Jahnu: 18 definitions


Jahnu means something in Buddhism, Pali, Hinduism, Sanskrit, Jainism, Prakrit. 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

Purana and Itihasa (epic history)

Source: Wisdom Library: Bhagavata Purana

1) Jahnu (जह्नु):—Son of Hotraka (son of Kāñcana). He drank all the water of the Ganges in one sip. He had a son named Puru. (see Bhāgavata Purāṇa 9.15.2-4)

2) Jahnu (जह्नु):—One of the four sons of Kuru (son of Saṃvaraṇa and his wife Tapatī) who was king of Kurukṣetra. He had a son named Suratha. (see Bhāgavata Purāṇa 9.22.4-5, 9.22.9)

Source: archive.org: Puranic Encyclopedia

Jahnu (जह्नु).—A hermit King born in the family of Pūru. Genealogy. Descended from Viṣṇu in the following order:—Brahmā—Atri—Candra—Budha—Purūravas—Āyus—Nahuṣa—Yayāti—Pūru—Janamejaya—Prācinvān -Pravīra—Namasyu—Vītabhaya—Śuṇḍu—Bahuvidha -Saṃyāti—Rahovādi—Raudrāśva—Matināra—Santurodha—Duṣyanta—Bharata—Suhotra—Bṛhatputra -Ajamīḍha—Jahnu.

Ajamīḍha had three wives, Dhūminī, Nīlī and Keśinī. Ṛkṣa was born from Dhūminī, Duṣyanta and Parameṣṭhi from Nīlī and Jahnu from Keśinī. The descendants of Jahnu are called the Kuśikas. Jahnu handed over his kingdom to his son Balākāśva and went to perform penance. Kuśika was the son of Balākāśva. Drank up the river Ganges. The river Gaṅgā, which flowed through the earth in accordance with the request of Bhagīratha, submerged the hermitage of Jahnu. Jahnu became angry at this haughtiness of Gaṅgā and drank up the river, but at the entreaty of Bhagīratha pushed Gaṅgādevī out through his ear. (See under Gaṅgā). From that day onwards Gaṅgā got the name Jāhnavī. (See full article at Story of Jahnu from the Puranic encyclopaedia by Vettam Mani)

Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: The Purana Index

Jahnu (जह्नु).—A son of Kuru.*

  • * Matsya-purāṇa 50. 23.
Source: Archaeological Survey of India: Śaiva monuments at Paṭṭadakal (purāṇa)

Jahnu (जह्नु).—While flowing to the netherworld, Gaṅgā floods the hermitage of Sage Jahnu. The furious sage, on seeing this ravage caused by the haughty river, drank all the water. Again, Bhagīratha undertook penance to please the sage and prays him to release the river water for the realization of his aim. The latter releases her through his right ear.

Source: JatLand: List of Mahabharata people and places

Jahnu (जह्नु) is a name mentioned in the Mahābhārata (cf. I.89.28) and represents one of the many proper names used for people and places. Note: The Mahābhārata (mentioning Jahnu) 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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Shilpashastra (iconography)

Source: Archaeological Survey of India: Śaiva monuments at Paṭṭadakal (śilpa)

Jahnu (जह्नु) is depicted as a sculpture on the fourth pillar of the southern half of the maṇḍapa of the temple of Lokeśvara.—These events are illustrated in two sections. The episode of sage Jahnu releasing the river goddess Gaṅgā through his right ear opening is very finely interpreted in the right portion of the panel. By the side of the sage is a tree under which he is sitting, holding kamaṇḍalu, pot, in his left hand. Probably, he is drinking water of Gaṅgā with his kamaṇḍalu, water pot, letting her out through his right ear. Our identification of the water is based on the presence of swimming fishes in the curves, starting right from the right ear of the sage, flowing below the bent right leg of Bhagīratha, up to the left shoulder of the river goddess.

Shilpashastra book cover
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Shilpashastra (शिल्पशास्त्र, śilpaśāstra) represents the ancient Indian science (shastra) of creative arts (shilpa) such as sculpture, iconography and painting. Closely related to Vastushastra (architecture), they often share the same literature.

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In Buddhism

Tibetan Buddhism (Vajrayana or tantric Buddhism)

Source: Wisdom Library: Tibetan Buddhism

Jahnu (जह्नु) refers to one of the various Ṛṣis (sages) and Mahārṣis (great sages) 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 Jahnu).

