Dhritarashtra, Dhṛtarāṣṭra, Dhrita-rashtra, Dhṛtarāṣṭrā: 26 definitions


Dhritarashtra means something in Buddhism, Pali, Hinduism, Sanskrit, Marathi. 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.

The Sanskrit terms Dhṛtarāṣṭra and Dhṛtarāṣṭrā can be transliterated into English as Dhrtarastra or Dhritarashtra, using the IAST transliteration scheme (?).

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In Hinduism

Vaishnavism (Vaishava dharma)

[«previous next»] — Dhritarashtra in Vaishnavism glossary
Source: Pure Bhakti: Bhagavad-gita (4th edition)

Dhṛtarāṣṭra (धृतराष्ट्र) refers to “literally, dhṛta–‘holds on to’, rāṣṭra–‘the kingdom’. He was the son of Ambikā and Vyāsadeva; brother of Pāṇḍu and Vidura. Dhṛtarāṣṭra, was born blind. His one hundred sons, headed by Duryodhana, led the armies that opposed the Pāṇḍavas”. (cf. Glossary page from Śrīmad-Bhagavad-Gītā).

Source: Pure Bhakti: Brhad Bhagavatamrtam

Dhṛtarāṣṭra (धृतराष्ट्र) refers to:—A blind Kaurava king, brother of Pāṇḍu and father of Duryodhana and his ninety-nine brothers. (cf. Glossary page from Śrī Bṛhad-bhāgavatāmṛta).

Vaishnavism book cover
context information

Vaishnava (वैष्णव, vaiṣṇava) or vaishnavism (vaiṣṇavism) represents a tradition of Hinduism worshipping Vishnu as the supreme Lord. Similar to the Shaktism and Shaivism traditions, Vaishnavism also developed as an individual movement, famous for its exposition of the dashavatara (‘ten avatars of Vishnu’).

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Purana and Itihasa (epic history)

[«previous next»] — Dhritarashtra in Purana glossary
Source: Wisdom Library: Bhagavata Purana

Dhṛtarāṣṭra (धृतराष्ट्र):—One of the sons of Vyāsa (the popular name for Bādarāyaṇa, who was begotten by Parāśara Muni through the womb of Satyavatī). By his wife Gāndhārī, he have birth to one hundred sons and one daughter. The oldest son was called Duryodhana and the daughter was named Duḥśalā. (see Bhāgavata Purāṇa 9.22.25-26)

Source: archive.org: Puranic Encyclopedia

1) Dhṛtarāṣṭra (धृतराष्ट्र).—Father of the Kauravas. Genealogy. (See the genealogy of Arjuna). (See full article at Story of Dhṛtarāṣṭra from the Puranic encyclopaedia by Vettam Mani)

2) Dhṛtarāṣṭra (धृतराष्ट्र).—A serpent born to Kaśyapa Prajāpati by his wife Kadrū. It is stated in Mahābhārata, Sabhā Parva, Chapter 9, Stanza 9, that this serpent sits in the Durbar of Varuṇa and worships him. During the time of emperor Pṛthu, devas (gods), asuras (demons) and Nāgas (serpents) milked the earth, and the person who milked for the Nāgas was the serpent Dhṛtarāṣṭra (Mahābhārata Droṇa Parva, Chapter 69). It is stated in Mahābhārata, Karṇa Parva, Chapter 34, Stanza 28, that once this Nāga was admitted into the chariot of Śiva. When Balabhadra Rāma, discarded his body and went to Pātāla (nether world, several serpents came to greet him. Dhṛtarāṣṭra was one of them. (Mahābhārata Mausala Parva, Chapter 4, Stanza 15).

3) Dhṛtarāṣṭra (धृतराष्ट्र).—A deva gandharva,. (Semi-god). Some information. (1) This deva gandharva was the son of the hermit Kaśyapa by his wife Muni. (Mahābhārata Ādi Parva, Chapter 65, Stanza 15).

He took part in the birth-celebration of Arjuna. (Mahābhārata Ādi Parva, Chapter 122, Stanza 55).

