Kumbha; 14 Definition(s)

Introduction

Kumbha means something in Hinduism, Sanskrit, Jainism, Prakrit, Buddhism, Pali, 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

Shilpashastra (iconography)

Kumbha (कुम्भ, ‘pot’) is a weapon (āyudha or bādhra) according to the Vāstusūtra Upaniṣad.

(Source): Google Books: The Theory of Citrasutras in Indian Painting
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.

Vastushastra (architecture)

1) Kumbha (कुम्भ) refers to classification of a temple/buidling (prāsāda), according to Samarāṅgaṇasūtradhāra chapter 63. The temple is mentioned being part of the group named Nāgara, which contains twenty different Prāsādas (temples/buildings). The Samarāṅgaṇasūtradhāra is an 11th-century encyclopedia dealing with various topics from the Vāstuśāstra.

Kumbha is found in another list in the Samarāṅgaṇasūtradhāra, chapter 60, where it is mentioned in a list of thirty-six Prāsādas (temples) having activities of the townsmen entailing Sādhārās.

Kumbha is also listed in the Īśānaśivagurudevapaddhati which features a list of 52 temple types. This list represents the classification of temples in South-India.

Kumbha is also listed in the Matsyapurāṇa which features a list of 20 temple types. This list represents a classification of temples in Nort-India.

2) Kumbha (कुम्भ) refers to “capital”. It is sculptured as a part of the pillar (stambha).

3) Kumbha (कुम्भ) corresponds with the Aquarius zodiac sign and refers to the eleventh of twelve rāśi (zodiacal sign), according to the Mānasāra. Rāśi is one of the three alternative principles, besides the six āyādiṣaḍvarga, used to constitute the “horoscope” of an architectural or iconographic object. Their application is intended to “verify” the measurements of the architectural and iconographic object against the dictates of astrology that lay out the conditions of auspiciousness.

The particular rāśi (eg., kumbha) of all architectural and iconographic objects (settlement, building, image) must be calculated and ascertained. This process is based on the principle of the remainder. An arithmetical formula to be used in each case is stipulated, which engages one of the basic dimensions of the object (breadth, length, or perimeter/circumference). All twelve rāśis, except the eighth (vṛścika) are auspicious.

(Source): Wisdom Library: Vāstu-śāstra

Kumbha (कुम्भ).—One of the components of a kumbhapañjara (a decorative motif);—Kumbha is the pot base, which is generally placed on a pedestal, which may be circular or square and may be ornate or non-ornate. The kumbha is generally globular and some times it is cuboid with its two comers ridged and sides rounded. The body of the pot is often decorated with a fillet, ratnapaṭṭika, puṣpapaṭṭika, vajrapaṭṭika, etc.

(Source): Shodhganga: Temples of Salem region Up to 1336 AD
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.

Purana

Kumbha (कुम्भ) is the name of a mountain situated at lake Aruṇoda and mount Mandara, according to the Varāhapurāṇa chapter 75. The Mandara mountain lies on the eastern side of mount Meru, which is one of the seven mountains located in Jambūdvīpa, ruled over by Āgnīdhra, a grandson of Svāyambhuva Manu, who was created by Brahmā, who was in turn created by Nārāyaṇa, the unknowable all-pervasive primordial being.

(Source): Wisdom Library: Varāha-purāṇa

1) Kumbha (कुम्भ).—One of the three sons of Prahlāda, the other two being Virocana and Nikumbha. (Ādi Parva, Chapter 65, Verse 19).

2) Kumbha (कुम्भ).—Son of Kumbhakarṇa, whose wife Vajrajvālā bore him two sons called Kumbha and Nikumbha. Both of them were very powerful, and Kumbha, in the Rāma-Rāvaṇa war defeated the army of monkeys on various occasions. Many of the ministers of Sugrīva tried to defeat Kumbha. Aṅgada, son of Bāli also could not stand up to him. Then Sugrīva fought against Kumbha and flung him into the sea when the water in it rose up to the level of mount Vindhya. Kumbha came ashore from the sea roaring but was fisted to death by Sugrīva. (Vālmīki Rāmāyaṇa, Yuddha Kāṇḍa, Canto 76).

