Gokarna, aka: Gokarṇā, Gokarṇa, Go-karna; 21 Definition(s)


Gokarna means something in Hinduism, Sanskrit, the history of ancient India, 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.

In Hinduism

Ayurveda (science of life)

Gokarṇa (गोकर्ण) is a Sanskrit word referring to the “mule deer”. The meat of this animal is part of the māṃsavarga (‘group of flesh’), which is used throughout Āyurvedic literature. The animal Gokarṇa is part of the sub-group named Jāṅgalamṛga, refering to “animals living in forests”. It was classified by Caraka in his Carakasaṃhitā sūtrasthāna (chapter 27), a classical Āyurvedic work. Caraka defined such groups (vargas) based on the dietic properties of the substance.

Source: Wisdom Library: Āyurveda and botany

Gokarṇa (गोकर्ण)—Sanskrit word for a kind of deer (Antilope picta). This animal is from the group called Kūlacara (‘shore-dwellers’). Kūlacara itself is a sub-group of the group of animals known as Ānupa (those that frequent marshy places).

The flesh of the Gokarna is sweet, demulcent, mild (soft), sweet in digestion and proves curative in cases of hæmoptysis, and generates Kapham in the system.

Source: archive.org: Sushruta samhita, Volume I
Ayurveda book cover
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Āyurveda (आयुर्वेद, ayurveda) is a branch of Indian science dealing with medicine, herbalism, taxology, anatomy, surgery, alchemy and related topics. Traditional practice of Āyurveda in ancient India dates back to at least the first millenium BC. Literature is commonly written in Sanskrit using various poetic metres.

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Vaishnavism (Vaishava dharma)

Gokarṇa (गोकर्ण)—A holy place on the bank of the Yamunā which Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu visited. (Śrī Caitanya Caritāmṛta, Madhya–17.191) Gokarṇa is situated in North Kanara, in the Karnataka state. It is about thirty-three miles southeast of Karwar. This place is very famous for the temple of Lord Śiva known as Mahā-baleśvara. Hundreds and thousands of pilgrims come to see this temple.

Source: Prabhupada Books: Sri Caitanya Caritamrta
Vaishnavism book cover
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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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Shaivism (Shaiva philosophy)

Gokarṇā (गोकर्णा):—Sanskrit name of one of the twenty-four goddesses of the Sūryamaṇḍala (first maṇḍala of the Khecarīcakra) according to the kubjikāmata-tantra. The Khecarīcakra is the fifth cakra (‘internal mystic center’) of the five (pañcacakra) and is located on or above the head. She presides over the pītha (‘sacred site’) called Kāśmarī or Narmada (according to the Ṣaṭsāhasraṭippanī).

Source: Wisdom Library: Kubjikāmata-tantra

Gokarṇa (गोकर्ण) is a Sanskrit word referring to one of the sixty-eight places hosting a svāyambhuvaliṅga, one of the most sacred of liṅgas according to the Śaivāgamas. The presiding deity residing over the liṅga in this place (Gokarṇa) is named Mahābala. The list of sixty-eight svāyambhuvaliṅgas is found in the commentary of the Jirṇoddhāra-daśaka by Nigamajñānadeva. The word liṅga refers to a symbol used in the worship of Śiva and is used thoughout Śaiva literature, such as the sacred Āgamas.

Source: Wisdom Library: Śaivism
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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Purana and Itihasa (epic history)

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Gokarṇa (गोकर्ण) is the name of a gaṇa (attendant of Śiva), mentioned in the Skandapurāṇa 4.2.53. In this chapter, Śiva (Giriśa) summons his attendants (gaṇas) and ask them to venture towards the city Vārāṇasī (Kāśī) in order to find out what the yoginīs, the sun-god, Vidhi (Brahmā) were doing there.

While the gaṇas such as Gokarṇa were staying at Kāśī, they were desirous but unable of finding a weakness in king Divodaśa who was ruling there. Kāśī is described as a fascinating place beyond the range of Giriśa’s vision, and as a place where yoginīs become ayoginīs, after having come in contact with it. Kāśī is described as having both the power to destroy great delusion, as well as creating it.

The Skandapurāṇa narrates the details and legends surrounding numerous holy pilgrimages (tīrtha-māhātmya) throughout India. It is the largest Mahāpurāṇa composed of over 81,000 metrical verses, with the core text dating from the before the 4th-century CE.

Source: Wisdom Library: Skanda-purāṇa

1) Gokarṇa (गोकर्ण).—See under Gokarṇa. (See full article at Story of Gokarṇa from the Puranic encyclopaedia by Vettam Mani)

2) Gokarṇa (गोकर्ण).—An incarnation of Śiva. In the seventh Varāhakalpa Śiva was born as Gokarṇa and he then got four sons named, Kaśyapa, Uśanas, Cyavana and Bṛhaspati. (Śatarudrasaṃhitā, Śiva Purāṇa).

