Kurmavatara, Kūrmāvatāra, Kurma-avatara: 7 definitions


Kurmavatara means something in Hinduism, Sanskrit. 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

Purana and Itihasa (epic history)

[«previous next»] — Kurmavatara in Purana glossary
Source: archive.org: Nilamata Purana: a cultural and literary study

Kūrmāvatāra (कूर्मावतार) refers to the “tortoise incarnation” of Viṣṇu and was once depicted and worshipped in ancient Kashmir (Kaśmīra) as mentioned in the Nīlamatapurāṇa.—The Kūrma incarnation is not referred to directly in the Nīlamata. Kūrma occurs as a place-name in the list of the tīrthas dedicated to Viṣṇu and this indicates the recognition of the Kūrma incarnation in Kaśm īra, at that time.

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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Shilpashastra (iconography)

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

Kūrmāvatāra (कूर्मावतार) or Kūrma is one of the daśāvatāra (ten incarnations) of Viṣṇu, is found depicted at the  Kallazhagar Temple in  Madurai, which represents a sacred place for the worship of Viṣṇu.—The god Kūrmāvatāra is represented with the lower part as tortoise’s feet and the upper part in the usual form of the god. The god in this form is found with four arms where the upper hands hold the discus and the conch, and the other two right and left hands are in abhaya and dolā-hasta respectively.

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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Shaktism (Shakta philosophy)

[«previous next»] — Kurmavatara in Shaktism glossary
Source: Google Books: Manthanabhairavatantram

Kūrmāvatāra (कूर्मावतार) refers to the “incarnation called Kūrma”, according to the Manthānabhairavatantra, a vast sprawling work that belongs to a corpus of Tantric texts concerned with the worship of the goddess Kubjikā.—Accordingly, “In the venerable seat of Oṃkāra, the talented Vijayā, who is (the energy) Śānti, pulses radiantly within. During the Kṛta Age (the Siddha) is the tranquil Ananta directly apparent. The one called Khagendra (is the Siddha) in the Tretā Age and (within him) in the sacred seat of Jāla is the Vidyā which is part of the maṇḍala and is impelled by the (most) excellent Void. I bow to Piṅgala who shines with the radiance of the Moon and Sun and is the incarnation (called) Kūrma (kūrmāvatāra)”.

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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Natyashastra (theatrics and dramaturgy)

Source: Shodhganga: Elements of Art and Architecture in the Trtiyakhanda of the Visnudharmottarapurana (natya)

Kūrmāvatāra (कूर्मावतार) refers to one of the Daśāvatāra (“ten incarnations”) (of Lord Viṣṇu) to which are assign various hand gestures (in Indian Dramas), according to the Viṣṇudharmottarapurāṇa, an ancient Sanskrit text which (being encyclopedic in nature) deals with a variety of cultural topics such as arts, architecture, music, grammar and astronomy.—The word kūrma means tortoise. According to the Viṣṇudharmottarapurāṇa, to show the kūrmāvatāra, the patāka hand should be curved downward. But according to the Abhinayadarpaṇa, to show the kūrma-avatāra, the hands should be in cakrahasta. The cakrahasta is made with two ardhacandra hands which are kept across its other. So, to make the hand gesture of Kūrmāvatāra, the dancer should bend the tips of thumb and little fingers in cakrahasta.

Natyashastra book cover
context information

Natyashastra (नाट्यशास्त्र, nāṭyaśāstra) refers to both the ancient Indian tradition (shastra) of performing arts, (natya—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), construction and performance of Theater, and Poetic works (kavya).

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Languages of India and abroad

Sanskrit dictionary

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

Kūrmāvatāra (कूर्मावतार).—the Kūrma incarnation of Viṣṇu; cf. Gītagovinda 1 :-क्षिति- रतिविपुलतरे तव तिष्ठति पृष्ठे धरणिधरणकिणचक्रगरिष्ठे । केशवधृत- कच्छरूप जय जगदीश हरे (kṣiti- rativipulatare tava tiṣṭhati pṛṣṭhe dharaṇidharaṇakiṇacakragariṣṭhe | keśavadhṛta- kaccharūpa jaya jagadīśa hare) ||

Derivable forms: kūrmāvatāraḥ (कूर्मावतारः).

Kūrmāvatāra is a Sanskrit compound consisting of the terms kūrma and avatāra (अवतार).

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

Kūrmāvatāra (कूर्मावतार):—[from kūrma] m. the tortoise incarnation (of Viṣṇu).

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»] — Kurmavatara in Kannada glossary
Source: Alar: Kannada-English corpus

Kūrmāvatāra (ಕೂರ್ಮಾವತಾರ):—[noun] = ಕೂರ್ಮ - [kurma -]3.

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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