(Source): archive.org: Puranic Encyclopaedia

1a) Kumbha (कुम्भ).—A Daitya king, originator of the kāpileyas, Daityarākṣasas; by his wife Kapilā;1 killed in the Laṅkā war.2

  • 1) Brahmāṇḍa-purāṇa III. 7. 144-6; Vāyu-purāṇa 69. 176-7.
  • 2) Bhāgavata-purāṇa IX. 10. 18.

1b) A son of Muṇḍīśvara, an avatār of the lord of the 25th dvāpara.*

  • * Vāyu-purāṇa 23. 211.

1c) Helped Soma in the Tārakāmaya war.*

  • * Viṣṇu-purāṇa IV. 6. 14.

1d) A palace in the shape of a pot, with 9 bhūmikas and a toraṇa of 16 hastas.*

  • * Matsya-purāṇa 269. 37-49.

1e) Fit for śrāddha.*

  • * Vāyu-purāṇa 77. 47.

1f) A water vessel, being an adjunct of vratas to be given as gift.*

  • * Matsya-purāṇa 7. 10 and 18.
(Source): Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: The Purana Index
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.

Itihasa (narrative history)

Kumbha (कुम्भ) is a name mentioned in the Mahābhārata (cf. I.59.19, I.65) and represents one of the many proper names used for people and places. Note: The Mahābhārata (mentioning Kumbha) is a Sanskrit epic poem consisting of 100,000 ślokas (metrical verses) and is over 2000 years old.

(Source): JatLand: List of Mahabharata people and places
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Itihasa (इतिहास, itihāsa) refers to ‘epic history’ and represents a branch of Sanskrit literature which popularly includes 1) the eighteen major Puranas, 2) the Mahabharata and 3) the Ramayana. It is a branch of Vedic Hinduism categorised as smriti literature (‘that which is remembered’) as opposed to shruti literature (‘that which is transmitted verbally’).

General definition (in Hinduism)

Kumbha (कुम्भ) is a Sanskrit word referring to a “pitcher”.

(Source): WikiPedia: Hinduism

In Jainism

General definition (in Jainism)

1) Kumbha (कुम्भ) is the father of Mallinātha, the nineteenth of twenty-four Tīrthaṅkaras in Janism, according to the Ācāradinakara (14th century work on Jain conduct written by Vardhamāna Sūri). A Tīrthaṅkara is an enlightened being who has conquered saṃsāra (cycle of birth and death), leaving behind him a path for others to follow.

The wife of Kumbha is Prabhāvatī. It is an ancient Jain practice to worship the Tīrthaṅkara’s parents in various rites, such as the pratiṣṭhāvidhi.

2) Kumbha (कुम्भ).— The kumbhas are a group of celestial beings living in the lower regions of adholoka (lower world) according to Jaina cosmology. Adholoka is made up of seven regions and offers residence to the infernal beings existing within these lands.

(Source): Wisdom Library: Jainism
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.

Languages of India and abroad

Pali-English dictionary

kumbha : (m.) water-pot.

(Source): BuddhaSasana: Concise Pali-English Dictionary

Kumbha, (for etym. s. kūpa and cp. Low Ger. kump or kumme, a round pot) 1. a round jar, waterpot (=kulālabhājana earthenware DhA. I, 317), frequent in similes, either as illustrating fragility or emptiness and fullness: A. I, 130, 131=Pug. 32; A. V, 337; S. II, 83; Miln. 414. As uda° waterpot Dh. 121; J. I, 20; Pv. I, 129.—2. one of the frontal globes of an elephant Vin. II, 195 (hatthissa); VvA. 182 (°ālaṅkārā ornaments for these).

