Himavat; 6 Definition(s)


Himavat means something in Hinduism, Sanskrit, Jainism, Prakrit, the history of ancient India. 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

Katha (narrative stories)

[Himavat in Katha glossaries]

Himavat (हिमवत्) is the name of a mountain (range), hosting the great peak known as Kailāsa. It is mentioned in the Kathāsaritsāgara, chapter 1, written by Somadeva in the 11th-century. Accordingly, “there is a mountain celebrated under the name of Himavat, haunted by Kinnaras, Gandharvas, and Vidyādharas, a very monarch of mighty hills, whose glory has attained such an eminence among mountains that Bhavānī, the mother of the three worlds, deigned to become his daughter; the northernmost summit thereof is a great peak named Kailāsa, which towers many thousand yojanas in the air...”

In chapter 35, Himavat is described as a sacred mountain having many peaks, one of which is the mount of Śiva. Accordingly, “there is a mountain-chain called Himavat, famous in the three worlds; it has many peaks, but one of its peaks is the mount of Śiva, which is garlanded with the brightness of glittering jewels, and flashes with gleaming snow, and, like the expanse of the heaven, cannot be measured. Its plateaux are the home of magic powers and of magic herbs, which dispel old age, death and fear, and are to be obtained by the favour of Śiva. With its peaks yellow with the brightness of the bodies of many Vidyādharas, it [Himavat] transcends the glory of the peaks of Sumeru itself, the mighty hill of the immortals”.

Himavat according to the sixteenth story of the Vetālapañcaviṃśati in the Kathāsaritsāgara, chapter 90: “... there is in this earth a great mountain named Himavat, where all jewels are found, which is the origin of both Gaurī and Gaṅgā, the two goddesses dear to Śiva. Even heroes cannot reach its top; it towers proudly above all other mountains; and as such its praises are sung in strains of sooth in the three worlds. On the ridge of that Himavat there is that city rightly named the Golden City (kāñcanapura), which gleams like a mass of the sun’s rays deposited by him on earth”.

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

Himavat (हिमवत्).—Niṣadha, Hemakūṭa and Himavat are said to be to the south of Jambūdvīpa. They divide the three continents or Varṣas, namely Harivarṣa, Kiṃpuruṣa and Bhārata respectively.

(Source): Shodhganga: A critical appreciation of soddhalas udayasundarikatha
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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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Shaivism (Shaiva philosophy)

[Himavat in Shaivism glossaries]

Himavat (हिमवत्) is the name of a mountain-range situated to the south of Hari, according to the Parākhyatantra 5.76. Hari is a region (navakhaṇḍa) situated within Jambūdvīpa: one of the seven continents situated within the world of the earth (pṛthivī). These continents are located above the seven pātālas and may contain even more sub-continents within them, are round in shape, and are encircled within seven concentric oceans.

According to the Parākhyatantra, “and further south from that is the mountain Himavat, like the Hemakūṭa. Although it too is rich with jewels, it has a great deal of snow (himaprāya), and therefore it is called the Himavat mountain”.

The Parākhyatantra is an old Śaiva-siddhānta tantra dating from before the 10th century.

(Source): Wisdom Library: Śaivism
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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 Jainism

General definition (in Jainism)

[Himavat in Jainism glossaries]

Himavat (हिमवत्) or Himavān is the name of a mountain in Jambūdvīpa separating the regions Bharata and Haimavata. Jambūdvīpa refers to the first continent of the Madhya-loka (middle-word), according to the 2nd-century Tattvārthasūtra 3.10. The hues of the six mountains (eg., Himavān and Mahāhimavān) are golden and silver respectively. Why do the mountains Himavān and Mahāhimavān have their specific hues? They have the hues as the sand and stones which constitute these mountains and are golden and silvery in colours respectively.

Which lakes are there at the tops of the Himavān (Himavat), Mahāhimavān (Mahāhimavat), and Niṣadha mountains respectively? The lakes on tops of the Himavān, Mahāhimavān, and Niṣadha mountains are Padma, Mahāpadma and Tigiñcha respectively.

