Khadga, Khaḍga, Khāḍga: 25 definitions


Khadga 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.

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In Hinduism

Pancaratra (worship of Nārāyaṇa)

Source: Wisdom Library: Pāñcarātra

Khaḍga (खड्ग, “sword”):—One of the nine symbols representing the cosmic principles of the universe, according to the Pāñcarātra literature. These nine weapons and ornaments symbolize the principles which they represent as the presiding deity. The Sword (khaḍga) represents knowledge.

Source: SriMatham: Vaiṣṇava Iconology based on Pañcarātra Āgama

The Sword & Scabbard (khaḍga):—

bibharti yaccāsiratnam acyuto ’tyanta nirmalam |
vidyomayantu tajjñānam avidyākośa saṃsthitam ||

“The sword which Śrī Kṛṣṇa possess is the sword of Immaculate Wisdom, The sheath in which it is kept is the sheath of Ignorance.” (V.P. 1;22;73.)

The sword represents Pure Knowledge (jnāna) whose substance is wisdom (vidya)—It is called nandaka which means the ‘source-of-joy.’ This flaming sword is the powerful weapon which destroys ignorance. The sheath represents nescience (avidya) which is the fundamental problem of human existence—ignorance not of data and science but of who we really are in essence—pure conscious entities (jīvas) having a human experience.

Pancaratra book cover
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Pancaratra (पाञ्चरात्र, pāñcarātra) represents a tradition of Hinduism where Narayana is revered and worshipped. Closeley related to Vaishnavism, the Pancaratra literature includes various Agamas and tantras incorporating many Vaishnava philosophies.

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Shaktism (Shakta philosophy)

Source: Wisdom Library: Śāktism

The Khaḍga (खड्ग, “sword”) is one of the objects Kālī is displayed as holding in one of her hands. It represents discrimination and wisdom.

Source: Red Zambala: The 10 Great Wisdom Goddesses

The Khaḍga — sword - represents discrimination and wisdom. Through discriminating between the real and the unreal, the truth and the untruth we gradually progress towards insight and wisdom which culminates in the elimination of the ego. Our spiritual practice does not consist of achieving anything but rather removing those conditioning factors which obscure the vision of the Divine which is our essential, natural state.

Shaktism book cover
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Shakta (शाक्त, śākta) or Shaktism (śāktism) represents a tradition of Hinduism where the Goddess (Devi) is revered and worshipped. Shakta literature includes a range of scriptures, including various Agamas and Tantras, although its roots may be traced back to the Vedas.

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Shilpashastra (iconography)

Source: Google Books: Elements of Hindu iconography

Khaḍga is a sword, long or short, and is used along with a kheṭaka or shield made of wood or hide. The khaḍga is either single-edged or double-edged and has a handle which is not different from the handle of swords seen in the pictures of trhe Crusaders and the early kings of Europe.

Source: Red Zambala: Hindu Icons and Symbols | Introduction

Khaḍga (Sword) - Sword of wisdom which cuts through illusion and destroys all ignorance- hidden within all of us like a scabbard - needs to be withdrawn with skill and used with care and precision.

Source: Shodhganga: The significance of the mūla-beras (śilpa)

Khaḍga (खड्ग, “sword”) refers to one of the several “attributes” (āyudha) or “accessories” of a detiy commonly seen depicted in Hindu iconography, defined according to texts dealing with śilpa (arts and crafs), known as śilpaśāstras.—Khaḍga is a sword, long or short, and is used along with a kheṭaka or shield made of wood or hide. The khaḍga is either single-edged or double-edged and has a handle.

