Harishcandra, aka: Hariścandra; 9 Definition(s)
Harishcandra means something in 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 term Hariścandra can be transliterated into English as Hariscandra or Harishcandra, using the IAST transliteration scheme (?).
Alternative spellings of this word include Harishchandra.
Natyashastra (theatrics and dramaturgy)
One of the Hands of Famous Emperors.—Hariśchandra: the Śukatuṇḍa hand.(Source): archive.org: The mirror of gesture (abhinaya-darpana)
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).
Hariścandra (हरिश्चन्द्र):—Son of Triśaṅku, or, Satyavrata (son of Tribandhana). He had no son, but after promising to perform a sacrifice for Varuṇa, he begot a son named Rohita. A second son was bought for him by Rohita, named Śunaḥśepha, whom was to be used for the sacrifice. (see Bhāgavata Purāṇa 9.7.7-20)(Source): Wisdom Library: Bhagavata Purana
1) Hariścandra (हरिश्चन्द्र).—A King of the solar dynasty very much reputed for his unique truthfulness and integrity. He was the son of the famous Triśaṅku. Genealogy. See under Triśaṅku. A brief life-sketch. To keep his plighted word and for the sake of truth he gifted away the whole of his kingdom to Viśvāmitra. When that was not sufficient he cleared his debts to Viśvāmitra with the money got by selling his wife, Candramatī, his son, Lohitāśva and finally himself. And, he earned his livelihood with the wages he got for cremating corpses, himself doing duties as guard at a burning ghat and as the slave to a Cāṇḍāla. Ultimately the Trimūrtis (Brahmā, Viṣṇu and Śiva) appeared and heaped on him all the boons he desired and rewarded him with high honours. (See for details para 4 under Viśvāmitra). (See full article at Story of Hariścandra from the Puranic encyclopaedia by Vettam Mani)
2) Hariścandra (हरिश्चन्द्र).—An emperor of ancient times, to whom Brahmā gave as a gift a palace which automatically produced everything desired by its owner. He was lord over the seven islands. About his former birth and the plenitude of his riches the Padma Purāṇa (Uttara khaṇḍa, Chapter 32) has the following story to say:—
2) Hariścandra himself was surprised that he became so very rich in the matter of children and of wealth. Wondering what actions of his entitled him to so much wealth and to his position which was equal to Indra’s the emperor went to Sumeru by vimāna where he questioned Sanatkumāra, a brahminical sage seated in meditation on a golden stone as to who he was in his past life and to which actions of his past life he owed all the present wealth and prosperity. The great sage replied as follows:—
2) "In the past birth you were a truthful and purehearted vaiśya; you gave up your own profession and so you were ousted from home by your own people. At that time a famine and other scarcity conditions occurred there. One day you got into a pond along with your wife, collected lotus flowers from it and went to Kāśī to sell the flowers. But, no one purchased the flowers. At last, Candramatī, daughter of Indradyumna purchased the flowers for a yajña she was performing. When you saw Viṣṇu installed along with Ādityabhagavān (Sun-God) and worshipped with flowers, feelings of devotion swept your mind and you too worshipped the idols with lotus flowers. You enjoy today the fruits of that action in the past life.
2) (It is not quite definite whether Hariścandra I and II are one and the same person).
3) Hariścandra (हरिश्चन्द्र).—A Sanskrit poet who lived in the 9th century A.D. The mahākāvya called "Dharmaśarmābhyudaya" is his main work. This mahākāvya comprises of 21 contos. He has composed another work called "Jīvandharacampū".(Source): archive.org: Puranic Encyclopaedia
1a) Hariścandra (हरिश्चन्द्र).—Son of Triśanku and Satyaratā. Concerning him there was a battle between Vasiṣṭha and Viśvāmitra in the disguise of birds for many years. Issueless, and advised by Nārada, he prayed to Varuṇa for a son, promising to offer him in sacrifice to the deity. The son was Rohita. Varuṇa reminded him often about the promised sacrifice, and the king evaded saying that he was not yet fit for it. Knowing this Rohita left for forests and the king had a disease mahodara: when the boy returned to relieve his father, Indra prevented him from going home. Six years passed and Rohita purchased Sunaḥśepa, the second son of Ajiganta and returned home. Hariścandra proceeded to offer Sunaḥśepa in sacrifice and was relieved of his disease. Sunaḥśepa was sold as a sacrificial animal to Rohita.1 Attained permanent fame;2 a samrāṭ by performing Rājasūya3
- 1) Bhāgavata-purāṇa IX. 7. 7-27; 16. 31; Matsya-purāṇa 12. 38; Vāyu-purāṇa 88. 117-9; Viṣṇu-purāṇa IV. 3. 25.