He went to the presence of King Marutta as a messenger of Indra. (Mahābhārata Aśvamedha Parva, Chapter 107, Stanza 2).

It was this Gandharva who had taken birth as Dhṛtarāṣṭra, the father of Duryodhana. (Mahābhārata Svargārohaṇa Parva, Chapter 4, Stanza 15).

4) Dhṛtarāṣṭra (धृतराष्ट्र).—A king who was the son of Janamejaya and the grandson of Kuru, a king of the Lunar dynasty. He had eleven sons: Kuṇḍika and others. (Mahābhārata Chapter 94, Stanza 58.)

5) Dhṛtarāṣṭra (धृतराष्ट्र).—One of the famous sons of Vāsuki. There is a story about this nāga (serpent) in Jaimini, Āśvamedha Parva, Chapter 39.

After the Bhārata-battle, Yudhiṣṭhira performed horsesacrifice. Arjuna led the sacrificial horse. He travelled far and wide and reached Manalūr. At the instruction of Ulūpī, Babhruvāhana confronted his father. A terrible fight ensued and Babhruvāhana cut off the head of Arjuna. Citrāṅgadā sent Babhruvāhana to the 'Nāgaloka' (the world of serpents) to bring the jewel 'Mṛtasañjīvinī' to restore her husband to life. The keeper of this jewel, which was under the custody of serpent Śeṣa was Dhṛtarāṣṭra, the son of Vāsuki.

Knowing that it was not easy to get the jewel, Babhruvāhana fought with Dhṛtarāṣṭra. After a terrible fight he got the jewel. But Dhṛtarāṣṭra, who did not want Arjuna to come to life again, stole the head of Arjuna, by the help of his sons and threw it into the hermitage of Dālbhya.

Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: The Purana Index

1a) Dhṛtarāṣṭra (धृतराष्ट्र).—An eminent Nāga of the Pātāla;1 used in milking the cow-earth and as a rope in the chariot of Tripurāri.2 Heard the viṣṇu purāṇa from Nārada and narrated it to Vāsuki.3

  • 1) Bhāgavata-purāṇa V. 24. 31; Brahmāṇḍa-purāṇa III. 7. 34; Vāyu-purāṇa 69. 71.
  • 2) Matsya-purāṇa 6. 40; 10. 20; 133. 25 and 30.
  • 3) Viṣṇu-purāṇa VI. 8. 45-6.

1b) A Mauneya Gandhrava presiding over the month of Iṣa;1 with the sun in the months of Māgha and Phālguṇa.2

  • 1) Bhāgavata-purāṇa XII. 11. 43; Brahmāṇḍa-purāṇa II. 23. 21; III. 7. 2; Vāyu-purāṇa 69. 2.
  • 2) Ib. 52. 21; Viṣṇu-purāṇa II. 10. 16.

1c) A son of Bali and a dānava.*

  • * Brahmāṇḍa-purāṇa III. 6. 8; Matsya-purāṇa 6. 11.

1d) One of Danu's sons.*

  • * Vāyu-purāṇa 68. 8.

1e) A son of Vicitravīrya; wife Gāndhārī; father of 100 sons of whom Duryodhana was the eldest.*

  • * Vāyu-purāṇa 99. 242-3.
Source: JatLand: List of Mahabharata people and places

Dhṛtarāṣṭra (धृतराष्ट्र) is a name mentioned in the Mahābhārata (cf. I.35.13) and represents one of the many proper names used for people and places. Note: The Mahābhārata (mentioning Dhṛtarāṣṭra) is a Sanskrit epic poem consisting of 100,000 ślokas (metrical verses) and is over 2000 years old.

Source: Shodhganga: Kasyapa Samhita—Text on Visha Chikitsa (itihasa)

Dhṛtarāṣṭra is the name of a Serpent (sarpa) mentioned in the thirty-fifth chapter (verses 4-17) of the Ādiparva of the Mahābhārata.—Accordingly, Sauti, on being implored by Śaunaka to name all the serpents in the course of the sarpa-sattra, tells him that it is humanly impossible to give a complete list because of their sheer multiplicity; but would name the prominent ones in accordance with their significance [e.g., Dhṛtarāṣṭra].

