Kurma, Kūrma: 22 definitions

Introduction

Kurma means something in Buddhism, Pali, Hinduism, Sanskrit, 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.

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In Hinduism

Natyashastra (theatrics and dramaturgy)

Source: archive.org: The mirror of gesture (abhinaya-darpana)

1) One of the saṃyutta-hastāni (Twenty-four combined Hands).—Kūrma (tortoise): the ends of the fingers of the Cakra hand arebent, except the thumbs and little fingers. Usage: tortoise.

2) One of the Daśāvatāra (Hands of the Ten Avatars of Vishnu).—Kūrma: the Kūrma hand is shown, then both hands Tripatāka level at the shoulders.

Natyashastra book cover
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Natyashastra (नाट्यशास्त्र, nāṭyaśāstra) refers to both the ancient Indian tradition (śāstra) of performing arts, (nāṭya, e.g., theatrics, drama, dance, music), as well as the name of a Sanskrit work dealing with these subjects. It also teaches the rules for composing dramatic plays (nataka) and poetic works (kavya).

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Ayurveda (science of life)

Source: Wisdom Library: Āyurveda and botany

Kūrma (कूर्म) is a Sanskrit word referring to the animal “tortoise”. The meat of this animal is part of the māṃsavarga (‘group of flesh’), which is used throughout Ayurvedic literature. The animal Kūrma is part of the sub-group named Vāriśaya, refering to animals “living in waters”. It was classified by Caraka in his Carakasaṃhitā sūtrasthāna (chapter 27), a classical Ayurvedic work. Caraka defined such groups (vargas) based on the dietic properties of the substance.

The meat of the tortoise (kūrma) is useful for complexion, alleviates vāta, is aphrodisiac, promotes vision and strength, is conducive to intellect and memory, wholesome and destroys phthisis.

Source: archive.org: Sushruta samhita, Volume I

Kūrma (कूर्म)—Sanskrit word for an animal “tortoise”. This animal is from the group called Pādin (‘those which have feet’). Pādin itself is a sub-group of the group of animals known as Ānupa (those that frequent marshy places).

The flesh of animals of the Kurma orders is sweet in taste and digestion, cooling in its potency, demulcent, and beneficial to stool and the Pittam. It destroys the deranged Vāyu and produces Kapham.

Source: Shodhganga: Dietetics and culinary art in ancient and medieval India

Kūrma (कूर्म) refers to the “tortoise”, the meat of which is mentioned in a list of potential causes for indigestion in the 17th century Bhojanakutūhala (dravyaguṇāguṇa-kathana), and is commonly found in literature dealing with the topics of dietetics and culinary art, also known as Pākaśāstra or Pākakalā.—A complete section in Bhojanakutūhala is devoted for the description of agents that cause indigestion [viz., meat of kola-kūrma (meat of boar and tortoise)]. These agents consumed on a large scale can cause indigestion for certain people. The remedies [viz., yāvakṣāra] for these types of indigestions are also explained therewith.

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

Kūrma (कूर्म) refers to a type of temple (prāsāda) classified under the group named Kailāśa, according to Samarāṅgaṇasūtradhāra chapter 49. The Kailāśa group contains ten out of a sixty-four total prāsādas (temples) classified under five prime vimānas (aerial car/palace), which were created by Brahmā for as many gods (including himself). This group represents temples (eg. Kūrma) that are to be globular shaped. The prāsādas, or ‘temples’, represent the dwelling place of God and are to be built in towns. The Samarāṅgaṇasūtradhāra is an 11th-century encyclopedia dealing with various topics from the Vāstuśāstra.

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: archive.org: Puranic Encyclopedia

1) Kūrma (कूर्म).—A prominent serpent, son of Kadrū. (Ādi Parva, Chapter 65, Verse 41).

2) Kūrma (कूर्म).—(Turtle). The second incarnation of Mahāviṣnu. (See under Avatāras).

Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: The Purana Index

Kūrma (कूर्म).—An avatār of Hari in the Pātālam.1 In this form He is worshipped in Hiraṇmaya. By His help the churning of the ocean was possible. Also kūrma-kacchapa.2 Icon of.3

  • 1) Bhāgavata-purāṇa II. 7. 13; Matsya-purāṇa 249. 16, 20; Viṣṇu-purāṇa I. 4. 8.
  • 2) Bhāgavata-purāṇa V. 18. 29; XI. 4. 18: X. 2. 40.
  • 3) Matsya-purāṇa 259. 2; 260. 39; 285. 6.
Source: JatLand: List of Mahabharata people and places

Kūrma (कूर्म) is a name mentioned in the Mahābhārata (cf. I.59.40, I.65) and represents one of the many proper names used for people and places. Note: The Mahābhārata (mentioning Kūrma) 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: Shodhganga: A critical appreciation of soddhalas udayasundarikatha

Kūrma (कूर्म).—One of the incarnations of Viṣṇu.—In the Kūrma incarnation, he protected the Vedas.

context information

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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Shilpashastra (iconography)

Source: archive.org: Pratima Kosa Encyclopedia of Indian Iconography - Vol 6

Kūrma (कूर्म) refers to one of the many varieties of the Śālagrāma (ammonite fossil stones).—The Kūrma is greenish hue; round but elevation on top, a line at the bottom; mark of kaustubha; cakra. Śālagrāma stones are very ancient geological specimens, rendered rounded and smooth by water-currents in a great length of time. They (eg., Kūrma stones) are distinguished by the ammonite (śālā, described as “vajra-kīṭa”, “adamantine worms”) which having entered into them for residence, are fossilized in course of time, leaving discus-like marks inside the stone.

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

1) Kūrma (कूर्म, “tortoise”) 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.—The śilpa texts have classified the various accessories under the broad heading of āyudha or karuvi (implement), including even flowers, animals, and musical instruments. The representations of certain animals and birds are generally found in the hands of images. They are, for example, Kūrma.

2) Kūrma (कूर्म, “tortoise”) or Kūrmāvatāra refers to one the “ten incarnations of Lord Viṣṇu”.—The hand gestures for the daśāvatāra in dancing and iconography are similar in some cases and dissimilar in most of the cases. The hasta used in dance for Kūrma-avatāra is kūrma-hasta, held at the level of the shoulders. The image of the god in this form is found with four arms where the upper hands hold a discus and a conch in kartarīmukha-hasta and the lower right and left hands hold abhaya and dola-hasta respectively.

Shilpashastra book cover
context information

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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Pancaratra (worship of Nārāyaṇa)

Source: archive.org: Isvara Samhita Vol 1

Kūrma (कूर्म) refers to one of the various Vibhava manifestations according to the Īśvarasaṃhitā 24.260-261.—Accordingly, “O Lāṅgalin! the Lord of the nature of the tortoise is to be mediated upon like the tortoise. His splendour is like liquified gold in colour. He occupies water through His skill. His four feet are the kalās like Śakti. He is ever-existing. He calmness and other digits abound in Him. He utters the three Vedas”.

These Vibhavas (eg., Kūrma) represent the third of the five-fold manifestation of the Supreme Consciousness the Pāñcarātrins believe in. Note: Kūrma is black according to Viṣṇutantra XV.1-7. Viṣvaksena-saṃhitā XI.40b; golden colour (Padma-saṃhitā Kriya XXII.7b).

Pancaratra book cover
context information

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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General definition (in Hinduism)

Source: Wisdom Library: Hinduism

Kūrma (कूर्म, “tortoise”) is a Sanskrit word referring to one of the ten incarnations of Viṣṇu. This incarnation appeared in the satyayuga. Viṣṇu is the name of a major Hindu deity and forms part of the trinity of supreme divinity (trimūrti) together with Brahmā and Śiva. They are seen as the cosmic personifications of creation (brahmā), maintenance (viṣṇu), and destruction (śiva).

Source: WikiPedia: Hinduism

Avatar of Viṣnu. Kurma, the tortoise, appeared in the Satya Yuga. When the devas and asuras were churning the Ocean of milk in order to get amrita, the nectar of immortality, the mount Mandara they were using as the churning staff started to sink and Lord Vishnu took the form of a tortoise to bear the weight of the mountain.

