Gomukha, Go-mukha: 22 definitions


Gomukha means something in Hinduism, Sanskrit, Jainism, Prakrit, 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.

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In Hinduism

Purana and Itihasa (epic history)

Source: Google Books: Cultural History from the Vāyu Purāna

Gomukha (गोमुख): a Musical Instrument.—It is said to be “a wind instrument” of shell species, a kind of conch somewhat resembling the mouth of the cow, whence it derives its name. The Vedas do not know it though it appears that the flute (another kind of wind instrument) has a Vedic antiquity (see Veṇu). The Jātakas are silent about it and Kauṭilya also does not mention it. But there are many references to it in the epics. About the Gomukhas in the Vāyu-purāṇa we can say the same as in the case of Bherī.

Source: archive.org: Puranic Encyclopedia

1) Gomukha (गोमुख).—A notorious King. He was born of the family of Krodhavaśā. (Śloka 63, Chapter 67, Ādi Parva).

2) Gomukha (गोमुख).—An asura who was a follower of an asura called Śūrapadma. (Asura Kāṇḍa, Skanda Purāṇa).

3) Gomukha (गोमुख).—Son of Mātali, charioteer of Indra. (Śloka 8, Chapter 100, Udyoga Parva).

Source: archive.org: Shiva Purana - English Translation

Gomukha (गोमुख) refers to a type Musical Instruments, according to the Śivapurāṇa 2.3.43 (“Description of Śiva’s wonderful sport”).—Accordingly, as Brahmā narrated to Nārada: “[...] Immediately the army of Śiva came there consisting of wonderful arrays of Bhūtas, Pretas and Gaṇas.  [...] Some were awful with overgrown moustaches and beards. Some were lame. Some were blind. Some held staffs and nooses and some great iron clubs in their hands. Some rode on peculiar vehicles. Some played on horns. Some played on Ḍamarus. Some played on Gomukhas (gomukhavādin). Some had no faces. Some had distorted and deformed faces. Some had many faces. Some had no hands. Others had deformed hands. Some of them had many hands. [...]”.

Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: The Purana Index

1a) Gomukha (गोमुख).—City of, in Sutalam.*

  • * Brahmāṇḍa-purāṇa II. 20. 22.

1b) Second Tala; Asura in.*

  • * Vāyu-purāṇa 50. 21.

1c) A son of Śambhu.*

  • * Vāyu-purāṇa 67. 87.

1d) A pupil of Vedamitra—Śākalya.*

  • * Viṣṇu-purāṇa III. 4. 22.
Source: JatLand: List of Mahabharata people and places

Gomukha (गोमुख) is a name mentioned in the Mahābhārata (cf. I.61.58) and represents one of the many proper names used for people and places. Note: The Mahābhārata (mentioning Gomukha) is a Sanskrit epic poem consisting of 100,000 ślokas (metrical verses) and is over 2000 years old.

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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Natyashastra (theatrics and dramaturgy)

Source: Wisdom Library: Nāṭya-śāstra

1) Gomukha (गोमुख) refers to a musical instrument, first mentioned in Nāṭyaśāstra 4.253, after Śiva danced using Recakas and Aṅgahāras, and Pārvatī performed a ‘gentle dance’.

2) Gomukha (गोमुख) or Gomukhamārga  refers to one of the four mārgas, comprising a set of rules used in the playing of drums (puṣkara) [with reference to Mṛdaṅga, Paṇava and Dardura] according to the Nāṭyaśāstra chapter 33. Accordingly, “the gomukha-mārga relates to the strokes of all puṣkaras mixed up mostly with those of āliṅgya. Examples of the gomukha-mārga strokes are guddha kladdhaṃ mathikaṭā ghaṃghena chidukhu khuṇo gaga ṭatthi maṭam. In the gomukha-mārga [the groups of akṣaras] are ghe gheṭātthi katāṅ guṭṭā gheṅ gheṭā ghaṃṭān dhi madhi tthiyaṃ ke sa ṭe ghe ga gheṇo no ṇaṃ”.

Also, “the playing of the instruments in the Odious and the Terrible Sentiments this should be in the gomukha-mārga”.

Natyashastra book cover
context information

Natyashastra (नाट्यशास्त्र, nāṭyaśāstra) refers to both the ancient Indian tradition (shastra) of performing arts, (natya—theatrics, drama, dance, music), as well as the name of a Sanskrit work dealing with these subjects. It also teaches the rules for composing Dramatic plays (nataka), construction and performance of Theater, and Poetic works (kavya).

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Vastushastra (architecture)

Source: Wisdom Library: Vāstu-śāstra

Gomukha (गोमुख) is another name for Govaktra, which refers to one of the four classes of praṇālas (“water-drains”) constructed into the sanctum for the purpose of draining oblation water and rainwater. It is a Sanskrit technical term used throughout Vāstuśāstra literature. The govaktra-praṇāla is connected with the Brāmaṇa caste.