3) Gokarṇā (गोकर्णा).—In the great battle Karṇa sent a serpentmissile against Arjuna. The serpent named Aśvasena was the power behind the missile and Gokarṇā was the mother of that serpent. (Śloka 42, Chapter 90, Karṇa Parva).

4) Gokarṇa (गोकर्ण).—A sacred place of Purāṇic importance situated on the extreme north of Kerala. Origin. There was once on the banks of the river, Tuṅgabhadrā, a village made sacred and prosperous by the brahmins who lived there. In that village lived a noble brahmin named Ātmadeva. His wife was a quarrelsome woman named Dhundhulī. Even after many years of married life they got no children and Ātmadeva, greatly grief-stricken, left his home and went to the forests. He was sitting on the shore of a lake after quenching his thirst from it when a Sannyāsin came that way. Ātmadeva told him about his domestic life and pleaded that he should suggest a way to get a son for him. The sannyāsin sat in meditation for some time and contemplated on the horoscope of Ātmadeva and regretfully informed him that according to his horoscope he was to have no children for seven successive births. He, therefore, advised Ātmadeva to abandon all his worldly pleasures and accept sannyāsa for the rest of his life. But Ātmadeva was not to be discouraged by this prophecy and he urged the sannyāsin to help him somehow to get a child. The sanyāsin then gave him a fruit and asked him to give it to his wife and ask her to observe a life of fasting for a period of one year.

Source: archive.org: Puranic Encyclopaedia

1a) Gokarṇa (गोकर्ण).—A place sacred to Śiva, in extent half a yojana on the western sea; visited by Balarāma. Sages of this place came to Dvārakā;1 a tapovanaṃ, called Dhūtapāpasthalam; sacred to Rudra.2 Swallowed by sea, the sages left to the Sahya hill and reported of the erosion to Rāma on the Mahendra hill. Addressed by them, Rāma appealed to Varuṇa who at first did not turn up. When he grew wroth, Varuṇa promised to give back the land.3 Here Yama performed penance and became a Lokapāla and lord of Pitṛs; sacred to Pitṛs.4 Sacred to Bhadrakarṇikā;5 a sacred place for the performance of śrāddha; nearby is the R. Tāmraparṇī; sacred to Śankara.6

  • 1) Bhāgavata-purāṇa X. 79. 19; 90. 28 [4]; Vāyu-purāṇa 23. 172.
  • 2) Brahmāṇḍa-purāṇa III. 13. 19; IV. 44. 96.
  • 3) Ib. III. 56. 7-56; 57. 12 to the end and ch. 58. whole.
  • 4) Matsya-purāṇa 11. 18-20; 22. 38.
  • 5) Matsya-purāṇa 13. 30; 181. 25.
  • 6) Vāyu-purāṇa 48. 30; 77. 19-21.

1b) The avatar of the 16th dvāpara in the holy Gokarṇa vana with four sons.*

  • * Vāyu-purāṇa 23. 172.

1c) A ṛtvik at the sacrifice of Brahmā.*

  • * Vāyu-purāṇa 106. 39.

1d) A measurement by the ring finger.*

  • * Brahmāṇḍa-purāṇa I. 7. 97; Vāyu-purāṇa 8. 103.
Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: The Purana Index

Gokarṇa (गोकर्ण) refers to the name of a Tīrtha (pilgrim’s destination) mentioned in the Mahābhārata (cf. I.32.3, III.83.22, III.86.12). Note: The Mahābhārata (mentioning Gokarṇa) 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
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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)

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Gokarṇa (गोकर्ण) is the name of a city mentioned in the “story of Śrutasena”, according to the Kathāsaritsāgara, chapter 33. Accordingly, “there lived long ago in the Deccan, in a city called Gokarṇa, a king named Śrutasena, who was the ornament of his race and possessed of learning”.

The story of Gokarṇa was narrated to Udayana (king of Vatsa) by Yaugandharāyaṇa in order to demonstrate that “matrons cannot endure the interruption of a deep affection” demonstrated by the anecdote that “chaste women, when their beloved is attached to another, or has gone to heaven, become careless about all enjoyments and determined to die, though their intentions are inscrutable on account of the haughtiness of their character”.

The Kathāsaritsāgara (‘ocean of streams of story’), mentioning Gokarṇa, 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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Shilpashastra (iconography)

Gokarṇa (गोकर्ण) refers to the “distance between the stretched out thumb and little finger” and represents a type of measurement, as defined in the texts dealing with śilpa (arts and crafs), known as śilpaśāstras.—Besides the smaller units known as dehāṅgula there are other larger relative units of length, which are called prādeśa, tāla, vitasti and gokarṇa. The distance between the stretched out thumb and little finger is gokarṇa.