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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Ayurveda (science of life)

Source: Wisdom Library: Āyurveda and botany

Khaḍga (खड्ग) is a Sanskrit word referring to the animal “rhinoceros”. The meat of this animal is part of the māṃsavarga (‘group of flesh’), which is used throughout Āyurvedic literature. The animal Khaḍga is part of the sub-group named Ānupamṛga, refering to animals “who live in marshy land”. It was classified by Caraka in his Carakasaṃhitā sūtrasthāna (chapter 27), a classical Āyurvedic work. Caraka defined such groups (vargas) based on the dietic properties of the substance. According to Monier-Williams, Khaḍga can also refer to a calf with horns half grown

The meat of the Rhinoceros (khaḍga) is obstructing to channels, strength-promoting, sweet, uncting, bulk-promoting and beneficial for complexion. It alleviates fatigue and vāta.

Ayurveda book cover
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Āyurveda (आयुर्वेद, ayurveda) is a branch of Indian science dealing with medicine, herbalism, taxology, anatomy, surgery, alchemy and related topics. Traditional practice of Āyurveda in ancient India dates back to at least the first millenium BC. Literature is commonly written in Sanskrit using various poetic metres.

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Vastushastra (architecture)

Source: Wisdom Library: Vāstu-śāstra

Khaḍga (खड्ग):—The Sanskrit name for a classification of a ‘temple’, according to the Agnipurāṇa, featuring a list of 45 temple types. It is listed under the group named Triviṣṭapa, featuring octagonal-shaped temples. This list represents the classification of temples in North-India.

Vastushastra book cover
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Vastushastra (वास्तुशास्त्र, vāstuśāstra) refers to the ancient Indian science (shastra) of architecture (vastu), dealing with topics such architecture, sculpture, town-building, fort building and various other constructions. Vastu also deals with the philosophy of the architectural relation with the cosmic universe.

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Purana and Itihasa (epic history)

Source: Puranic Encyclopedia

Khaḍga (खड्ग).—A warrior of Skandadeva. (Mahābhārata, Śalya Parva, Chapter 45, Stanza 67).

Source: Shiva Purana - English Translation

Khaḍga (खड्ग) refers to a “sword”, mentioned as one of the items held in the hands (hasta) of the Goddess (Devī), according to the Śivapurāṇa 2.2.12. Accordingly as Brahmā narrated to Nārada:—“[...] on seeing the mother of the universe cosmic in form, Dakṣa the lord of the subjects considered himself well rewarded. With various sorts of prayer he eulogised and bowed to the Goddess (Devī) mother of the universe, Kālikā seated on a lion, dark-complexioned, with four arms (caturbhuja) and beautiful face, the bestower of the boon, the abode of safety, holding a blue lotus and the sword (khaḍga) in her hands (hasta), comely with reddish eyes and with beautiful dishevelled hair”.

Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: The Purana Index

Khadga (खद्ग).—Rhinoceros; flesh very good for śrāddha, but horn to be thrown away.*

  • * Vāyu-purāṇa 80. 51.
Source: JatLand: List of Mahabharata people and places

Khaḍga (खड्ग) is a name mentioned in the Mahābhārata (cf. IX.44.62) and represents one of the many proper names used for people and places. Note: The Mahābhārata (mentioning Khaḍga) 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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Kavya (poetry)

Source: Wisdom Library: Kathāsaritsāgara

Khaḍga (खड्ग) is the name of a merchant’s son (vaṇikputra) from Dhavala, according to the Kathāsaritsāgara, chapter 56. Accordingly, as Khaḍga said to Cakra: “... I am a merchant’s son named Khaḍga, and because I did not obey the commands of my parents they were angry, and in wrath laid this curse upon me: ‘Because, wicked son, you torture us like a hot wheel placed on the head, therefore such shall be your punishment’”.

The story of Khaḍga was narrated by Candrasvāmin to his son Mahīpāla in order to demonstrate that “one who is cursed by his father and mother does not long enjoy prosperity”.

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

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Kavya (काव्य, kavya) refers to Sanskrit poetry, a popular ancient Indian tradition of literature. There have been many Sanskrit poets over the ages, hailing from ancient India and beyond. This topic includes mahakavya, or ‘epic poetry’ and natya, or ‘dramatic poetry’.

