Dhanadatta; 1 Definition(s)


Dhanadatta 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.

In Hinduism

Katha (narrative stories)

Dhanadatta in Katha glossary... « previous · [D] · next »

1) Dhanadatta (धनदत्त) is the name of a rich merchant from the city Tāmraliptā, whose story is told in “the story of Devasmitā” of the Kathāsaritsāgara, chapter 13. This story was told by Vasantaka to Vāsavadattā in order to divert her thoughts as she was anxiously awaiting her marriage with Udayana. Dhanadatta had a son born to him, named Guhasena, who was born as a result of a burnt-offering.

2) Dhanadatta (धनदत्त) is the name of a merchatnt (vaṇij) from Kāmandakī (Kāmandikā), as mentioned in the third story of the Vetālapañcaviṃśati in the Kathāsaritsāgara, chapter 77. Accordingly, “... and he [Arthadatta] had a son born to him of the name of Dhanadatta. When his father died, the young man became dissipated. And rogues got round him and plunged him in the love of gambling and other vices”.

Dhanadatta, the son of Arthadatta, is also mentioned in the tenth story of the Vetālapañcaviṃśati in the Kathāsaritsāgara, chapter 84. Accordingly, “... he [king Vīrabāhu] had a splendid city named Anaṅgapura, and in it there lived a rich merchant named Arthadatta; that merchant-prince had for elder child a son named Dhanadatta, and his younger child was a pearl of maidens, named Madanasenā”.

3) Dhanadatta (धनदत्त) is the name of a merchant (vaṇij) from Ujjayinī, as mentioned in the Kathāsaritsāgara, chapter 123. Accordingly, as Dhanadatta’s wife said to king Vikramāditya“... I am the wife of a great merchant in Ujjayinī named Dhanadatta. One night, as I was sleeping on the top of a palace, this elephant came and swallowed me and brought me here; however, this man was not inside the elephant, but when its belly was torn open he came out of it with me”.

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

Source: Wisdom Library: Kathāsaritsāgara
Katha book cover
context information

Katha (कथा, kathā) refers to narrative Sanskrit literature often inspired from epic legendry (itihasa) and poetry (mahākāvya). Some Kathas reflect socio-political instructions for the King while others remind the reader of important historical event and exploits of the Gods, Heroes and Sages.

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