Guhyaka, Guhyakā: 18 definitions


Guhyaka 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

Natyashastra (theatrics and dramaturgy)

Source: Wisdom Library: Nāṭya-śāstra

1) Guhyaka (गुह्यक) is a Sanskrit word referring to a group of deities. Acording to the Nāṭyaśāstra 1.88-94, when Brahmā, Indra and all other gods went to inspect the playhouse (nāṭyamaṇḍapa) designed by Viśvakarmā, he assigned different deities for the protection of the playhouse itself, as well as for the objects relating to dramatic performance (prayoga).

As such, Brahmā assigned the Guhyaka, the Piśāca, the Yakṣas and the Bhūtas to the pillars of the Mattavāraṇī (two side corridors of the stage used for peripheral acting or partial entry/exit). He also assigned the Guhyakas, the Yaḳṣas and the Pannagas underneath the stage (raṅgapīṭha). The protection of the playhouse was enacted because of the jealous Vighnas (malevolent spirits), who began to create terror for the actors.

2) Guhyakas are to be worshipped during raṅgapūjā, according to the Nāṭyaśāstra 3.1-8. Accordingly, the master of the dramatic art who has been initiated for the purpose shall consecrate the playhouse after he has made obeisance (e.g., to Guhyakas).

Natyashastra book cover
context information

Natyashastra (नाट्यशास्त्र, nāṭyaśāstra) refers to both the ancient Indian tradition (śāstra) of performing arts, (nāṭya, e.g., 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) and poetic works (kavya).

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Purana and Itihasa (epic history)

Source: Puranic Encyclopedia

Guhyaka (गुह्यक).—A Yakṣa. (A division of Yakṣas who were prominent members of the court of Kubera). They were present at the marriage of Draupadī. (Śloka 7, Chapter 186, Ādi Parva). Other details.

(i) The palace of Kubera in the sky is borne by Guhyakas. (Śloka 3, Chapter 10, Sabhā Parva).

(ii) Bhīmasena slew many Guhyakas on the mountain of Gandhamādana. (Śloka 55, Chapter 11, Śalya Parva).

(iii) Some of the soldiers who died in the Mahābhārata battle went to the world of the Guhyakas. (Śloka 23, Chapter 4, Svargārohaṇa Parva). (See full article at Story of Guhyaka from the Puranic encyclopaedia by Vettam Mani)

Source: Shiva Purana - English Translation

Guhyaka (गुह्यक) refers to a group of deities, abounding the top of the Himālaya mountain, according to the Śivapurāṇa 2.2.22. Accordingly as Brahmā narrated to Nārada:—“[...] On the top of the mountain near the city of Himālaya (śailarājapura), Śiva sported about for a long time in the company of Satī. [...] Many kinds of semid-ivine beings the Aśvamukhas, the Siddhas, the Apsaras, the Guhyakas, etc. roamed there. Their women-folk, the Vidyādharīs, the Kinnarīs and the mountain lasses played about here and there. The celestial damsels played on their lutes, tabours and drums and danced with enthusiasm.”.

Note: Guhyaka, literally “hidden beings”, are Demi-Gods who, like the Yakṣas, are the attendants of Kubera and guardians of his hidden treasure.

The Guhyakas together with the nine Durgās participated in Vīrabhadra’s campaign against Dakṣa, according to the Śivapurāṇa 2.2.33. Accordingly, as Brahmā narrated to Nārada:—“Mahākālī went ahead for the destruction of Dakṣa accompanied by nine Durgās [...]. Eager in executing the command of Śiva, they accompanied the marching heroes—[viz., Guhyakas] and set out quickly for the destruction of Dakṣa’s sacrifice”.

Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: The Purana Index

Guhyaka (गुह्यक).—Demons and followers of Kubera,1 who reside in Himalayan valley.2 Magic relating to;3 followers of Śiva;4 attain heaven by association with the righteous;5 are yakṣa-rākṣas;6 their habits and duties;7 born out of Devajanani and Maṇivara and their issue.8 Rākṣasas.9

  • 1) Bhāgavata-purāṇa I. 9. 3; X. 34. 28; II. 10. 37; IV. 4. 34.
  • 2) Ib. IV. 5. 26; 10. 5.
  • 3) Ib. X. 55. 23.
  • 4) Ib. 63. 10.
  • 5) Ib. XI. 12. 3; 14. 5.
  • 6) Brahmāṇḍa-purāṇa III. 7. 167; IV. 2. 26. Matsya-purāṇa 13. 17; 121. 2.
  • 7) Matsya-purāṇa 180. 9; 246. 53.
  • 8) Vāyu-purāṇa 69. 162; 101. 28.
  • 9) Brahmāṇḍa-purāṇa II. 8. 33; Vāyu-purāṇa 9. 32; 30. 84.
Source: JatLand: List of Mahabharata people and places