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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General definition (in Hinduism)

[«previous next»] — Dhritarashtra in Hinduism glossary
Source: WikiPedia: Hinduism

Dhritarāshtra (धृतराष्‍ट्र): Elder son of Vichitravirya and Ambika, born blind, father of Duryodhana.

Source: JatLand: South Asia

1) In the Mahabharata Dhritarashtra (Sanskrit: धृतराष्ट्र, dhritarāshtra) was the son born to Vichitravirya's first wife Ambika. He was fathered by Vyasa. This blind king of Hastinapura was father to a hundred children by his wife Gandhari. These children came to be known as the Kauravas. Duryodhana and Dushasana were the first two sons. Andari gotra Jats live in Jaipur district in Rajasthan. They are descendants of Raja Andha (अंध) (Dhritrashtra).

2) Dhritarashtra (धृतराष्ट्र) or Dhritrashtra was a Nagavanshi ruler. Dhetarwal (धेतरवाल) gotra of Jats are descendant of this mahapurusha Dhritarashtra (धृतराष्ट्र) of Nagavansh.

In Buddhism

Mahayana (major branch of Buddhism)

[«previous next»] — Dhritarashtra in Mahayana glossary
Source: Wisdom Library: Lokottaravāda

Dhṛtarāṣtra (धृतराष्त्र) 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.

Dhṛtarāṣtra 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: Brill: Śaivism and the Tantric Traditions (mahayana)

Dhṛtarāṣṭra (धृतराष्ट्र) refers to one of the “four great kings” (Caturmahārāja), according to the sixth chapter of the Suvarṇaprabhāsottamasūtra, which teaches the protection of the state for the mutual benefit of the Buddhist Sangha and the monarch.—Accordingly, the Caturmahārājaparivarta or Chapter on the Four Great Kings, conveys an explicit message: those kings (manuṣyarāja) who venerate the Suvarṇaprabhāsottama and support the Buddhist Sangha will be protected from hostile armies and other dangers by the Four Great Kings (caturmahārāja), and their countries will exist in highest state of harmony. Simultaneously, those who ignore this tradition will face decline. These eminent Yakṣas [i.e., Dhṛtarāṣṭra] are celestial guardians of the cardinal directions, along with their retinues in Jambudvīpa.

Source: De Gruyter: A Buddhist Ritual Manual on Agriculture

Dhṛtarāṣṭra (धृतराष्ट्र) refers to “one of the four great kings”, according to the Vajratuṇḍasamayakalparāja, an ancient Buddhist ritual manual on agriculture from the 5th-century (or earlier), containing various instructions for the Sangha to provide agriculture-related services to laypeople including rain-making, weather control and crop protection.

Mahayana book cover
context information

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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Tibetan Buddhism (Vajrayana or tantric Buddhism)

Source: Wisdom Library: Tibetan Buddhism

1) Dhṛtarāṣṭrā (धृतराष्ट्रा) refers to one of the female Śrāvakas mentioned as attending the teachings in the 6th century Mañjuśrīmūlakalpa: one of the largest Kriyā Tantras devoted to Mañjuśrī (the Bodhisattva of wisdom) representing an encyclopedia of knowledge primarily concerned with ritualistic elements in Buddhism. The teachings in this text originate from Mañjuśrī and were taught to and by Buddha Śākyamuni in the presence of a large audience (including Dhṛtarāṣṭrā).

2) Dhṛtarāṣṭra (धृतराष्ट्र) also refers to a deity summoned by the Yamāntaka-mantra and mentioned as attending the teachings in the 6th century Mañjuśrīmūlakalpa.

Tibetan Buddhism book cover
context information

Tibetan Buddhism includes schools such as Nyingma, Kadampa, Kagyu and Gelug. Their primary canon of literature is divided in two broad categories: The Kangyur, which consists of Buddha’s words, and the Tengyur, which includes commentaries from various sources. Esotericism and tantra techniques (vajrayāna) are collected indepently.