Jambūdvīpa (where stands the Himavat mountain) is in the centre of all continents and oceans; all continents and oceans are concentric circles with Jambūdvīpa in the centre. Like the navel is in the centre of the body, Jambūdvīpa is in the centre of all continents and oceans. Sumeru Mount is in the centre of Jambūdvīpa. It is also called Mount Sudarśana.

(Source): Encyclopedia of Jainism: Tattvartha Sutra 3: The Lower and middle worlds
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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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India history and geogprahy

[Himavat in India history glossaries]

Himavat (हिमवत्).—The varṣaparvata Himavat is also mentioned in the Nasik Praśasti, which speaks of its might. The great height of its peak is referred to in the Uttara-Kāśī inscription of Guha. Some of the inscriptions mention the association of this mountain with theriver Gaṅgā. Mandsaur Stone Tillar inscription of Yaśodharman describes it as tuhina-śikharin (i.e., the mountain of snow), the table lands of which are embraced by the river Gaṅgā. Another Mandsaur inscription says that the torrent flowing high and low of the river Gaṅgā spreads abroad from the mountain Himavat. Similarly, in Ganjam Plates of Śaśāṅka-rāja, the streams of surasarit (Gaṅgā) are described as the split up and dashed outside by many masses of rocks at her fall on the top of the Himālayas.

The tuhinaśikharin, himagiri, kṣitidhara, durga, śailendra, and girivara are the different names and attributes used for the mighty Himavat mountain by the authors of various inscriptions.

The Himavat range is said to have stretched along, on the north of Bhārata, like the string of a bow. The similie, which refers to a drawn bow with the string angular in the middle, implies that the name Himavat was applied to the entire mountain range that stretches from the Sulaiman along the West of Punjab and whole of tbe northern boundary of India to the Assam and Arakan hill in the east including a number of peaks and smaller mountain ranges.

(Source): archive.org: Geography in Ancient Indian inscriptions
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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

Sanskrit-English dictionary

[Himavat in Sanskrit glossaries]

Himavat (हिमवत्).—a. Snowy, icy, frosty. -m. The Himālaya mountain; राज्ञा हिमवतः सारो राज्ञः सारो हिमाद्रिणा (rājñā himavataḥ sāro rājñaḥ sāro himādriṇā) R.4.79; V.5.22.

(Source): DDSA: The practical 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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Relevant definitions

Search found 52 related definition(s) that might help you understand this better. Below you will find the 15 most relevant articles:

Mahāhimavat (महाहिमवत्).—m. Name of a mountain. Mahāhimavat is a Sanskrit compound consisting o...
Himavatsuta (हिमवत्सुत).—the Maināka mountain. Derivable forms: himavatsutaḥ (हिमवत्सुतः).Himav...
Himavatpura (हिमवत्पुर).—Name of Oṣadhiprastha, the capital of Himālaya; तत्प्रयातौषधिप्रस्थं स...
Himavatkukṣi (हिमवत्कुक्षि).—a valley of the Himālaya. Derivable forms: himavatkukṣiḥ (हिमवत्कु...
Himavacchikhara (हिमवच्छिखर) is the name of a locality mentioned in the Gupta inscription No. 3...
Kailāśa temple is an example of a monolithic temple (shrines carved from top to bottom out of o...
Pārvatī (पार्वती) or Pārvatyāgama refers to one of upāgamas (supplementary scriptures) of the A...
Gaṅgā (गङ्गा).—The famous and holy river of India. Origin and general information. Gaṅgā had it...
Durgā (दुर्गा) is one of the epithets of Durgā, according to the Kathāsaritsāgara, chapter 53. ...
Padma (पद्म) and Śaṅkha are the two treasures (nidhis) which dharma bears. These are intended t...
Niṣadha (निषध) or Niṣadhadeśa is the name of an ancient country, according to the Kathāsaritsāg...
Umā (उमा) is one of the epithets of Durgā, according to the Kathāsaritsāgara, chapter 53. Accor...
Siddha (सिद्ध) refers to “inflected words” according to Pāṇini (7th century BCE): author of the...
Mandara (मन्दर) participated in the war between Rāma and Rāvaṇa, on the side of the latter, as ...
Gaṇā (गणा).—A female attendant of Skanda. (Śalya Parva, Chapter 46, Verse 3).

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