Kimpurusha, Kimpuruṣa, Kim-purusha, Kiṃpuruṣa, Kimpurushaparvata: 23 definitions


Kimpurusha means something in Hinduism, Sanskrit, Jainism, Prakrit, the history of ancient India, 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)

[«previous next»] — Kimpurusha in Shaivism glossary
Source: Wisdom Library: Śaivism

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 (e.g., 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.

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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Purana and Itihasa (epic history)

[«previous next»] — Kimpurusha in Purana glossary
Source: Puranic Encyclopedia

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: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: The Purana Index

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: JatLand: List of Mahabharata people and places

Kiṃpuruṣa (किंपुरुष) is a name mentioned in the Mahābhārata (cf. I.60.7) and represents one of the many proper names used for people and places. Note: The Mahābhārata (mentioning Kiṃpuruṣa) 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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General definition (in Hinduism)

[«previous next»] — Kimpurusha in Hinduism glossary
Source: Digital Library of India: The Etymology of Kim-Puruṣa

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: WikiPedia: Hinduism

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).

In Jainism

General definition (in Jainism)

[«previous next»] — Kimpurusha in Jainism glossary
Source: Wisdom Library: Jainism

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: Google Books: Jaina Iconography

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: The Jaina Iconography

Kiṃpuruṣa (किंपुरुष) or Garuḍa is the name of the Yakṣa accompanying Śāntinātha: the sixteenth of twenty-four Tīrthaṃkaras or Jinas, commonly depicted in Jaina iconography.—The cognizance which separates the image of Śāntinātha from those of other Tīrthaṃkaras is a deer. The Yakṣa and Yakṣiṇī attendants escorting him are respectively named as Kiṃpuruṣa and Mahāmānasī (Śvetāmbara: Garuḍa and Nirvāṇī). Rājā Puruṣadatta stands for his Chowri-bearer. The tree under which he attained the Kevala knowledge is Nandi Vṛkṣa.

Source: Trisastisalakapurusacaritra

Kimpuruṣa (किम्पुरुष) and Kinnara are the two Indras (i.e., lords or kings) of the Kinnaras who came to the peak of Meru for partaking in the birth-ceremonies of Ṛṣabha, according to chapter 1.2 [ādīśvara-caritra] of Hemacandra’s 11th century Triṣaṣṭiśalākāpuruṣacaritra: an ancient Sanskrit epic poem narrating the history and legends of sixty-three illustrious persons in Jainism.

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

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.

General definition book cover
context information

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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India history and geography

Source: Singhi Jain Series: Ratnaprabha-suri’s Kuvalayamala-katha (history)

Kiṃpuruṣa (किंपुरुष) refers to one of the deities being worshiped in ancient India, as vividly depicted in the Kathās (narrative poems) such as Uddyotanasūri in his 8th-century Kuvalayamālā (a Prakrit Campū, similar to Kāvya poetry).—The Kuvalayamala (779 A.D.) is full of cultural material which gains in value because of the firm date of its composition. [...] Page 256.31-2 ff.: Here is a mixed list of 25 gods and Godlings of all religions. These were worshipped and propitiated to obtain favours. The list includes [e.g., Kiṃpuruṣa] [...].

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The history of India traces the identification of countries, villages, towns and other regions of India, as well as mythology, zoology, royal dynasties, rulers, tribes, local festivities and traditions and regional languages. Ancient India enjoyed religious freedom and encourages the path of Dharma, a concept common to Buddhism, Hinduism, and Jainism.

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Languages of India and abroad

Marathi-English dictionary

[«previous next»] — Kimpurusha in Marathi glossary
Source: DDSA: The Molesworth Marathi and English Dictionary

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?)

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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 dictionary

[«previous next»] — Kimpurusha in Sanskrit glossary
Source: DDSA: The practical Sanskrit-English dictionary

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

Derivable forms: kimpuruṣaḥ (किम्पुरुषः).

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

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

Kiṃpuruṣa (किंपुरुष).—[, Mahāvastu i.23.2, or °ṣaka, i.20.6; Senart reads °ṣakānāṃ (all mss. dental n!) in 20.6, °ṣāṇāṃ (but mss. again end in -kānāṃ!) in 23.2, assuming meaning monkey; but only by violent em. of mss., which, combining the two passages, point rather to something like tampuruka or tamb°; in any case, monkey is implausible in meaning, since reference seems to be made to animals living in holes; see s.v. gutti. I cannot solve this word.]

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

Kimpūruṣa (किम्पूरुष).—n.

(-ṣaṃ) The division of the world, called by this name: see kimpuruṣa.

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

Kiṃpuruṣa (किंपुरुष).—[masculine] a class of mythical beings, imp, dwarf (cf. kiṃnara).

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Kiṃpuruṣa (किंपुरुष).—[masculine] a class of mythical beings, imp, dwarf (cf. kiṃnara).

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

1) Kimpuruṣa (किम्पुरुष):—[=kim-puruṣa] -puruṣa [Śatapatha-brāhmaṇa i] or -puruṣa [Śatapatha-brāhmaṇa vii], m. ‘what sort of a man?’ a mongrel being (according to the Brāhmaṇas an evil being similar to man; perhaps originally a kind of monkey cf. [Bhāgavata-purāṇa xi, 16, 29]; in later times the word is usually identified with kiṃ-nara, though sometimes applied to other beings in which the figure of a man and that of an animal are combined; these beings are supposed to live on Hema-kūṭa and are regarded as the attendants of Kubera; with Jains the Kimpuruṣas, like the Kiṃnaras, belong to the Vyantaras)

2) [v.s. ...] Name of one of the nine sons of Āgnīdhra (having the Varṣa Kimpuruṣa as his hereditary portion), [Viṣṇu-purāṇa]

3) [v.s. ...] a division of the earth (one of the nine Khaṇḍas or portions into which the earth is divided, and described as the country between the Himācala and Hema-kūṭa mountains, also called kimpuruṣa-varṣa, [Kādambarī]), [Viṣṇu-purāṇa; Bhāgavata-purāṇa; Matsya-purāṇa] etc.

4) Kimpūruṣa (किम्पूरुष):—[=kim-pūruṣa] m. ‘what sort of a man?’ (probably) a low and despicable man, [Vājasaneyi-saṃhitā xxx, 16]

5) [v.s. ...] a mongrel being (= -puruṣa), [Bhāgavata-purāṇa] etc.

6) [v.s. ...] n. Name of the Kimpuruṣa-varṣa, [cf. Lexicographers, esp. such as amarasiṃha, halāyudha, hemacandra, etc.]

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

1) Kimpuruṣa (किम्पुरुष):—(ṣaḥ) 1. m. A heavenly musician; a division of the universe. a. A contemptible man.

2) Kimpūruṣa (किम्पूरुष):—(ṣaḥ) 1. m. Vide kimpuruṣa.

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

Kiṃpuruṣa (किंपुरुष) in the Sanskrit language is related to the Prakrit word: Kiṃpurisa.

[Sanskrit to German]

Kimpurusha 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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Kannada-English dictionary

[«previous next»] — Kimpurusha in Kannada glossary
Source: Alar: Kannada-English corpus

Kiṃpuruṣa (ಕಿಂಪುರುಷ):—[noun] a category of mythical beings in human form with horseś heads.

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Kiṃpuruṣaparvata (ಕಿಂಪುರುಷಪರ್ವತ):—[noun] the range of Hēmakūṭa maountain where Kimpuruṣas are believed to be inhabitted.

context information

Kannada is a Dravidian language (as opposed to the Indo-European language family) mainly spoken in the southwestern region of India.

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