Vastushastra book cover
context information

Vastushastra (वास्तुशास्त्र, vāstuśāstra) refers to the ancient Indian science (shastra) of architecture (vastu), dealing with topics such architecture, sculpture, town-building, fort building and various other constructions. Vastu also deals with the philosophy of the architectural relation with the cosmic universe.

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Kavya (poetry)

[«previous next»] — Gomukha in Kavya glossary
Source: Wisdom Library: Kathāsaritsāgara

Gomukha (गोमुख) is the son of Ityaka (a minister of Udayana), according to the Kathāsaritsāgara, chapter 23. Accordingly, when prince Naravāhanadatta (son of Udayana) grew up, all the king’s ministers brought there sons for the sake of his companion. Accordingly, “And that Prince Naravāhanadatta was always surrounded by those six ministers’ sons (e.g., Gomukha), devoted to him alone, who commanded respect even in their boyhood, as if with the six political measures that are the cause of great prosperity”.

The Kathāsaritsāgara (‘ocean of streams of story’), mentioning Gomukha, 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.

Kavya book cover
context information

Kavya (काव्य, kavya) refers to Sanskrit poetry, a popular ancient Indian tradition of literature. There have been many Sanskrit poets over the ages, hailing from ancient India and beyond. This topic includes mahakavya, or ‘epic poetry’ and natya, or ‘dramatic poetry’.

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In Jainism

General definition (in Jainism)

Source: archive.org: The Jaina Iconography

Gomukha (गोमुख) (lit., “Bull-faced”) is the name of the Yakṣa accompanying Ṛṣabhanātha: the first of twenty-four Tīrthaṃkaras or Jinas, commonly depicted in Jaina iconography.—The tree connected with the first Jina is Nyagrodha or the Indian Banyan tree. Other iconographic marks of the Jina are his Yakṣa named Gomukha (lit., Bull-Faced) and Yakṣiṇī Cakreśvarī (Goddess of wheels) or Apaticakrā. The texts give two worshippers on either side of Ṛṣabhadeva viz., Bharata and Bāhubali.

Gomukha is attached to Ṛṣabhanātha. The texts of both the branchers of Jainism concur generally in respect of his attributes. His hands hold the Varada-mudrā and a rosary and left hands hold a Pāśa (Digambara: Paraśu or Axe). His riding animal difiers from an ox according to some texts, to an elephant according to others. His colour is golden. The Digambara books assign in addition a Dharma-cakra symnol to his hand. Gomukha’s bull face, bull as animal, Dharma-cakra mark on his hand all speak of his intimate association with Ṛṣabhanātha or Vṛṣabhanātha, whose bull and Dharma-cakra (wheel of the law or faith) are the prominent effigies, Further,we find, in one text, that he has been identified with Dharma or God of Gods (Mahādeva), he being the originator of the Jaina religion. Thus, he is also identified with a bull, the symbol of religion.

Source: archive.org: Trisastisalakapurusacaritra

Gomukha (गोमुख) is the name of a Guhyaka (Yakṣa) who became Ṛṣabha’s attendant, according to chapter 1.3 [ādīśvara-caritra] of Hemacandra’s 11th century Triṣaṣṭiśalākāpuruṣacaritra: an ancient Sanskrit epic poem narrating the history and legends of sixty-three illustrious persons in Jainism.


“[...] when the Gaṇadhara had completed his sermon on dharma, all departed to their respective homes, after bowing to the Master. A Guhyaka (Yakṣa), named Gomukha, who appeared in the congregation, adorned with two right arms—one in varada-position and one holding a rosary, and with two left ones—one holding a citron and one a noose, gold-color, having an elephant-vehicle, became the Lord’s attendant”.

General definition book cover
context information

Jainism is an Indian religion of Dharma whose doctrine revolves around harmlessness (ahimsa) towards every living being. The two major branches (Digambara and Svetambara) of Jainism stimulate self-control (or, shramana, ‘self-reliance’) and spiritual development through a path of peace for the soul to progess to the ultimate goal.

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Languages of India and abroad

Marathi-English dictionary

Source: DDSA: The Molesworth Marathi and English Dictionary

gōmukha (गोमुख).—n (S) A cow's mouth of wood, metal, or stone. Used as, in English, the word lion's mouth. 2 A particular musical instrument.

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

gōmukha (गोमुख).—n A cow's mouth of wood, metal, &c.

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

Source: DDSA: The practical Sanskrit-English dictionary

Gomukha (गोमुख).—[gormukhamiva mukhamasya] a kind of musical instrument; Bhagavadgītā (Bombay) 1.13; गोमुखानां च शृङ्गाणाम- नीकद्वयवर्तिनाम् (gomukhānāṃ ca śṛṅgāṇāma- nīkadvayavartinām) Śiva. B.24.55. (-khaḥ) 1 a crocodile, shark.

2) a hole of a particular shape in a wall made by thieves. (-kham) 1 a house built unevenly.

