Kimpurusha, aka: Kimpuruṣa, Kim-purusha, Kiṃpuruṣa; 11 Definition(s)


Kimpurusha 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.

The Sanskrit terms Kimpuruṣa and Kiṃpuruṣa can be transliterated into English as Kimpurusa or Kimpurusha, using the IAST transliteration scheme (?).

In Hinduism

Shaivism (Shaiva philosophy)

Kimpurusha in Shaivism glossary... « previous · [K] · next »

Kimpuruṣa (किम्पुरुष) refers to one of the seven regions (navakhaṇḍa) situated within Jambūdvīpa, according to Parākhyatantra 5.61. It is also known as Kimpuruṣakhaṇḍa. Jambūdvīpa is one of the seven continents situated within the world of the earth (pṛthivī). These continents are located above the seven pātālas and may contain even more sub-continents within them, are round in shape, and are encircled within seven concentric oceans.

According to the Parākhyatantra, “to the south of that, like Ramya, is the landmass called Kimpuruṣa, where the Vidyādharī Ramyā was dropped by the hand of a Vidyādhara. The male Vidyādhara was then asked by her ‘Did you (kim tvaya), o man (puruṣa), throw me?’, and so it got the name Kimpuruṣa”.

In the middle of these nine regions (eg., Kimpuruṣa) is situated the golden mountain named Meru which rises above the surface of the earth by 84,000 yojanas while it penetrates the circle of the earth to a depth of sixteen yojanas.

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

Source: Wisdom Library: Śaivism
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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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Kimpurusha in Purana glossary... « previous · [K] · next »

Kimpuruṣa (किम्पुरुष).—General. A King called Agnīdhra was born in the dynasty of Priyavrata, son of Manu. He became lord of the Jambū island, and married an apsarā woman named Pūrvacitti. To them were born nine sons called Nābhi, Kimpuruṣa, Hari, Ilāvṛta, Ramyaka, Hiraṇmaya, Kalva, Bhadrāśva and Ketumāla. Agnīdhra partitioned the kingdom among the nine sons. The land Kimpuruṣa ruled over was known as Kimpuruṣa or Kimpuruṣavarṣa. It lay to the south of Hemakūṭa mountain. It was here that Hanūmān spent his last days worshipping Śrī Rāma.

"The son of the wind God (Hanūmān) lives in the country called Kimpuruṣavarṣa in the worship of Śrī Rāma." (Bhāgavata, 5th Skandha).

According to the Sabhā Parva (Chapter 23, Verses 1, 2) Kimpuruṣavarṣa guarded by the sons of Druma is situated to the north of the Himālayas facing the Dhavala mountain, and this country was once conquered by Arjuna. Other information.

(i) Kimpuruṣas were the sons of Pulaha Prajāpati. (Ādi Parva, Chapter 66, Verse 8).

(ii) They witnessed Agastya drinking up the ocean dry. (Vana Parva, Chapter 104, Verse 21).

(iii) They guard the lotus ponds kept by Kubera to sport with his beloved ones. (Vana Parva, Chapter 15, Verse 9).

(iv) In his conflict with Rāvaṇa, Kubera left behind him Laṅkā and his Puṣpaka Vimāna, escaped towards the north and settled down on mount Gandhamādana with the help of the Kimpuruṣas. (Vana Parva, Chapter 275, Verse 33).

(v) Yakṣa women were their mothers. (Śānti Parva, Chapter 207, Verse 25).

(vi) They were present at the aśvamedha of Yudhiṣṭhira. (Aśvamedha Parva, Chapter 88, Verse 37).

(vii) Śuka Brahmarṣi reached Bhārata, crossing Kimpuruṣavarṣa. (Śānti Parva, Chapter 325). (See full article at Story of Kimpuruṣa from the Puranic encyclopaedia by Vettam Mani)

Source: Puranic Encyclopaedia

1a) Kimpuruṣa (किम्पुरुष).—A son of Āgnihotra and Pūrvacitti, and Lord of Hemakūṭa.*

  • * Bhāgavata-purāṇa V. 2. 19; Brahmāṇḍa-purāṇa II. 14. 45 and 48; Vāyu-purāṇa 33. 38, 41; Viṣṇu-purāṇa II. 1. 16 and 19.