In Buddhism

Tibetan Buddhism (Vajrayana or tantric Buddhism)

Source: academia.edu: The Structure and Meanings of the Heruka Maṇḍala

Kūrma (कूर्म) is the name of a Vīra (hero) who, together with the Ḍākinī named Kūrmī forms one of the 36 pairs situated in the Jalacakra, according to the 10th century Ḍākārṇava chapter 15. Accordingly, the jalacakra refers to one of the three divisions of the saṃbhoga-puṭa (‘enjoyment layer’), situated in the Herukamaṇḍala. The 36 pairs of Ḍākinīs and Vīras [viz., Kūrma] are white in color; the shapes of their faces are in accordance with their names; they have four arms; they hold a skull bowl, a skull staff, a small drum, and a knife..

Tibetan Buddhism book cover
context information

Tibetan Buddhism includes schools such as Nyingma, Kadampa, Kagyu and Gelug. Their primary canon of literature is divided in two broad categories: The Kangyur, which consists of Buddha’s words, and the Tengyur, which includes commentaries from various sources. Esotericism and tantra techniques (vajrayāna) are collected indepently.

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India history and geogprahy

Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: Indian Epigraphical Glossary

Kūrma.—(EI 14), see madhya-kūrma, ‘a plot of land elevated in the middle.’ Note: kūrma is defined in the “Indian epigraphical glossary” as it can be found on ancient inscriptions commonly written in Sanskrit, Prakrit or Dravidian languages.

India history book cover
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The history of India traces the identification of countries, villages, towns and other regions of India, as well as 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

Source: DDSA: The Molesworth Marathi and English Dictionary

kūrma (कूर्म).—m (S) A tortoise or a turtle. 2 One of the five minor vital airs. See upaprāṇa. 3 A red or dark spot on the eye.

Source: DDSA: The Aryabhusan school dictionary, Marathi-English

kūrma (कूर्म).—m A tortoise.

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

Kūrma (कूर्म).—[kau jale ūrmirvego'sya pṛṣo° Tv.]

1) A tortoise; गूहेत्कूर्म इवाङ्गानि रक्षेद्विवरमात्मनः (gūhetkūrma ivāṅgāni rakṣedvivaramātmanaḥ) Ms.7.15; Bg.2.58; कूर्मः पादोऽत्र यष्टिर्भुजगपतिरसौ भाजनं भूतधात्री (kūrmaḥ pādo'tra yaṣṭirbhujagapatirasau bhājanaṃ bhūtadhātrī) Udb.

2) Viṣṇu in his second or Kūrma incarnation.

3) One of the outer winds of the body.

4) A particular gesticulation with the fingers.

-rmī A female tortoise.

Derivable forms: kūrmaḥ (कूर्मः).

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

Kūrma (कूर्म).—m. 1. A tortoise, [Rāmāyaṇa] 4, 16, 32. 2. One of the five vital airs of the body, [Vedāntasāra, (in my Chrestomathy.)] in Chr. 207, 15. 3. The name of a king of the Nāgas or serpents, Mahābhārata 1, 2549.

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

Kūrma (कूर्म).—[masculine] tortoise ([feminine] kūrmī); one of the winds of the body; [Name] of a serpent-demon & a Ṛṣi.

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

1) Kūrma (कूर्म):—m. a tortoise, turtle, [Vājasaneyi-saṃhitā; Taittirīya-saṃhitā] etc. (ifc. f(ā). , [Mahābhārata iv, 2016])

2) the earth considered as a tortoise swimming on the waters (See -vibhāga)

3) (hence) Name of the fourteenth Adhyāya of [Varāha-mihira’s Bṛhat-saṃhitā; Varāha-mihira’s Yogayātrā ix, 4]

4) a particular figure or intertwining of the fingers (mudrā), [Tantrasāra]

5) one of the outer winds of the body (causing the closing of the eyes), [Vedāntasāra]

6) Name of a deity, [Rasikaramaṇa]

7) of a serpent or Kādraveya king, [Mahābhārata i, 2549]

8) of a Ṛṣi (son of Gṛtsa-mada, author of [Ṛg-veda ii, 27-29]), [Ṛgveda-anukramaṇikā]

9) Viṣṇu’s second incarnation (descent in the form of a tortoise to support the mountain Mandara at the churning of the ocean), [Narasiṃha-purāṇa etc.]

10) (cf. κλέμμυς, χέλυς, χελώνη.)

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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