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General definition (in Buddhism)

[«previous next»] — Dhritarashtra in Buddhism glossary
Source: Wisdom Library: Dharma-samgraha

Dhṛtarāṣṭra (धृतराष्ट्र) refers to the first of the “four world protectors” (caturlokapāla) as defined in the Dharma-saṃgraha (section 7). The Dharma-samgraha (Dharmasangraha) is an extensive glossary of Buddhist technical terms in Sanskrit (e.g., caturlokapāla and Dhṛtarāṣṭra). The work is attributed to Nagarguna who lived around the 2nd century A.D.

Languages of India and abroad

Marathi-English dictionary

[«previous next»] — Dhritarashtra in Marathi glossary
Source: DDSA: The Molesworth Marathi and English Dictionary

dhṛtarāṣṭra (धृतराष्ट्र).—m (S Proper name of the uncle of the pāṇḍava princes.) A term for one born blind.

Source: DDSA: The Aryabhusan school dictionary, Marathi-English

dhṛtarāṣṭra (धृतराष्ट्र).—m Proper name of the uncle of the pāṇḍava princes. A term for one born blind.

context information

Marathi is an Indo-European language having over 70 million native speakers people in (predominantly) Maharashtra India. Marathi, like many other Indo-Aryan languages, evolved from early forms of Prakrit, which itself is a subset of Sanskrit, one of the most ancient languages of the world.

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Sanskrit dictionary

[«previous next»] — Dhritarashtra in Sanskrit glossary
Source: DDSA: The practical Sanskrit-English dictionary

Dhṛtarāṣṭra (धृतराष्ट्र).—

1) a good king.

2) a country ruled by a good king.

3) Name of the eldest son of Vyāsa by a widow of विचित्रवीर्य (vicitravīrya). [As the eldest son he was entitled to the throne, but being blind from birth, he renounced the sovereignty in favour of Pāṇḍu; but on his retirement to the woods, he undertook it himself, making Duryodhana, his eldest son, the virtual ruler. When Duryodhana, was killed by Bhīma, the old king thirsted for revenge, and expressed his desire to embrace Yudhiṣṭhira and Bhīma. Kṛṣṇa readily discovered his object, and convinced that Bhīma was marked out by the king as his prey, he caused an iron image of Bhīma to be made. And when the blind king rushed forward to embrace Bhīma, Kṛṣṇa substituted the iron image which the revengeful old man pressed with so much force that it was crushed to pieces, and Bhīma escaped. Thus dis comfited, he, with his wife, repaired to the Himālaya and there died after some years.]

4) Name of a bird; L. D. B.

Derivable forms: dhṛtarāṣṭraḥ (धृतराष्ट्रः).

Dhṛtarāṣṭra is a Sanskrit compound consisting of the terms dhṛta and rāṣṭra (राष्ट्र).

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

Dhṛtarāṣṭra (धृतराष्ट्र).—(in meaning 1 and 2 = Pali Dhataraṭṭha), (1) name of one of the four ‘world-guardians’, see mahārā- ja(n); guardian of the east and lord of gandharvas; (2) (see s.v. dhṛtarājya) name of a haṃsa-king (previous birth of the Bodhisattva): Gaṇḍavyūha 399.26; Jātakamālā 127.24; also name of the haṃsa-king in the story which = the Pali Nacca Jātaka (32), Mūla-Sarvāstivāda-Vinaya ii.92.17 ff.; (3) name of a former Buddha, or (probably) of two such: Mahāvastu i.138.1; iii.235.1; (4) name of one of Śuddhodana's palaces: Lalitavistara 49.1; Mahāvastu ii.5.5 ff.

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

Dhṛtarāṣṭra (धृतराष्ट्र).—m.