2) spreading unguents, smearing; 'गोमुखं कुटिलाकारे वाद्यभाण्डे विलेपने (gomukhaṃ kuṭilākāre vādyabhāṇḍe vilepane)' इति विश्वः (iti viśvaḥ); यस्यामलिन्देषु न चक्रुरेव मुग्धाङ्गना गोमयगो- मुखानि (yasyāmalindeṣu na cakrureva mugdhāṅganā gomayago- mukhāni) Śiśupālavadha 3.48.

-kham, -khī a cloth-bag of the shape of a gnomon containing a rosary, the beads of which are counted by the hand thrust inside.

Derivable forms: gomukhaḥ (गोमुखः), gomukham (गोमुखम्).

Gomukha is a Sanskrit compound consisting of the terms go and mukha (मुख).

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

Gomukha (गोमुख).—n.

(-khaṃ) 1. A house build unevenly or crookedly, viz. with angles, projections, &c. 2. A kind of musical instrument, (a sort of horn or trumpet) 3. Spreading unguents, plastering, smearing. 4. A hole in a wall made by thieves, &c. a breach. m.

(-khaḥ) 1. A shark. 2. A kind of Yaksha; according to the Jainas, a demigod subservient to their deified saints. nf. (-khaṃ-khī) A clothbag, containing a rosary into which the hand is thrust to count the beads. f. (-khī) The chasm in the Himalaya mountains through which the Ganges flows, erroneously conceived by the Hindus to be of the shape of a cow’s mouth. 2. A river in Bengal. E. go a cow, and mukha face, having the face of a cow, &c. gomukhamiva mukhamasya .

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

Gomukha (गोमुख).—m. 1. a proper name, Mahābhārata 5, 3574. 2. a certain musical instrument, [Bhāgavata-Purāṇa, (ed. Burnouf.)] 1, 10, 15.

Gomukha is a Sanskrit compound consisting of the terms go and mukha (मुख).

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

Gomukha (गोमुख).—[masculine] a cert. musical instrument; [Name] of [several] men.

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

1) Gomukha (गोमुख):—[=go-mukha] [from go] m. ([Pāṇini 6-2, 168]) ‘cow-faced’, a crocodile, [cf. Lexicographers, esp. such as amarasiṃha, halāyudha, hemacandra, etc.]

2) [v.s. ...] a hole in a wall of a peculiar shape made by thieves, [cf. Lexicographers, esp. such as amarasiṃha, halāyudha, hemacandra, etc.]

3) [v.s. ...] Name of one of Śiva’s attendants, [cf. Lexicographers, esp. such as amarasiṃha, halāyudha, hemacandra, etc.]

4) [v.s. ...] of a son of Mātali, [Mahābhārata v, 3574; Rāmāyaṇa vii, 28, 10]

5) [v.s. ...] of a king of Kauśāmbī, [Kathārṇava]

6) [v.s. ...] of a son of the treasurer of king Vatsa, [Kathāsaritsāgara xxiii]

7) [v.s. ...] of an attendant of the 1st Arhat of the present Avasarpiṇī, [cf. Lexicographers, esp. such as amarasiṃha, halāyudha, hemacandra, etc.]

8) [v.s. ...] [varia lectio] for -khala

9) [v.s. ...] m. (n., [cf. Lexicographers, esp. such as amarasiṃha, halāyudha, hemacandra, etc.]) a kind of musical instrument (sort of horn or trumpet ?), [Mahābhārata iv, vii, ix; Bhagavad-gītā i, 13; Rāmāyaṇa] (ifc. f(ā). ), [Bhāgavata-purāṇa]

10) [v.s. ...] n. (= -mukhī) a cloth-bag for containing a rosary, [cf. Lexicographers, esp. such as amarasiṃha, halāyudha, hemacandra, etc.]

11) [v.s. ...] a house built unevenly (viz. with angles or projections), [cf. Lexicographers, esp. such as amarasiṃha, halāyudha, hemacandra, etc.]

12) [v.s. ...] a particular method of sitting, [Haṭha-pra-dīpikā]

13) [v.s. ...] plastering, smearing with (in [compound]), [Śiśupāla-vadha iii, 48] ([plural])

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

Gomukha (गोमुख):—[go-mukha] (khaṃ) 1. n. A house built unevenly; a breach; a trumpet; smearing. m. A shark; a Yaksha. f. n. A cloth bag cloth bag containing a rosary. f. (kha) Head of the Ganges; a river in Bengal.

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

Gomukha (गोमुख) in the Sanskrit language is related to the Prakrit word: Gomuha.

[Sanskrit to German]

Gomukha 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

Source: Alar: Kannada-English corpus

Gōmukha (ಗೋಮುಖ):—

1) [noun] the face of a cow.

2) [noun] a vessel with a snout for serving liquid foods.

3) [noun] the base, in the shape of a platter, for the idol of a deity, having a channel for the water and other liquids with which the idol is washed, flow out.

4) [noun] the act of anointing unguents.

5) [noun] a kind of musical instrument.

6) [noun] a man given to the habit of drinking liquors.

7) [noun] a hole, breach or chasm.

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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