Crocodile: 3 definitions


Crocodile means something in Hinduism, Sanskrit, the history of ancient India. 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.

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In Hinduism

Shilpashastra (iconography)

Source: Shodhganga: Elements of Art and Architecture in the Trtiyakhanda of the Visnudharmottarapurana (shilpa)

The Crocodile is associated with various deities, whose iconography is described in the Viṣṇudharmottarapurāṇa, an ancient Sanskrit text which (being encyclopedic in nature) deals with a variety of cultural topics such as arts, architecture, music, grammar and astronomy.—In the Viṣṇudharmottarapurāṇa, the attire, accessories, weapons, carrier, different colours etc. of the idols of different deities are projected which are taken for discussion here. It is clear that the book offers a great field of knowledge regarding the nuances of Indian art of Image making [e.g., the crocodile] during 10th–11th century A.D.

The Crocodile of Varuṇa.—In the Viṣṇudharmottarapurāṇa, it is said that the image of Varuṇa should be placed on a chariot with seven swans. But according to the Kāśyapaśilpa as well as the Śilparatna, the idol of Varuṇa should be seated on a crocodile. The point to be noted here is that though the Viṣṇudharmottarapurāṇa does not accept crocodile as the āsana of Varuṇa, this work says that there should be a flag having a symbol of a crocodile in the left side of the idol of Varuṇa. [...] Moreover, the images of Gaṅgā and Yamunā are also placed in the right and left side of the image of Varuṇa respectively. The image of Gaṅgā should be placed on a crocodile and should hold cāmara i.e., bushy tail of yak

The Crocodile of Nāsatya (i.e., the twin god Aśvins).—According to the Skandapurāṇa Nāsatyas or the twin god Aśvins are the excellent physicians. In the Ṛgveda, the chariot of the Aśvins are said to be associated with a bull and a crocodile.

Shilpashastra book cover
context information

Shilpashastra (शिल्पशास्त्र, śilpaśāstra) represents the ancient Indian science (shastra) of creative arts (shilpa) such as sculpture, iconography and painting. Closely related to Vastushastra (architecture), they often share the same literature.

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Yoga (school of philosophy)

[«previous next»] — Crocodile in Yoga glossary
Source: ORA: Amanaska (king of all yogas): A Critical Edition and Annotated Translation by Jason Birch

The Crocodiles (symbolizing the senses) are denoted by the Sanskrit term Grāha, according to the Amanaska Yoga treatise dealing with meditation, absorption, yogic powers and liberation.—Accordingly, as Īśvara says to Vāmadeva: “[...] [The Yogin] who has bathed in the no-mind lake, which is free from the crocodiles of the senses (indriya-grāha-nirmukta) and whose water is free from the wind and pure, obtains the supreme nectar. This natural, no-mind [state] has been taught thus [to Vāmadeva] directly by Śiva [himself] for the awakening of his disciples. However, [the no-mind state] is eternal, aspectless, undifferentiated, not expressible by speech and can only be experienced by oneself alone. [...]”.

Yoga book cover
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Yoga is originally considered a branch of Hindu philosophy (astika), but both ancient and modern Yoga combine the physical, mental and spiritual. Yoga teaches various physical techniques also known as āsanas (postures), used for various purposes (eg., meditation, contemplation, relaxation).

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India history and geography

Source: Singhi Jain Series: Ratnaprabha-suri’s Kuvalayamala-katha (history)

Crocodiles were commonly depicted on the Saṃsāracakra paintings (representing scenes of animal life), in ancient India, as mentioned in the Kathās (narrative poems) such as Uddyotanasūri in his 8th-century Kuvalayamālā (a Prakrit Campū, similar to Kāvya poetry).—Page 185.21 f.: Here follows a description of a printed scroll illustrating the Jaina conception of saṃsāracakra. [...] The saṃsāra-cakra illustrated the three worlds of hell, human world and the world of gods. [For example:] Large fish swallowing smaller fish; crocodiles swallowing their own species.

India history book cover
context information

The history of India traces the identification of countries, villages, towns and other regions of India, as well as mythology, zoology, royal dynasties, rulers, tribes, local festivities and traditions and regional languages. Ancient India enjoyed religious freedom and encourages the path of Dharma, a concept common to Buddhism, Hinduism, and Jainism.

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