(-ṣṭraḥ) A proper name; Dhritarashtra, the father of Duryo4Dhana, and uncle of the Pandu princes. 2. A good king. 3. A Naga or serpent of the lower regions. 4. A kind of bird, perhaps a short of goose: see dhārttarāṣṭra. f. (-rī) A goose, the female bird only. E. dhṛta possessed, cherished, (by whom,) rāṣṭra a region.

Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: Benfey Sanskrit-English Dictionary

Dhṛtarāṣṭra (धृतराष्ट्र).—[dhṛta-rāṣṭra], m. 1. The father of Duryodhana and uncle of the Pāṇḍu princes, Mahābhārata 1, 95. 2. A frequent proper name.

Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: Cappeller Sanskrit-English Dictionary

Dhṛtarāṣṭra (धृतराष्ट्र).—[masculine] [Name] of an ancient king, the elder brother of Pāṇḍu ([plural] his sons).

Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: Monier-Williams Sanskrit-English Dictionary

1) Dhṛtarāṣṭra (धृतराष्ट्र):—[=dhṛta-rāṣṭra] [from dhṛta > dhṛ] m. whose empire is firm, a powerful king, [cf. Lexicographers, esp. such as amarasiṃha, halāyudha, hemacandra, etc.]

2) [v.s. ...] Name of a Nāga also called Airāvata, [Atharva-veda; Brāhmaṇa; Mahābhārata] etc.

3) [v.s. ...] of a Deva-gandharva sometimes identified with King Dh° (below), [Mahābhārata] (with Buddhists, Name of a king of the Gandharvas and one of the 4 Mahārājas [Lalita-vistara] or Lokapālas [Dharmasaṃgraha vii] [Monier-Williams’ Buddhism 206])

4) [v.s. ...] of a son of the Daitya Bali, [Harivaṃśa]

5) [v.s. ...] of a king of Kāśī, [Śatapatha-brāhmaṇa] (with the [patronymic] vaicitravīrya, [Kāṭhaka])

6) [v.s. ...] of the eldest son of Vyāsa by the widow of Vicitra-vīrya (brother of Pāṇḍu and Vidura and born blind, husband of Gāndhāri and father of 100 sons of whom the eldest was Dur-yodhana; sometimes identified with Dhṛta-rāṣṭra and Haṃsa, 2 chiefs of the Gandharvas), [Mahābhārata]

7) [v.s. ...] of a son of Janam-ejaya, [ib.]

8) [v.s. ...] of a king of the geese (cf. Haṃsa, above), [Jātakamālā]

9) [v.s. ...] [particular] bird, [cf. Lexicographers, esp. such as amarasiṃha, halāyudha, hemacandra, etc.]

10) [v.s. ...] [plural] the 100 sons of King Dh° (enumerated, [Mahābhārata i, 4540])

Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: Yates Sanskrit-English Dictionary

Dhṛtarāṣṭra (धृतराष्ट्र):—[dhṛta-rāṣṭra] (ṣṭraḥ) 1. m. A good king; a proper name. f. (ṣṭrī) A goose.

Source: DDSA: Paia-sadda-mahannavo; a comprehensive Prakrit Hindi dictionary (S)

Dhṛtarāṣṭra (धृतराष्ट्र) in the Sanskrit language is related to the Prakrit word: Dhayaraṭṭha.

[Sanskrit to German]

Dhritarashtra in German

context information

Sanskrit, also spelled संस्कृतम् (saṃskṛtam), is an ancient language of India commonly seen as the grandmother of the Indo-European language family (even English!). 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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Kannada-English dictionary

[«previous next»] — Dhritarashtra in Kannada glossary
Source: Alar: Kannada-English corpus

Dhṛtarāṣṭra (ಧೃತರಾಷ್ಟ್ರ):—

1) [noun] a king, in the epic Mahābhārata, who was born-blind and had infatuating love towards his son Duryōdhana.

2) [noun] (fig.) a born-blind man.

3) [noun] (fig.) a man who is completely blind to practical and right ways of life.

context information

Kannada is a Dravidian language (as opposed to the Indo-European language family) mainly spoken in the southwestern region of India.

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