Hiranyakashipu, aka: Hiraṇyakaśipu, Hiranya-kashipu; 6 Definition(s)
Hiranyakashipu means something in 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.
The Sanskrit term Hiraṇyakaśipu can be transliterated into English as Hiranyakasipu or Hiranyakashipu, using the IAST transliteration scheme (?).
Itihasa (narrative history)
Hiraṇyakaśipu (हिरण्यकशिपु) is a name mentioned in the Mahābhārata (cf. I.59.17, I.65, I.61.5) and represents one of the many proper names used for people and places. Note: The Mahābhārata (mentioning Hiraṇyakaśipu) is a Sanskrit epic poem consisting of 100,000 ślokas (metrical verses) and is over 2000 years old.(Source): JatLand: List of Mahabharata people and places
Itihasa (इतिहास, itihāsa) refers to ‘epic history’ and represents a branch of Sanskrit literature which popularly includes 1) the eighteen major Puranas, 2) the Mahabharata and 3) the Ramayana. It is a branch of Vedic Hinduism categorised as smriti literature (‘that which is remembered’) as opposed to shruti literature (‘that which is transmitted verbally’).
1) Hiraṇyakaśipu (हिरण्यकशिपु).—(See Hiraṇya).
2) Hiraṇyakaśipu (हिरण्यकशिपु).—A dānava. He once shook Mount Meru and Śiva granted him welfare and prosperity. (Anuśāsana Parva, Chapter 14, Verse 73).(Source): archive.org: Puranic Encyclopaedia
1a) Hiraṇyakaśipu (हिरण्यकशिपु).—A son of Ditī and Kaśyapa: reduced to subjection the three worlds with the Lokapālas: secured heaven through his son Prahlāda. His queen was Kayādhu;1 wanted to avenge his brother Hiraṇyākṣa's death;2 the six sons born of his Asura Yoni were carried off by Yogamāyā's effort. They were again born of Devakī and killed by Kaṃsa;3 lust after more territory;4 in his previous birth an attendant of Hari. He was next born as Rāvaṇa and afterwards Caidya. Destroyed the whole world by fire and by sword all friends of Hari for the killing of his brother, consoled his wife and sons pointing to the old saying that to die at the hands of an enemy leads one to heaven and cited the story of Suyajña that it was no use to weep over the dead body. Then Ditī set her mind on the truth;5 Hiraṇyakaśipu began austere penance in the Mandara hill and the fire of his penance spread far and wide and created fear in the Devas. Brahmā paid a visit and saw Hiraṇyakaśipu covered by an ant hill. Sprinkling divine waters, he woke him up to see the Lord on the Swan, and he praised His glory. He asked that (1) he might not meet with death at the hands of any being created by Brahmā; (2) might not meet with death inside or outside, by day or night, by any weapon not on earth or in sky, by men or beasts, gods or asuras; (3) he was to be without an equal; (4) he should possess undiminishing power (5) and be the one ruler of all creatures.6 These were granted and Hiraṇyakaśipu spread his sway on all the worlds and took up the seat of Indra. All gods except the Triad bowed to him;7 father of four sons, chief of whom was Prahlāda whom he hated as he was a devotee of Hari. Śukra's sons Śaṇḍa and Marka were appointed to be his tutors to get a knowledge of Trivarga. This only increased Prahlāda's devotion. Hiraṇyakaśipu put it to some inborn defect of the boy. Means to kill the child by wild beasts, poison, fire and water were of no avail. He was bound by noose and imprisoned;8 when he was absent in Mandara hill Indra harassed his followers and captured his queen with Prahlāda. Nārada asked him to release her, which he did. She was under the custody of the sage, praying to him for the birth of a good son;9 in the course of his father's (Kaśyapa's) aśvamedha sacrifice, the child Hiraṇyakaśipu sat on one of the golden seats reserved for Hotṛ, and hence the name. Ruled for nearly (1/4) of the manvantara, got aurvimāyā from Aurva to dispel;10 Tāmaśimāyā;11 rivers, mountains, worlds, etc. shaken by him;12 first of Daityas, killed by Narasimha whom he never considered as Viṣṇu;13 taken out by action of Yoganidrā under orders from Viṣṇu.14
- 1) Bhāgavata-purāṇa III. 17. 18-19; IV. 21. 47; VI. 18. 11-12; Matsya-purāṇa 6. 8, 9; Viṣṇu-purāṇa I. 15. 140.
- 2) Bhāgavata-purāṇa VIII. 19. 7-9.
