Kadru, aka: Kadrū; 7 Definition(s)


Kadru 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.

In Hinduism

Kathā (narrative stories)

Kadrū (कद्रू).—One of the two wives of Kaśyapa, according to a story called “the dispute about the colour of the sun’s horses” in the Kathāsaritsāgara, chapter 22. Accordingly, “Long ago Kadrū and Vinatā, the two wives of Kaśyapa, had a dispute in the course of a conversation which they were carrying on. The former said that the Sun’s horses were black, the latter that they were white, and they made an agreement that the one that was wrong should become a slave to the other”.

The Kathāsaritsāgara (‘ocean of streams of story’), mentioning Kadrū, 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
Kathā book cover
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Kathās (कथा) are special kind of Sanskrit literature: they are a kind of a mix between Itihāsa (historical legends) and Mahākāvya (epic poetry). Some Kathās reflect socio-political instructions for the King while others remind the reader of the historical deeds of the Gods, sages and heroes.


Kadrū (कद्रू).—A daughter of Dakṣa, wife of Tārkṣyā, and mother of Nāgas, including Kāliya:1 according to bṛahmāṇḍa vi., vā., and mastya p. Consort of Kāśyapa;2 known for anger.3

  • 1) Bhāgavata-purāṇa V. 24. 8; VI. 6. 21-2; X. 17. 4, 73.
  • 2) Brahmāṇḍa-purāṇa III. 3. 57; 7. 31, 467; Matsya-purāṇa 6. 2 & 38; 146. 19 & 22; 171. 29 & 63; Vāyu-purāṇa 66. 55; Viṣṇu-purāṇa I. 15. 125.
  • 3) Vāyu-purāṇa 69. 94.
(Source): Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: The Purana Index

Kadru (कद्रु) and Vinatā, daughters of Dakṣa Prajāpati, are married to sage Kaśyapa. Once, Kaśyapa tells them to ask for a boon. Kadru asks for a thousand sons in the form of nāga, snakes, having equal extraordinary force. Vinatā asks for only two children whose parākrama “prowess” should be equal to that of the thousand snakes of Kadru. Kadru did not appreciate it.

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

General definition (in Hinduism)

Kadru was a daughter of Daksha, who married the sage Kashyapa and gave birth to the Nagas (snake). Once, her sons had displeased her by refusing to do her bidding, so she cursed them to die by ordeal of fire. It is mentioned in the Mahabharata that there is a counter measure available for all curses, except those uttered by one's mother. Accordingly, when the great anti-snake sacrifice was performed by Janamejaya, to avenge the snake-bit death of his father Parikshit, nearly all the snakes perished in the sacrificial fire. Only Takshaka, their king and a few other snakes were spared at the end to continue the line of Nagas.

(Source): Apam Napat: Indian Mythology

Languages of India and abroad

Marathi-English dictionary

kadrū (कद्रू).—a (kadarya S) Avaricious or covetous.

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

kadrū (कद्रू).—a A varicious or covetous.

(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.

Sanskrit-English dictionary

Kadru (कद्रु).—a. [kad-ru] (-dru or -drū f.)

1) Tawny.

2) Variegated, spotted.

-druḥ 1 The tawny colour.

2) The variegated colour.

-druḥ, -drūḥ f. Wife of Kaśyapa and the mother of the Nāgas.

(Source): DDSA: The practical Sanskrit-English dictionary
context information

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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