1b) A son of Svārociṣa Manu.*

  • * Brahmāṇḍa-purāṇa II. 36. 19; Viṣṇu-purāṇa III. 1. 12.

1c) (Kimpuruṣam)—a continent of Jambūdvīpa and bounded by Hemakūṭa on one side.1 Here Hanumān worships Rāma as a friend of all including wild creatures, and as one who led all Kośala people to Heaven.2 Its king Dumna was an ally of Jarāsandha and placed on the west of the Gomanta hill during its siege;3 conquered by Parīkṣit.4 There is Plakṣakhaṇḍa like Nandana: People drink of plakṣa and live for 10,000 years and are of golden colour; note for madhuvaha trees.5

  • 1) Bhāgavata-purāṇa V. 16. 9; Matsya-purāṇa 113. 29; 114. 59, 63-5; 121. 49; Vāyu-purāṇa 34. 28; Viṣṇu-purāṇa II. 2. 13.
  • 2) Bhāgavata-purāṇa V. 19. 1-8.
  • 3) Ib. X. 52. 11 [11].
  • 4) Ib. I. 16. 13.
  • 5) Brahmāṇḍa-purāṇa II. 17. 1-5; 18. 74; Vāyu-purāṇa 46. 2-6; 47. 71.

1d) A kind of elf, an attendant on Kubera. Ila's conversion from womanhood into.*

  • * Matsya-purāṇa 12. 10.

1e) A class of divinities, born out of Brahma's shadow just like Kinnaras.1 Frequent Kailāsa hill.2 Joined gods in singing Nṛsimha's praise.3 Learnt dharma from the seven sages.4 Belong to the line of Krodhavaśā.5

  • 1) Bhāgavata-purāṇa III. 20. 45.
  • 2) Ib. IV. 6. 31.
  • 3) Ib. VII. 8. 38.
  • 4) Ib. XI. 14. 6.
  • 5) Brahmāṇḍa-purāṇa III. 7. 176; 8. 71; 41. 30; IV. 30. 9; 33. 27.
Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: The Purana Index
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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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General definition (in Hinduism)

Kimpurusha in Hinduism glossary... « previous · [K] · next »

In Sanskrit, Kim only means “How”. Then Kim-Puruṣa, as How-man, carries no sense. Being a student of the history of Alchemy the present author came across the existence of the term Golden-Man, Chin-Jen, in Chinese, meaning one who became immortal on taking alchemical gold as drug. Now a legend exists in Cutch which Mrs. Postans has recorded that, a herb (of immortality) is so powerful that if man is accidentally burt with it he becomes a figure of gold. The transformed individual then can be literally called, Golen-Man. Here a Sino-Sanskrit term can best express the sense, with Gold=Kim in Chinese, and Puruṣa=Man, whence Kim-Puruṣa=Golden-Man. Earlier than Mrs. Postans al-Bīrūnī had described this legend. Persian literature emanating from Sind uses the term Adame-Zarrin, literally Golden-Man. And al-Bīrūni uses the equivalent Arabic term for yellow-coloured people known to be exceptionally long lived. His emphasis is on longevity. Thus the Chinese term Chin-Jen, literally Golden-Man, and the term Kim-Puruṣa, become meaningful.

Then interpreting Kim-Puruṣa as Golden-Man, legends existing in Cutch and Sind and also as narrated by al-Bīrūnī can be reasonably traced to alchemy and this as a Chinese contribution.

Source: Digital Library of India: The Etymology of Kim-Puruṣa

Kimpurusha Kingdom refers to the territory of a tribe called Kimpurushas who were one among the Exotic Tribes of Ancient India. These exotic tribes lived in inaccessible regions like the Himalaya mountains and had limited interaction with the Vedic civilization of ancient India. Thus they were represented as super human beings or as natural spirits.

Kimpurushas were described to be lion-headed beings. Splitting the word to Kimpurusha = Kim (Is it ? ) + Purusha (Man) (literally translated "Is it human ?"), analogous to the word Kin + Nara (Man), shows that Kinnaras and Kimpurushas were related or probably the same tribe. The lion head may be an exaggeration of their heavily bearded head. In some Purana's they were mentioned as horse-headed. They could be a tribe of horse-warriors like the Kambojas. But their lion-headed reference in the sources and them staying in the mountains suggest that they could be Kirata. Kirat-or Kirati- means people with lion nature. It is derived from two words Kira-Lion and Ti- people and it also means people from the mountain.

