Hiranya, aka: Hiraṇya, Hiraṇyā; 9 Definition(s)


Hiranya 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.

In Hinduism

Shaivism (Shaiva philosophy)

1) Hiraṇyā (हिरण्या, “gold”):—One of the nine Dūtī presided over by one of the nine bhaivaravas named Yogeśa (emanation of Ananta, who is the central presiding deity of Dūtīcakra), according to the Kubjikāmata-tantra and the Ṣaṭsāhasrasaṃhitā.

2) Hiraṇyā (हिरण्या, “gold”):—One of the nine Dūtī presided over by one of the nine bhaivaravas named Hāṭakeśa (emanation of Ananta, who is the central presiding deity of Dūtīcakra), according to the Kubjikāmata-tantra and the Ṣaṭsāhasrasaṃhitā.

(Source): Wisdom Library: Kubjikāmata-tantra

Hiraṇya (हिरण्य) is the name of a daitya chief, presiding over Mahātala, according to the Parākhyatantra 5.44-45. Mahātala refers to one of the seven pātālas (‘subterranean paradise’). The word pātāla in this tantra refers to subterranean paradises for seekers of otherworldly pleasures and each the seven pātālas is occupied by a regent of the daityas, nāgas and rākṣasas.

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

(Source): Wisdom Library: Śaivism

Hiraṇya (हिरण्य) means gold. There are several references to hiraṇya. His (Rudra) body is shining as Shiva is always described as Prakāśa or Self-effulgent. Secondly, hiraṇya always refers to imperishable matter, which subtle conveys that is He is beyond time (kāla). Attributes of Rudra are being worshiped now.

(Source): Manblunder: Sri Rudram 2.1-2
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.


Hiraṇya (हिरण्य).—Cash in gold; the best gift.*

  • * Matsya-purāṇa 34. 11; 55. 19; Viṣṇu-purāṇa IV. 10. 24.
(Source): Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: The Purana Index
Purāṇa book cover
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The Purāṇas (पुराण, purana) refers to Sanskrit literature preserving ancient India’s vast cultural history, including historical legends, religious ceremonies, various arts and sciences. The eighteen mahāpurāṇas total over 400,000 ślokas (metrical couplets) and date to at least several centuries BCE.

Śilpaśāstra (iconography)

Hiraṇya (हिरण्य) refers to one of the many varieties of the Śālagrāma (ammonite fossil stones).—The Hiraṇya is moon-shaped; whitish hue and golden lines. Śālagrāma stones are very ancient geological specimens, rendered rounded and smooth by water-currents in a great length of time. They (eg., Hiraṇya stones) are distinguished by the ammonite (śālā, described as “vajra-kīṭa”, “adamantine worms”) which having entered into them for residence, are fossilized in course of time, leaving discus-like marks inside the stone.

(Source): archive.org: Pratima Kosa Encyclopedia of Indian Iconography - Vol 6
Śilpaśāstra book cover
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Śilpaśāstra (शिल्पशास्त्र, shilpa-shastra) represents the ancient Indian science of creative arts such as sculpture, iconography and painting. Closely related to Vāstuśāstra (architecture), they often share the same literature.

General definition (in Hinduism)

Hiraṇya (हिरण्य) in the Rigveda and later denotes ‘gold’. It is hardly possible to exaggerate the value attached to gold by the Vedic Indians. The metal was, it is clear, won from the bed of rivers. Hence the Indus is called ‘golden’ and ‘of golden stream’. Apparently the extraction of gold from the earth was known, and washing for gold is also recorded.

(Source): archive.org: Vedic index of Names and Subjects

In Jainism

General definition (in Jainism)

Hiraṇya (हिरण्य) according to Śvetāmabara sources refers to “silver” while according to Digambara it refers to “gold coins”. It represents one of the classes of the external (bahya) division of attachment (parigraha) and is related to the Aparigraha-vrata (vow of non-attachment). Hiraṇya is listed in Śvetāmbara sources such as Devagupta’s Nava-pada-prakaraṇa with Laghu-vṛtti (58), and in Digambara sources such Cāmuṇḍarāya’s Caritrasāra (p. 7).

The unanimous testimony of the Śvetāmbara texts interprets hiraṇya as “silver, minted or unminted” and, in fact, the later works from Devendra’s Śrādha-dina-kṛtya onwards replace hiraṇya by less ambiguous terms. For the Digambara deary as it seems always to have meant “coins whether of gold or silver”.

(Source): archive.org: Jaina Yoga
General definition book cover
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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.

Languages of India and abroad

Marathi-English dictionary

hiraṇya (हिरण्य).—n S Gold.

(Source): DDSA: The Molesworth Marathi and English Dictionary

hiraṇya (हिरण्य).—n Gold.

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