Guhyaka (गुह्यक) is a name mentioned in the Mahābhārata (cf. I.60.39) and represents one of the many proper names used for people and places. Note: The Mahābhārata (mentioning Guhyaka) is a Sanskrit epic poem consisting of 100,000 ślokas (metrical verses) and is over 2000 years old.

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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Shaivism (Shaiva philosophy)

Source: Brill: Śaivism and the Tantric Traditions

Guhyakā (गुह्यका) or Devī refers to the “four Goddesses” of the pantheon of Mantra-deities, according to the Brahmayāmala-tantra (or Picumata), an early 7th century Śaiva text consisting of twelve-thousand verses.—Patterning the processes of inner and outer ritual is the Brahmayāmala’s pantheon of mantra-deities, whose core comprises the Four Goddesses (devī) or Guhyakās, Four Consorts or Handmaidens, and their lord, Kapālīśabhairava.

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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In Buddhism

Mahayana (major branch of Buddhism)

Source: Wisdom Library: Maha Prajnaparamita Sastra

Guhyaka (गुह्यक) is the name of an “assistant” (upasthāyaka) of Buddha Śākyamuni, according to the 2nd century Mahāprajñāpāramitāśāstra chapter XLI. When the Buddha Śākyamuni once attained enlightenment, Meghiyā, Rādha, Sunakṣatra, Ānanda, Guhyaka the Malla, etc., formed his close entourage.”

Mahayana book cover
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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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Tibetan Buddhism (Vajrayana or tantric Buddhism)

Source: Wisdom Library: Tibetan Buddhism

1) Guhyaka (गुह्यक) is the name of a deity summoned by the Yamāntaka-mantra and 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 Guhyaka).

2) Guhyakā (गुह्यका) is also the name of a Yakṣiṇī mentioned as attending the teachings in the 6th century Mañjuśrīmūlakalpa.

Tibetan Buddhism book cover
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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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Languages of India and abroad

Sanskrit dictionary

Source: DDSA: The practical Sanskrit-English dictionary

Guhyaka (गुह्यक).—

1) Name of a class of demigods, who, like the Yakṣas, are attendants of Kubera and guardians of his treasures; गुह्यकस्तं ययाचे (guhyakastaṃ yayāce) Meghadūta 5; Manusmṛti 12.47.

2) The number 'eleven'.

Derivable forms: guhyakaḥ (गुह्यकः).

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

Guhyaka (गुह्यक).—m.

(-kaḥ) A kind of demigod attendant upon Kuvera the deity of wealth, and guardian of his treasures. E. guh to preserve or conceal, affix kvun and ya inserted.

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

Guhyaka (गुह्यक).—[guhya + ka] (vb. guh), m. A class of demigods attendant upon Kuvera, [Mānavadharmaśāstra] 12, 47.

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

Guhyaka (गुह्यक).—[masculine] a cert. class of demi-gods.

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

1) Guhyaka (गुह्यक):—[from guh] m. Name of a class of demi-gods who like the Yakṣas are attendants of Kubera (the god of wealth) and guardians of his treasures (they may have received their Name from living in mountain caverns), [Manu-smṛti xii, 47; Mahābhārata; Harivaṃśa] etc. (identified with Yakṣas, [Mahābhārata v, 7480; Meghadūta 5 etc.])

2) [v.s. ...] the number ‘eleven’ [Sūryasiddhānta]

3) [v.s. ...] Name of Kubera, [cf. Lexicographers, esp. such as amarasiṃha, halāyudha, hemacandra, etc.]

4) [v.s. ...] m. ‘mystery’ See tathāgata-g.

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

Guhyaka (गुह्यक):—(kaḥ) 1. m. A demigod attendant on Kuvera, the god of wealth.

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

Guhyaka (गुह्यक) in the Sanskrit language is related to the Prakrit words: Gujjhaa, Gujjhaga.

[Sanskrit to German]

Guhyaka 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

Guhyaka (ಗುಹ್ಯಕ):—

1) [noun] Kubēra, the Regent who guards wealth.

2) [noun] a class of deities, attendants of Kubēra.

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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