores and the strong Caturvaktra with seven crores. [...]”.

These [viz., Caturvaktra] and other leaders of Gaṇas [viz., Gaṇapas] were all powerful (mahābala) and innumerable (asaṃkhyāta). [...] The Gaṇa chiefs and other noble souls of spotless splendour eagerly reached there desirous of seeing Śiva. Reaching the spot they saw Śiva, bowed to and eulogised him.

Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: The Purana Index

Caturvaktra (चतुर्वक्त्र).—A name of Brahmā.*

  • * Brahmāṇḍa-purāṇa IV. 9. 23.
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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Kavya (poetry)

[«previous (C) next»] — Caturvaktra in Kavya glossary
Source: Wisdom Library: Kathāsaritsāgara

Caturvaktra (चतुर्वक्त्र) is the name of a Gaṇa of Ambikā, who incarnated as Pañcaphuṭṭika, due to a curse by Kapilajaṭa, according to the Kathāsaritsāgara, chapter 52. Accordingly as Ambikā said to Jīvadatta in bodily form: “... you four [eg., Caturvaktra] once went to the sand of the Ganges to amuse yourselves, and saw there a hermit’s daughter bathing. She was called Cāpalekhā, the daughter of Kapilajaṭa. And she was solicited by all of you, distracted with love”.

The story of Caturvaktra was told by Gomukha in order to demonstrate that “divine beings fall by virtue of a curse, and, owing to the consequences of their own wickedness, are incarnate in the world of men, and after reaping the fruit appropriate to their bad conduct they again go to their own home on account of previously acquired merit”.

The Kathāsaritsāgara (‘ocean of streams of story’), mentioning Caturvaktra, 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.

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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Languages of India and abroad

Sanskrit-English dictionary

[«previous (C) next»] — Caturvaktra in Sanskrit glossary
Source: DDSA: The practical Sanskrit-English dictionary

Caturvaktra (चतुर्वक्त्र).—an epithet of Brahmā.

Derivable forms: caturvaktraḥ (चतुर्वक्त्रः).

Caturvaktra is a Sanskrit compound consisting of the terms catur and vaktra (वक्त्र).

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

Caturvaktra (चतुर्वक्त्र).—m.

(-ktaḥ) A name of Brahma. E. catur four, and vakta a face: see caturmukha and other synonimous compounds.

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

Caturvaktra (चतुर्वक्त्र).—[adjective] four-faced.

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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