Dharmadatta; 3 Definition(s)

Introduction

Dharmadatta 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.

In Hinduism

Purana

[Dharmadatta in Purana glossaries]

1) Dharmadatta (धर्मदत्त).—A king of Kosala. He had a wife named Nāgaśrī. By her chastity she became a celebrity and got the name of Arundhatī of the earth. They got a daughter named Tārādattā. Once when Dharmadatta and Nāgaśrī were engaged in conversation both remembered their lives in their previous births. It was not allowed to speak about previous births in open and if anybody did so death was the penalty. But Nāgaśrī could not control herself and prepared to accept the worst. Nāgaśrī told her husband thus: "I am just reminded of my life in my previous birth. I will tell you my story. I was the servant maid of a brahmin named Mādhava in this same place. I had a husband named Devadāsa then. My husband was the son of a merchant. We made a small house of our own and lived there peacefully. Each of us would bring food from where we worked and everyday we used to set apart a portion of what we got for guests and the pitṛs. We were satisfied with what was left after that. If we got more than one set of clothes we would give it to the poor. Then there came a famine in the country. Our earning also was reduced daily. We lived in hunger. One day a hungry and tired sannyāsī came to our place and we gave him the whole of our food. My husband died that day and I gave away my life jumping into the funeral pyre of my husband. Then I was born in the family of a King and became your wife."

Dharmadatta also got back the memory of his previous birth. He said he was the Devadāsa of Nāgaśrī’s previous life.

The moment they finished talking about their previous births both fell down dead. Orphaned Tārādattā then lived under the care of her mother’s younger sister. After some time a Maharṣi came to their house and by his blessing Tārādattā got a husband named Kaliṅgasena. Kaliṅgasena was a brave and daring Prince. Very soon they got a daughter and she was named Kaliṅgasenā. (Kathāsaritsāgara, Madanamañjukā laṃbaka, Taraṅga 2).

2) Dharmadatta (धर्मदत्त).—A Brahmin who lived in the city of Karavīra. One day while Dharmadatta was going to the temple with material for pūjā he came across a demoness named Kalahā on the way. The brahmin threw the pūjā materials in his hand on to the face of the demoness. When a tulasī leaf touched the demoness she got back the memory of her previous birth.

2) Kalahā then abandoned her cruel nature and begged Dharmadatta to advise her as to how she should get a release from her demonaic life. Taking pity on her Dharmadatta gave her all the 'puṇya' he had obtained by observing Kārttikavrata. (Chapters 106, 107, Uttara Khaṇḍa, Padma Purāṇa and Chapters 2, 4, 24, 25 Skanda Purāṇa).

2) Dharmadatta and Kalahā were born as Daśaratha and Kaikeyī in their next births as a result of the accumulated Puṇya obtained by observing Kārttikavrata. (Sāra khaṇḍa, Ānanda Rāmāyaṇa).

(Source): archive.org: Puranic Encyclopaedia
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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Katha (narrative stories)

[Dharmadatta in Katha glossaries]

1) Dharmadatta (धर्मदत्त) is the name of an ancient king of Kośala mentioned in the “story of King Dharmadatta and his Wife Nāgaśrī”, according to the Kathāsaritsāgara, chapter 27. Accordingly, “there once lived a king named Dharmadatta, the lord of Kośala; he had a queen named Nāgaśrī, who was devoted to her husband and was called Arundhatī on the earth, as, like her, she was the chief of virtuous women”.

2) Dharmadatta (धर्मदत्त) is the name of a merchant (vaṇij) from Harṣavatī, as mentioned in the third story of the Vetālapañcaviṃśati in the Kathāsaritsāgara, chapter 77. Accordingly, “... there is a city of the name of Harṣavatī, and in it there was a leading merchant named Dharmadatta, possessed of many crores. And that merchant had a daughter named Vasudattā, matchless in beauty, whom he loved more than his life”.

3) Dharmadatta (धर्मदत्त) is the friend of Dhanadatta: a merchant (vaṇij) from Anaṅgapura, as mentioned in the tenth story of the Vetālapañcaviṃśati in the Kathāsaritsāgara, chapter 84. Accordingly, “... one day, as she [Madanasenā] was playing with her companions in her own garden, a young merchant, named Dharmadatta, a friend of her brother’s, saw her”.

The Kathāsaritsāgara (‘ocean of streams of story’), mentioning Dharmadatta, 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
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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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India history and geogprahy

[Dharmadatta in India history glossaries]

Dharmadatta (धर्मदत्त) was one of the persons witnessing the excavation of the Ajantā caves on behalf of the monk Buddhabhadra.—Whether [Dharmadatta and Bhadrabandhu] were artists, overseers, or architects we are not told. But from analysis of the inscription and the monument it appears that the two monks were not just overseers; they were experts in vāstu, pratimāvijnāna, and jyotiṣ. Our analysis claims that the duos could be prime contenders for the first known Great Masters of Indian art.

(Source): Shodhganga: Ajanta’s antiquity
India history book cover
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The history of India traces the identification of countries, villages, towns and other regions of India, as well as 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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Relevant definitions

Search found 10 related definition(s) that might help you understand this better. Below you will find the 15 most relevant articles:

Madhava
1) Mādhava (माधव).—A synonym of Śrī Kṛṣṇa. Because Śṛī Kṛṣṇa could be properly understood by Ma...
Kalaha
Kalahā (कलहा).—Wife of a brāhmaṇa named Bhikṣu who was an inhabitant of the city of Saurāṣṭra. ...
Nagashri
Nāgaśrī (नागश्री) is the wife of Dharmadatta: king of Kośala, according to a story in the Kathā...
Devadasa
Devadāsa (देवदास).—A rich Vaiśya extolled much in the Kathāsaritsāgara. He lived in Pātalipuṭra...
Vasudatta
1) Vasudattā (वसुदत्ता) was the wife of Somadatta, a Brāhman from the city of Kauśāmbī, accordi...
Shatrunjaya
Śatruñjaya (शत्रुञ्जय) is the warden of Vikramatuṅga: a king from Pāṭaliputra according to the ...
Kalingadatta
Kaliṅgadatta (कलिङ्गदत्त) is the name of a Buddhist king from Takṣaśilā: a city on the banks of...
Taradatta
Tārādattā (तारादत्ता) is the wife of Kaliṅgadatta: a Buddhist king from Takṣaśilā: a city on th...
Madanasena
1) Madanasenā (मदनसेना) is the daughter of king Vīrabhaṭa: king of Tāmraliptī, who was captivat...
Bhadrabandhu
Bhadrabandhu (भद्रबन्धु) was one of the persons witnessing the excavation of the Ajantā caves o...

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