Dharmagupta, aka: Dharma-gupta; 7 Definition(s)


Dharmagupta means something in Buddhism, Pali, 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)

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

1) Dharmagupta (धर्मगुप्त) is the name of a merchant whose daughter was named Devasmitā, according to a story in the Kathāsaritsāgara, chapter 13. Devasmitā was to be married to Guhasena (son of Dhanadatta) but Dharmagupta did, in first instance, not agree to this. The story of Devasmitā was told by Vasantaka to Vāsavadattā in order to divert her thoughts as she was anxiously awaiting her marriage with Udayana.

2) Dharmagupta (धर्मगुप्त) is the name of a richt merchant from the city Pāṭaliputra, according to the Kathāsaritsāgara, chapter 17. His wife Candraprabhā gave birth to an apsaras (heavenly nymph) named Somaprabhā. Their story was told by Vasantaka to Padmāvatī and queen Vāsavadattā.

The Kathāsaritsāgara (‘ocean of streams of story’), mentioning Dharmagupta, 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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Purana and Itihasa (epic history)

Dharmagupta in Purana glossary... « previous · [D] · next »

1) Dharmagupta (धर्मगुप्त).—A prince who obtained blessings from Śiva by observing the Pradoṣavrata. (For detailed story see Aṃśumatī). (See full article at Story of Dharmagupta from the Puranic encyclopaedia by Vettam Mani)

2) Dharmagupta (धर्मगुप्त).—A Nandarājakumāra belonging to the Lunar dynasty. Chapters 1, 2 and 13 of Skanda Purāṇa gives the following story about him.

2) Once Dharmagupta went to the forests, hunting. Deeply interested in the game he never knew when it became dusk. It was late to go back to the palace and so deciding to stay in the forest for the night he climbed upon a tree and made a seat there to rest. After some time a bear followed by a lion came running and took refuge on the top of the same tree. The lion stood growling below. Seeing a man on the same tree the bear said "Oh, Prince, we are both in the same sad plight now. Believe me as a friend. We can spend the night on this tree safe. Therefore, go to sleep till midnight and I will keep watch over. After that I will go to sleep and you keep watch". Gladly accepting the proposal the prince went to sleep and the bear kept vigil. Then the lion suggested to the bear to push down the prince. The bear replied that he would never cheat a friend and that it was a great sin also to do so. After midnight the bear slept and the prince kept watchover. The lion then suggested to the prince to push down the bear. Thinking that he would be saved if the bear is given to the lion the unfaithful prince pushed the bear down. But the bear escaped catching hold of the branches lower down. Embittered at this the bear cursed Dharmagupta and made him mad.

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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In Buddhism

Mahayana (major branch of Buddhism)

Dharmagupta in Mahayana glossary... « previous · [D] · next »

Dharmagupta (धर्मगुप्त) is the name of a Buddha under whom Śākyamuni (or Gautama, ‘the historical Buddha’) acquired merit along the first through nine bhūmis, according to the Mahāvastu. There are in total ten bhūmis representing the ten stages of the Bodhisattva’s path towards enlightenment.

Dharmagupta is but one among the 500 Buddhas enumerated in the Mahāvastu during a conversation between Mahākātyāyana and Mahākāśyapa, both principle disciples of Gautama Buddha. The Mahāvastu is an important text of the Lokottaravāda school of buddhism, dating from the 2nd century BCE.

Source: Wisdom Library: Lokottaravāda
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Mahayana (महायान, mahāyāna) is a major branch of Buddhism focusing on the path of a Bodhisattva (spiritual aspirants/ enlightened beings). Extant literature is vast and primarely composed in the Sanskrit language. There are many sūtras of which some of the earliest are the various Prajñāpāramitā sūtras.

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General definition (in Buddhism)

Dharmagupta in Buddhism glossary... « previous · [D] · next »
He translated the Lotus Sutra in A.D. 601 jointly with Jnanagupta.Source: Buddhist Door: Glossary

Dharmaguptah - a subdivision of Sarvastivadah, developed from Mahisasakah and located in northwest India and Central Asia. Literally means those who protect (or preserve) the Law. They were instrumental informing the cult of the stupa, and were expert in incantation.

Source: SgForums: Buddhism

Languages of India and abroad

Sanskrit-English dictionary

Dharmagupta in Sanskrit glossary... « previous · [D] · next »

Dharmagupta (धर्मगुप्त).—a. observing and protecting religion.

-ptaḥ Name of Viṣṇu.

Dharmagupta is a Sanskrit compound consisting of the terms dharma and gupta (गुप्त).

Source: DDSA: The practical Sanskrit-English dictionary

Dharmagupta (धर्मगुप्त).—(1) n. of a former Buddha: Mv i.138.8 (and by Senart's em. for °gupti, q.v.); (2) pl. (= Pali Dhammagutta), n. of a Buddhist school: Mvy 9081.

Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: Edgerton Buddhist Hybrid Sanskrit Dictionary
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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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