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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In Jainism

General definition (in Jainism)

Source: archive.org: Trisastisalakapurusacaritra

Jahnu (जह्नु) refers to one of the sixty-thousand sons of Sagara, according to chapter 2.4 [ajitanātha-caritra] of Hemacandra’s 11th century Triṣaṣṭiśalākāpuruṣacaritra: an ancient Sanskrit epic poem narrating the history and legends of sixty-three illustrious persons in Jainism.

Accordingly:—“[...] While he (i.e., Sagara) was thus constantly experiencing sensuous pleasures, sixty thousand sons, Jahnu, etc., were born to him. Reared by nurses, like trees in a garden, by women-gardeners, the sons gradually grew up. Gradually they acquired the arts, like the moon digits, and attained youth, a garden of creepers of bodily beauty. They displayed their own skill in military science and saw that of others with the desire to see inferior and superior. [...]”.

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.

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Languages of India and abroad

Sanskrit dictionary

Source: DDSA: The practical Sanskrit-English dictionary

Jahnu (जह्नु).—Name of an ancient king, son of Suhotra, who adopted the river Gaṅgā as his daughter. [The river Ganges, when brought down from heaven by the austerities of Bhagīratha, was forced to flow over earth to follow him to the lower regions. In its course it inundated the sacrificial ground of king Jahnu, who being angry drank up its waters. But the gods and sages, and particularly Bhagīratha, appeased his anger, and he consented to discharge those waters from his ears. The river is therefore regarded as his daughter, and is styled जाह्नवी, जह्नुतनया, -कन्या, -सुता, -नन्दिनी (jāhnavī, jahnutanayā, -kanyā, -sutā, -nandinī) &c.; cf. R.8.95. जह्नोः कन्यां सगरतनयस्वर्गसोपान- पङ्क्तिम् (jahnoḥ kanyāṃ sagaratanayasvargasopāna- paṅktim) Meghadūta 52.

-saptamī The seventh day of the bright half of Vaiśākha.]

Derivable forms: jahnuḥ (जह्नुः).

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

Jahnu (जह्नु).—m.

(-hnuḥ) 1. The name of a king or saint, son of Kuru: see the next. 2. A name of Vishnu. E. to abandon, (the world for devotion.) nu Unadi aff.

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

Jahnu (जह्नु).—m. The name of a king who adopted the river Gaṅgā as his daughter, [Rāmāyaṇa] 1, 44, 35.

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

Jahnu (जह्नु).—[masculine] [Name] of an ancient king; [plural] his race.

Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: Aufrecht Catalogus Catalogorum

Jahnu (जह्नु) as mentioned in Aufrecht’s Catalogus Catalogorum:—poet. [Sūktikarṇāmṛta by Śrīdharadāsa] See Āvantikajahnu.

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

1) Jahnu (जह्नु):—[from jahnāvī] m. Name of an ancient king and sage (son of Aja-mīḍha, of Su-hotra, of Kuru, of Hotraka; ancestor of the Kuśikas; the Ganges, when brought down from heaven by Bhagī-ratha’s austerities, was forced to flow over the earth and to follow him to the ocean and thence to the lower regions in order to water the ashes of Sagara’s sons; in its course it inundated the sacrificial ground of Jahnu, who drank up its waters but consented at Bhagī-ratha’s prayer to discharge them from his ears; hence the river is regarded as his daughter), [Mahābhārata i, xii f.; Harivaṃśa; Rāmāyaṇa i, 44, 35 ff.; Bhāgavata-purāṇa ix]

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

3) [v.s. ...] of a Ṛṣi of the 4th Manv-antara, [Harivaṃśa 426] ([varia lectio] janyu)

4) [v.s. ...] of a Himālaya cavern (from which the Gaṅgā is bursting forth), [Kādambarī ii, 473; Harṣacarita iii]

5) [v.s. ...] [plural] Jahnu’s race, [Aitareya-brāhmaṇa vii, 18; Tāṇḍya-brāhmaṇa xxi, 12, 2; Pravara texts iv, 12.]

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

Jahnu (जह्नु):—(hnuḥ) 2. m. The name of a king or sage, son of Kuru; Vishnu.

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

Jahnu (जह्नु) in the Sanskrit language is related to the Prakrit words: Jaṇhu, Jaṇhukannā.

[Sanskrit to German]

Jahnu 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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