Dhenuka, aka: Dhenukā; 6 Definition(s)


Dhenuka 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

Purana and Itihasa (epic history)

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

Dhenuka (धेनुक).—General information. A fierce Rākṣasa (giant) with the figure of a donkey. He lived in the forest of Kālī (Tāla). People did not dare to pass by that way fearing this giant. Hearing about him, Śrī Kṛṣṇa and his elder brother Balabhadra Rāma went to the forest. There were several palm trees in the forest, the fruits of which they shook with force. Hearing the noise Dhenuka ran to them. Balabhadra and Śrī Kṛṣṇa beat the giant to death. Other details. (1) In Bhāgavata, Skandha 10, it is stated that Pralambaka, Cāṇūra, Tṛṇāvarta, Muṣṭika, Ariṣṭaka, Keśi, Dhenuka and others were the followers of Kaṃsa.

In Bhāgavata, Skandha 10, there is another story that while Balabhadra Rāma, Śrī Kṛṣṇa and the other cowherds were looking after the cows an asura entered into the midst of the flock, in the shape of a cow (Dhenu). Rāma and Kṛṣṇa saw him, struck him against a tree and killed him. (See full article at Story of Dhenuka from the Puranic encyclopaedia by Vettam Mani)

Source: archive.org: Puranic Encyclopaedia

1) Dhenuka (धेनुक).—An Asura friend of Kaṃsa; in the form of an ass jealously guarded the palmyra forest near Brindāvana. At the desire of his cowherd friends to eat the fruits of that palm grove, Balarāma entered it and brought down fruits; the Asura came down and kicked him in his chest; he caught hold of him and whirled him to death; his kith and kin, other asses came and were dashed against trees; killed by Kṛṣṇa.1 A Dānava king,2 with manuṣya dharma.3

  • 1) Bhāgavata-purāṇa X. 2. 1; 15. 22-38; 43. 25; 46. 26. Viṣṇu-purāṇa V. 1. 24; 4. 2. ch. 8. (whole).
  • 2) Brahmāṇḍa-purāṇa IV. 29. 124.
  • 3) Vāyu-purāṇa 68. 15; Viṣṇu-purāṇa V. 8. 2.

2a) Dhenukā (धेनुका).—The wife of Kīrtiman;1 mother of two sons Cariṣṇu and Dhṛtiman.2

  • 1) Vāyu-purāṇa 28. 17.
  • 2) Brahmāṇḍa-purāṇa II. 11. 20.

2b) (Mṛtā); a R. of the Śākadvīpa.*

  • * Vāyu-purāṇa 49. 94. Viṣṇu-purāṇa II. 4. 65.
Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: The Purana Index

Dhenuka (धेनुक) refers to the name of a Tīrtha (pilgrim’s destination) mentioned in the Mahābhārata (cf. II.82.76, V.128.46). Note: The Mahābhārata (mentioning Dhenuka) is a Sanskrit epic poem consisting of 100,000 ślokas (metrical verses) and is over 2000 years old.

Source: JatLand: List of Mahabharata people and places
Purana book cover
context information

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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Shaivism (Shaiva philosophy)

Dhenuka (धेनुक) or Dhenukāgama refers to one of upāgamas (supplementary scriptures) of the Kiraṇāgama which is one of the twenty-eight Siddhāntāgama: a classification of the Śaiva division of Śaivāgamas. The Śaivāgamas represent the wisdom that has come down from lord Śiva, received by Pārvatī and accepted by Viṣṇu. The purpose of revealing upāgamas (eg., Dhenuka Āgama) is to explain more elaborately than that of mūlāgamas (eg., Kiraṇa-āgama) and to include any new idea if not dealt in mūlāgamas.

Source: Shodhganga: Iconographical representations of Śiva
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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Languages of India and abroad

Sanskrit-English dictionary

Dhenuka (धेनुक).—

1) Name of a demon killed by Balarāma. दारुणो धेनुको नाम दैत्यो गर्दभरूपवान् (dāruṇo dhenuko nāma daityo gardabharūpavān) Hariv.

2) A mode of sexual enjoyment; see धैनुक (dhainuka)

Derivable forms: dhenukaḥ (धेनुकः).

--- OR ---

Dhenukā (धेनुका).—

1) A female elephant.

2) A milch-cow.

3) A gift, an offering.

4) A female animal in general.

5) A dagger; L.D.B.

6) Pārvatī; स्त्रियां स्याद्धेनुका वाजियोषित्यपि पशौ गीव । भवान्यां च कृपाण्यां च प्रसूताकरि- योषितोः (striyāṃ syāddhenukā vājiyoṣityapi paśau gīva | bhavānyāṃ ca kṛpāṇyāṃ ca prasūtākari- yoṣitoḥ) || Nm.

Source: DDSA: The practical Sanskrit-English dictionary

Dhenuka (धेनुक).—m.

(-kaḥ) The name of an Asura or demon, killed by Krishna. f.

(-kā) 1. A she-elephant. 2. A milch cow. E. dhenu a cow and kan aff. dhenuriva “ive pratikṛtau” pā-kan .

Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: Shabda-Sagara Sanskrit-English Dictionary
context information

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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Relevant definitions

Search found 27 related definition(s) that might help you understand this better. Below you will find the 15 most relevant articles:

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