—ûpama resembling a jar, of kāya Dh. 40 (=DhA. I, 317); of var. kinds of puggalā A. II, 104=Pug. 45.—kāra 1. a potter; enumerated with other occupations and trades at D. I, 51=Miln. 331. Vin. IV, 7. In similes, generally referring to his skill D. I, 78=M. II, 18; Vism. 142, 376; Sn. 577; DhA. I, 39 (°sālā). rāja° the king’s potter J. I, 121.—2. a bird (Phasianus gallus? Hardy) VvA. 163.—Cpds. : °antevāsin the potter’s apprentice D. I, 78=M. II, 18;—°nivesana the dwelling of a potter Vin. I, 342, 344; S. III, 119; °pāka the potter’s oven S. II, 83; A. IV, 102; °-putta son of a potter (cp. Dial. I. 100), a potter Vin. III, 41 sq.; —kārikā a large earthen vessel (used as a hut to live in, Bdhgh) Vin. II, 143, cp. Vin. Texts III, 156; —ṭṭhānakathā gossip at the well D. I, 8=D. III, 36=A. V, 128= S. V, 419, expld. at DA. I, 90 by udaka-ṭṭhānakathā, with variant udakatittha-kathā ti pi vuccati kumbha-dāsikathā vā; —thūṇa a sort of drum D. I, 6 (expl. at DA. I, 84: caturassara-ammaṇakatāḷaṃ kumbhasaddan ti pi eke); D. III, 183; J. V, 506 (pāṇissaraṃ+).—°ika one who plays that kind of drum Vin. IV, 285=302; —tthenaka of cora, a thief, “who steals by means of a pot” (i.e. lights his candle under a pot (?) Bdhgh on Vin. II, 256, cp. Vin. Texts III, 325 “robber burglars”) only in simile Vin. II, 256=S. II, 264=A. IV, 278; —dāsī a slave girl who brings the water from the well D. I, 168; Miln. 331; DhA. I, 401 (udakatitthato k° viya ānītā). —dūhana milking into the pitchers, giving a pail of milk (of gāvo, cows) Sn. 309. Cp. kuṇḍi. —bhāramatta as much as a pot can hold J. V, 46; —matta of the size of a pot, in kumbhamattarahassaṅgā mahodarā yakkhā, expln. of kumbhaṇḍā J. III, 147. (Page 221)

(Source): Sutta: The Pali Text Society's Pali-English Dictionary
Pali book cover
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Pali is the language of the Tipiṭaka, which is the sacred canon of Theravāda Buddhism and contains much of the Buddha’s speech. Closeley related to Sanskrit, both languages are used interchangeably between religions.

Marathi-English dictionary

kumbha (कुंभ).—m (S) A water jar or pitcher. 2 The sign Aquarius.

--- OR ---

kumbhā (कुंभा).—m (kumbha S) The name of a bird. 2 A wild tree. Its leaves are thick, and useful for summer-heads, iralēṃ &c., and rope is made from its bark. 3 A low, spreading, milky bush. The flowers are offered to Shiva, and leaves are used medicinally. It is the same with dudhāṇī & śētavaḍa or śētāḍa q. v.

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

kumbha (कुंभ).—m A water-jar. The sign Aquarius.

(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

Kumbha (कुम्भ).—[kuṃ bhūmiṃ kutsitaṃ vā umbhati pūrayati umbh-ac śakaṃ° Tv.]

1) A pitcher, water-pot, jar; इयं सुस्तनी मस्तकन्यस्तकुम्भा (iyaṃ sustanī mastakanyastakumbhā) Jag.; वर्जयेत्तादृशं मित्रं विषकुम्भं पयोमुखम् (varjayettādṛśaṃ mitraṃ viṣakumbhaṃ payomukham) H.1.74; R.2.36; so कुच°, स्तन° (kuca°, stana°).

2) The frontal globe on the forehead of an elephant; इभकुम्भ (ibhakumbha) Māl.5.32; मत्तेभकुम्भदलने भुवि सन्ति शूराः (mattebhakumbhadalane bhuvi santi śūrāḥ) Bh.1.59.

3) Aquarius, the eleventh sign of the zodiac.

4) A measure of grain equal to 2 droṇas; धान्यं दशभ्यः कुम्भेभ्यो हरतोऽभ्यधिकं वधः (dhānyaṃ daśabhyaḥ kumbhebhyo harato'bhyadhikaṃ vadhaḥ) Ms.8.32.

5) (In Yoga phil.) Closing the nostrils and mouth so as to suspend breathing.

6) The paramour of a harlot.

7) An urn in which the bones of dead bodies are collected.

8) A kind of heart-disease.

9) Name of a plant (and also of its fruit); क्वचिद् बिल्वैः क्वचित्कुम्भैः क्वचिच्चा- मलकमुष्टिभिः (kvacid bilvaiḥ kvacitkumbhaiḥ kvaciccā- malakamuṣṭibhiḥ) Bhāg.1.18.14.

-bhā A harlot, a whore.

-bham A fragrant resin (guggula).

Derivable forms: kumbhaḥ (कुम्भः).

(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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