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Shaivism (Shaiva philosophy)

Source: Shodhganga: Temple management in the Āgamas

Khaḍga (खड्ग) refers to one of the various Devatā weapons and represents a type of “temple implement (instrument)” as described in the Karaṇalakṣaṇavidhi-paṭala section of the Uttara-Kāmikāgama.—The instruments should be according to the particular śāstra followed at the temple. Some of the instruments mentioned are weapons of all Devatās including [viz., khaḍga].

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.

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General definition (in Hinduism)

Source: Wisdom Library: Hinduism

Khaḍga (खड्ग, “sword”):—One of the objects that Yama is displayed carrying. Yama, the vedic God of death, represents the embodiment of Dharma. Yama rules over the kingdom of the dead and binds humankind according to the fruits of their karma.

Source: Vedic index of Names and Subjects

Khaḍga (खड्ग) is the reading in the Maitrāyaṇī Saṃhitā of the name of an animal which, in the text of the Vājasaneyi Saṃhitā, variously appears as Khaṅga and Khaḍga. The “rhinoceros” seems clearly to be meant. In the Śāṅkhāyana Śrauta Sūtra a “rhinoceros hide” is mentioned as the covering of a chariot.

Source: Hindupedia: Hinduism

Khaḍga (खड्ग) literally means “that which cuts”. Sword is a very ancient weapon of duel and war. In iconography, various types of swords have been shown in the hands of the deities. Three types of swords are more well-known:

  1. karavīrapatra - scimitar
  2. kulāgra - spear-pointed
  3. maṇḍalāgra - round-edged

Other varieties like Candrahāsa used by Rāvaṇa and Kṛpāṇa are also mentioned in the texts.

In Jainism

General definition (in Jainism)

Source: Google Books: Jainism: An Indian Religion of Salvation

Khaḍga (खड्ग, “sword”).—One of the fourteen gems (ratna) serving the Cakravartin;—The khaḍga is a sharp sword which breaks all resistance.

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

Marathi-English dictionary

Source: DDSA: The Molesworth Marathi and English Dictionary

khaḍga (खड्ग).—m (S) A sword. 2 A rhinoceros. 3 A rhinoceros' horn.

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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Sanskrit-English dictionary

Source: DDSA: The practical Sanskrit-English dictionary

Khaḍga (खड्ग).—[khaḍ-bhedane gan Uṇ.1.121]

1) A sword; न हि खड्गो विजानाति कर्मकारं स्वकारणम् (na hi khaḍgo vijānāti karmakāraṃ svakāraṇam) Udb.; खड्गं परामृश्य (khaḍgaṃ parāmṛśya) &c.

2) The horn of a rhinoceros.

3) A rhinoceros; प्रायो विषाण- परिमोषलघूत्तमाङ्गान्खड्गांश्चकार नृपतिर्निशितैः क्षुरप्रैः (prāyo viṣāṇa- parimoṣalaghūttamāṅgānkhaḍgāṃścakāra nṛpatirniśitaiḥ kṣurapraiḥ) R.9.62; Ms.3. 272,5.18; ... खङ्गशृङ्गं चामरं च (khaṅgaśṛṅgaṃ cāmaraṃ ca) ... Śiva. B.3.12.

-ḍgam Iron.

Derivable forms: khaḍgaḥ (खड्गः).

--- OR ---

Khāḍga (खाड्ग).—a. Relating to a rhinoceros.

Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: Edgerton Buddhist Hybrid Sanskrit Dictionary

Khaḍga (खड्ग).—(1) nt., a high number (compare khaḍgin): Mmk 262.15 adhikā daśa tare (?) tasya (sc. vivāhasya, compare line 14) khaḍgam ity āhu vāṇijāḥ; 343.14 daśārbudā nirbudaḥ uktaḥ taddaśaṃ khaḍgam iṣyate; (2) m., n. of a mountain: Māy 254.6.

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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