Kimpurushas were mentioned as half-lions and half-men at (1,66). Here they were mentioned as related to other exotic tribes like the Rakshasas, Vanaras, Kinnaras (half-men, half-horses) and Yakshas. Sage Pulaha was linked with the Kimpurushas, whereas the others were linked with the sage Pulastya. Another tribe viz the Valikhilyas (who follow the motion of the sun) where linked with the sage Kratu. Marichi, Angiras, Atri, Pulastya, Pulaha, and Kratu were mentioned as the six great sages, who probably originated the six great clans. The kinship of these exotic tribes is also mentioned at (12,206).

Source: WikiPedia: Hinduism

In Jainism

General definition (in Jainism)

Kimpurusha in Jainism glossary... « previous · [K] · next »

Kimpuruṣa (किम्पुरुष) refers to a class of kinnara deities according to both the Digambara and Śvetāmbara traditions. The kinnaras refer to a category of vyantaras gods which represents one of the four classes of celestial beings (devas). The kinnaras are black in complexion and their caitya-vṛkṣas (sacred-tree) is Aśoka according to both traditions.

The deities such as Kimpuruṣas are defined in ancient Jain cosmological texts such as the Saṃgrahaṇīratna in the Śvetāmbara tradition or the Tiloyapaṇṇati by Yativṛṣabha (5th century) in the Digambara tradition.

Source: Wisdom Library: Jainism

Kimpuruṣa (किम्पुरुष).—A class of vyantara gods;—They are of ten kinds, according to Tiloyapaṇṇatti:

  1. Puruṣa,
  2. Puruṣottama,
  3. Satpuruṣa,
  4. Mahāpuruṣa,
  5. Puruṣaprabha,
  6. Atipuruṣa,
  7. Maru,
  8. Marudeva,
  9. Maruprabha,
  10. Yaśasvān.

Their two Indras are Satpuruṣa and Mahāpuruṣa. All the Kimpuruṣas are golden in appearance.

According to Śvetāmbara tradition the Kimpuruṣas are of ten classes:

  1. Puruṣa,
  2. Satpuruṣa,
  3. Mahāpuruṣa,
  4. Puruṣavṛṣabha,
  5. Puruṣottama,
  6. Atipuruṣa,
  7. Mahādeva,
  8. Marut,
  9. Maruprabha,
  10. Yaśasvān.

White in complexion, these gods have very bright faces, especially beautiful hands and legs, and are adorned with various ornaments and marks of sandal paste.

Source: Google Books: Jaina Iconography

Kimpuruṣa (किम्पुरुष) refers to the “sex-obsessed” class of “peripatetic celestial beings” (vyantara), itself a category of devas (celestial beings), according to the 2nd-century Tattvārthasūtra 4.10. Who are the lords amongst the sex-obsessed (kimpuruṣa) class of peripatetic (forest) celestial beings? Satpuruṣa and Mahāpuruṣa are the two lords in the class ‘sex-obsessed’ peripatetic celestial beings.

Source: Encyclopedia of Jainism: Tattvartha Sutra 4: The celestial beings (deva)
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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

Kimpurusha in Marathi glossary... « previous · [K] · next »

kimpuruṣa (किंपुरुष).—m (S) A celestial chorister or musician. 2 Applied contemptuously, signifying A light, insignificant, worthless fellow. (Lit. kiṃ What or who? puruṣa Man?)

Source: DDSA: The Molesworth Marathi and English Dictionary
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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

Kimpurusha in Sanskrit glossary... « previous · [K] · next »

Kimpuruṣa (किम्पुरुष).—an inferior man, Bhāg.11.14.6.

Derivable forms: kimpuruṣaḥ (किम्पुरुषः).

Kimpuruṣa is a Sanskrit compound consisting of the terms kim and puruṣa (पुरुष).

Source: DDSA: The practical Sanskrit-English dictionary
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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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Relevant definitions

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