- 3) Ib. X. 85. 46-49; Viṣṇu-purāṇa V. 1. 70.
- 4) Bhāgavata-purāṇa XII. 3. 11.
- 5) Ib. VII. 1. 39-45; Ch. 2 (whole).
- 6) Ib. I. Ch. 3 (whole): Matsya-purāṇa Chh. 161-3.
- 7) Bhāgavata-purāṇa VII. 4. 2, 28; Matsya-purāṇa 47. 35-59.
- 8) Bhāgavata-purāṇa VII. 4. 29-43; Ch. 5. (whole); Matsya-purāṇa 146. 21; 153. 6; Viṣṇu-purāṇa I. 15. 142; 17. 2-29.
- 9) Bhāgavata-purāṇa VII. 7. 2-16.
- 10) Brahmāṇḍa-purāṇa III. 5. 4-29, 34.
- 11) Matsya-purāṇa 175. 25, 64-71; 178. 10 and 19.
- 12) Ib. 163. 56-92.
- 13) Viṣṇu-purāṇa IV. 14. 46-7; 15. 1, 5.
- 14) Ib. V. 1. 72-3.
1b) Father of Divyā, wife of sage Bhṛgu.*
- * Brahmāṇḍa-purāṇa III. 1. 74.
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.
Katha (narrative stories)
Hiraṇyakaśipu (हिरण्यकशिपु) is the incarnation of the Asura Kālanemi , who was later born as Kapiñjala, and was later born as Bhāsa, father of Prabhāsa, according to the Kathāsaritsāgara, chapter 50. Accordingly, as Brahmā said to Indra during the war between Śrutaśarman and Sūryaprabha: “... for that Asura Namuci, who was so hard for the gods to subdue, and who was then born again as Prabala, one entire and perfect jewel, has now been born as the invincible Prabhāsa, son of Bhāsa, and Bhāsa too was in a former birth the great Asura Kālanemi, who afterwards became Hiraṇyakaśipu and then Kapiñjala”.
The Kathāsaritsāgara (‘ocean of streams of story’), mentioning Hiraṇyakaśipu, 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
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.
General definition (in Hinduism)
Hiranyakashipu (हिरण्यकश्यप): Hiranyakashipu was an Asura, and also a King of Dravida whose younger brother, Hiranyaksha was killed by Varaha, one of the avatars of Vishnu. Identical with Shishupāla and Rāvana.(Source): WikiPedia: Hinduism
Languages of India and abroad
Hiraṇyakaśipu (हिरण्यकशिपु).—Name of a celebrated king of demons. [He was a son of Kaśyapa and Diti, and by virtue of a boon from Brahman, he became so powerful that he usurped the sovereignty of Indra and oppressed the three worlds. He freely blasphemed the great god and subjected his son Prahrāda to untold cruelties for acknowledging Viṣṇu as the Supreme deity. But he was eventually torn to pieces by Viṣṇu in the form of Narasimha; see प्रह्लाद (prahlāda)].
Derivable forms: hiraṇyakaśipuḥ (हिरण्यकशिपुः).
Hiraṇyakaśipu is a Sanskrit compound consisting of the terms hiraṇya and kaśipu (कशिपु).(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 32 books and stories containing Hiranyakashipu, Hiraṇyakaśipu or Hiranya-kashipu. You can also click to the full overview containing English textual excerpts. Below are direct links for the most relevant articles:
The Book of Good Counsels (by Sir Edwin Arnold)
Chapter 4 - The Story of the Cat Who Served the Lion < [Book Two - The Parting of Friends]
List of Mahabharata people and places (by Laxman Burdak)
The Markandeya Purana (by Frederick Eden Pargiter)
The Devi Bhagavata Purana (by Swami Vijñanananda)
Chapter 5 - On the Devas going to Viṣṇu < [Book 10]
Chapter 8 - On going to the Tīrthas < [Book 4]
The Story of Prahlada < [First Section]
Shishupala < [Fourth Section]
The Prachetas < [First Section]
Yoga Vasistha [English], Volume 1-4 (by Vihari-Lala Mitra)
Chapter XXII - Account of past ages < [Book VI - Nirvana prakarana part 1 (nirvana prakarana)]
Chapter XXX - Fall of hiranyakasipu and rise of prahlada < [Book V - Upasama khanda (upashama khanda)]
Chapter XXI - Explanation of the cause of the crow’s longevity < [Book VI - Nirvana prakarana part 1 (nirvana prakarana)]