Source: Shodhganga: The significance of the mūla-beras (śilpa)
Shilpashastra book cover
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Shilpashastra (शिल्पशास्त्र, śilpaśāstra) represents the ancient Indian science (shastra) of creative arts (shilpa) such as sculpture, iconography and painting. Closely related to Vastushastra (architecture), they often share the same literature.

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India history and geogprahy

1) Gokarna is a village located on the coast of the south Indian state Karnataka. It lies at the distance of 579 Kms, from Bangalore and 60 Kms, from Karwar. Go-Karna stands for "cows ears" in Sanskrit.

2) Gokarṇa (गोकर्ण)—One of the several gaṭhas (bathing places) in the twelve forests on the banks of the Yamunā.

Source: Wisdom Library: India History

Gokarna is one of the places visited by Chaitanya during his pilgrimage in Southern India between April 1510 and January 1512.—Gokarna.—On the west coast, about 20 miles s. e. of Karwar, famous for its temple of Mahabaleshwar and a very popular place of pilgrimage. (Bombay Gazetteer, Kanara, xv. pt. 2, pp. 289-301).

Source: archive.org: Chaitanya’s life and teachings (history)

Gokarṇa (गोकर्ण) lit. ‘cow’s ear’ is the name of a sacred place mentioned in the Śivapurāṇa-māhātmya chapter 3.—It is a place of pilgrimage sacred to Śiva, on the west coast, near Mangalore. It has the temple of Mahādeva, supposed to have been established by Rāvaṇa.

Source: archive.org: Siva Purana (history)

Gokarṇa (गोकर्ण) is the name of a Brāhmaṇa mentioned in the “Ṭhāṇā plates of Nāgārjuna”. Accordingly, “... the great Brāhmaṇa Mādhava Paṇḍita, son of Gokarṇa Paṇḍita, of the Pārāsara-gotra and the Yajurveda-śākhā, who has emigrated from Hasti-grāma situated in the Madhyadeśa”.

These copper plates (mentioning Gokarṇa) were discovered in a tank in the locality called Pancha Pākhādī outside the town of Ṭhāṇā in 1965. The object of the present plates is to record the grant, by Mahāmaṇḍaleśvara Nāgārjuna, of a plot of land in the village Muñjavalī to Mādhava Paṇḍita, son of Gokarṇa Paṇḍita, of the Pārāśara gotra and Yajurveda-śakhā. The grant is dated in śaka 961, on the fifteenth tithi of the dark fortnight of Śrāvaṇa, Wednesday, the cyclic year being Pramāthin, with a solar eclipse.

Source: What is India: Inscriptions of the Śilāhāras
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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Languages of India and abroad

Marathi-English dictionary

Gokarna in Marathi glossary... « previous · [G] · next »

gōkarṇa (गोकर्ण).—f (S) A flower, Aletris hyacinthoides. 2 n The flower of it. 3 m A cow's ear; and thence fig. a metal vessel of that form used in feeding infants. 4 The name of a lingam, and of the place in Malabar where it lies. See bārā jyōtiliṅga. gōkarṇānta yēṇēṃ See the commoner phrases sampuṣṭānta yēṇēṃ & gōkuḷānta yēṇēṃ.

Source: DDSA: The Molesworth Marathi and English Dictionary

gōkarṇa (गोकर्ण).—f A flower. m A cow's ear. Fig. A metal vessel of that form used in feeding infants.

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

Gokarṇa (गोकर्ण).—a. having cow's ears. (-rṇaḥ) 1 a cow's ear; गोकर्णसदृशौ कृत्वा करावाबद्धसारणौ (gokarṇasadṛśau kṛtvā karāvābaddhasāraṇau) Ks.6.57.

2) a mule.

3) a snake; Mb.8.9.42.

4) a span (from the tip of the thumb to that of the ring-finger); गोकर्णशिथिल- श्चरन् (gokarṇaśithila- ścaran) Mb.2.68.75; तालः स्मृतो मध्यमया गोकर्णश्चाप्यनामया (tālaḥ smṛto madhyamayā gokarṇaścāpyanāmayā) Brahmāṇḍa P.

5) Name of a place of pilgrimage in the south, sacred to Śiva. श्रितगोकर्णनिकेतमीश्वरम् (śritagokarṇaniketamīśvaram) R.8.33.

6) a kind of deer.

7) a kind of arrow; Mb.8.9.42.

Gokarṇa is a Sanskrit compound consisting of the terms go and karṇa (कर्ण).

Source: DDSA: The practical Sanskrit-English dictionary

Gokarṇa (गोकर्ण).—m.

(-rṇaḥ) 1. A span from the tip of the thumb to that of the little finger. 2. A kind of deer, (the Nilgau) 3. A mule. 4. A class of demigods. 5. A kind of snake. 6. A snake in general. 7. A place of pilgrimage on the Malabar coast. f. (-rṇī) A plant, (Aletris hyacinthoides:) see mūrvā. E. go a cow, and karṇa an ear, having ears like a cow, &c. gauḥ netraṃ karṇau yasya .

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