Caturvaktra, Catur-vaktra, caturvaktrā: 13 definitions


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 next»] — Caturvaktra in Purana glossary
Source: 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:—“[...] 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.

Caturvaktra participated in Vīrabhadra’s campaign against Dakṣa, according to the Śivapurāṇa 2.2.33. Accordingly, as Brahmā narrated to Nārada:—“O Nārada, listen to the numerical strength of the most important and courageous of those groups. [...] Caturvaktra, the chief of Gaṇas, started with hundred crores. [...] Thus at the bidding of Śiva, the heroic Vīrabhadra went ahead followed by crores and crores, thousands and thousands, hundreds and hundreds of Gaṇas [viz., Caturvaktra]”.

Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: The Purana Index

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

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

[«previous 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.

Kavya book cover
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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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Shaivism (Shaiva philosophy)

[«previous next»] — Caturvaktra in Shaivism glossary
Source: SOAS University of London: Protective Rites in the Netra Tantra

Caturvaktrā (चतुर्वक्त्रा) refers to “she who is four-faced” and is used to describe Vijayā (Vijayādevī), according to the Netratantra of Kṣemarāja: a Śaiva text from the 9th century in which Śiva (Bhairava) teaches Pārvatī topics such as metaphysics, cosmology, and soteriology.—Accordingly, [verse 11.1-24ab, while describing the appearance and worship of Tumburu]—“[...] The Devīs are white, red, yellow, and black, four-faced, four armed, three eyed, and in [their] hands bear golden hatchets, sticks and rosaries. [...] Mounted on a corpse, Jayā Devī shines forth [in white]; four-armed, four-faced (caturvaktrā), three-eyed, red Vijayā holds grass, a bow, a shield and a sword, [while] standing upon an owl, O Devī. [...] [When one] worships and meditates on [the Devīs, as they] stand in the cardinal directions, [the Devīs grant the practitioner] the fruits of siddhi. [...]”.

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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Shaktism (Shakta philosophy)

[«previous next»] — Caturvaktra in Shaktism glossary
Source: Google Books: Manthanabhairavatantram

Caturvaktra (चतुर्वक्त्र) refers to the “four faces” (representing the transmissions of the four seats), according to the Manthānabhairavatantra, a vast sprawling work that belongs to a corpus of Tantric texts concerned with the worship of the goddess Kubjikā.—Accordingly, [while describing the Niṣkala Form of Śrīnātha]—“The niṣkala (form), beyond the energies, is the one teacher in the Western Tradition. Divided into supreme (transcendent) and inferior (immanent), he is the means (to attain) the awareness of consciousness. Come down through the Transmission, with four faces (caturvaktra) (representing the transmissions of the four seats), the teacher is one in the Western (Tradition). He is within the abode of the twelve gestures and is adorned with the five maṇḍalas (of the Elements). [...]”.

Shaktism book cover
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Shakta (शाक्त, śākta) or Shaktism (śāktism) represents a tradition of Hinduism where the Goddess (Devi) is revered and worshipped. Shakta literature includes a range of scriptures, including various Agamas and Tantras, although its roots may be traced back to the Vedas.

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Languages of India and abroad

Sanskrit dictionary

[«previous 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.

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

1) Caturvaktra (चतुर्वक्त्र):—[=catur-vaktra] [from catur > catasṛ] mf(ā)n. four-faced, [Vasiṣṭha]

2) [v.s. ...] m. Name of Brahmā, [cf. Lexicographers, esp. such as amarasiṃha, halāyudha, hemacandra, etc.]

3) [v.s. ...] of a Dānava, [Harivaṃśa iii, 47, 6]

4) [v.s. ...] of an attendant of Durgā, [Kathāsaritsāgara lii, 246.]

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

Caturvaktra (चतुर्वक्त्र):—[catur-vaktra] (ktraḥ) 1. m. Brahmā.

[Sanskrit to German]

Caturvaktra in German

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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Kannada-English dictionary

[«previous next»] — Caturvaktra in Kannada glossary
Source: Alar: Kannada-English corpus

Caturvaktra (ಚತುರ್ವಕ್ತ್ರ):—[noun] = ಚತುರ್ಮುಖ - [caturmukha -] 1 & 2.

context information

Kannada is a Dravidian language (as opposed to the Indo-European language family) mainly spoken in the southwestern region of India.

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