- 2) Bhāgavata-purāṇa X. 72. 21.
- 3) Brahmāṇḍa-purāṇa III. 63. 115; 66. 66; Vāyu-purāṇa 91. 94.
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.
Vaishnavism (Vaishava dharma)
Once Hariścandra performed a yajña for which Viśvāmitra was the priest, but Viśvāmitra, being angry at Hariścandra, took away all his possessions, claiming them as a contribution of dakṣiṇā. Vasiṣṭha, however, did not like this, and therefore a fight arose between Vasiṣṭha and Viśvāmitra. The fighting became so severe that each of them cursed the other. One of them said, "May you become a bird," and the other said, "May you become a duck." Thus both of them became birds and continued fighting for many years because of Hariścandra.(Source): VedaBase: Śrīmad Bhāgavatam 9.7.7
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’).
Shaivism (Shaiva philosophy)
1) Hariścandra (हरिश्चन्द्र) 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 (Hariścandra) is named Hara. 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.
2) Hariścandra (हरिश्चन्द्र) is the disciple of Kāla: a teacher to whom the Kāpālika doctrine was revelead, mentioned in the Śābaratantra. The Śābara-tantra is an early tantra of the Kāpālika sect containing important information about the evolution of the Nātha sect. It also lists the twelve original Kāpālika teachers and their disciples (eg., Hariścandra). Several of these names appear in the Nātha lists of eighty-four Siddhas and nine Nāthas.(Source): Wisdom Library: Śaivism
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.
General definition (in Hinduism)
Hariścandra (हरिश्चन्द्र).—The twenty-eighth king in the Tretā-yuga. He appeared in the dynasty of the sun as the son of Triśaṅku, and he is celebrated in the Mārkaṇḍeya Purāṇa as the pious king who satisfied Viśvāmitra Muni by sacrificing his kingdom, wife, and son.(Source): ISKCON Press: Glossary
Languages of India and abroad
hariścandra (हरिश्चंद्र).—m (S) The proper name of a king who, in reward of his piety and liberality, was raised, together with his city and subjects, to Swarg.(Source): DDSA: The Molesworth Marathi and English Dictionary
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.
Hariścandra (हरिश्चन्द्र).—Name of a king of the solar dynasty. [He was the son of Triśaṅku and was famous for his liberality, probity, and unflinching adherence to truth. On one occasion his family-priest Vasiṣṭha commended his qualities in the presence of Viśvāmitra, who refused to believe them. A quarrel thereupon ensued, and it was at last decided that Viśvāmitra should himself test the king. The sage accordingly subjected him to the most crucial test with a view to see if he could not be but once made to swerve from his plighted word. The king, however, stood the test with exemplary courage, adhering to his word though he had to forego the kingdom, to sell off his wife and son, and at last, even his own self to a low-caste man, and-as the last test, as it were, of his truthfulness and courage--to be even ready to put his own wife to death as a witch! Viśāmitra thereupon acknowledged himself vanquished, and the worthy king was elevated along with his subjects to heaven.]
Derivable forms: hariścandraḥ (हरिश्चन्द्रः).(Source): DDSA: The practical Sanskrit-English dictionary
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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Search found 16 books and stories containing Harishcandra or Hariścandra. You can also click to the full overview containing English textual excerpts. Below are direct links for the most relevant articles:
The Bhagavata Purana (by A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada)
Chapter 7 - The Descendants of King Mandhata < [Canto IX - Liberation]
Chapter 16 - Lord Parasurama Destroys the World’s Ruling Class < [Canto IX - Liberation]
Chapter 72 - The Slaying of the Demon Jarasandha < [Canto X - The Summum Bonum]
The Devi Bhagavata Purana (by Swami Vijñanananda)
The Gautami Mahatmya (by G. P. Bhatt)
The Markandeya Purana (by Frederick Eden Pargiter)
The Mirror of Gesture (abhinaya-darpana) (by Ananda Coomaraswamy)
Trishashti Shalaka Purusha Caritra (by Helen M. Johnson)
Part 12: Refutation of Māyā < [Chapter I]
Part 2: Kanakavatī’s parents < [Chapter III - Vasudeva’s Marriage with Kanakavatī and her Former Incarnations]
Part 5: Vasudeva’s embassy for Kubera < [Chapter III - Vasudeva’s Marriage with Kanakavatī and her Former Incarnations]