Kusha, aka: Kusa, Kuśa, Kuśā; 17 Definition(s)


Kusha 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.

The Sanskrit terms Kuśa and Kuśā can be transliterated into English as Kusa or Kusha, using the IAST transliteration scheme (?).

In Hinduism

Shaivism (Shaiva philosophy)

Kuśa (कुश) refers to one of the seven continents (saptadvīpa) situated within the world of the earth (pṛthivī), according to Parākhyatantra 5.61. It is also known as Kuśadvīpa. 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 Parākhya-tantra, “beyond that is the continent Kuśa, where Brahmā grasped Kuśa grass and began the marriage of Śiva with oblations. Beyond that is the ocean of curds, where the creator, for the sake of satisfying the whole universe, in a sacrifice (kratu) gave this large quantity of curds”.

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

Source: Wisdom Library: Śaivism
Shaivism book cover
context information

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)

1) Kuśa (कुश):—Son of Rāma (Rāma was an incarnation of Vāsudeva in the form of a son of Daśaratha, who was a son of Aja). He had a son named Atithi. (see Bhāgavata Purāṇa 9.12.1)

2) Kuśa (कुश):—Son of Ajaka (son of Balāka). He had four sons, named Kuśāmbu, Tanaya, Vasu and Kuśanābha. (see Bhāgavata Purāṇa 9.15.4)

3) Kuśa (कुश):—Son of Suhotra (son of Kṣatravṛddha). He had a son named Prati. (see Bhāgavata Purāṇa 9.17.1-3)

Source: Wisdom Library: Bhagavata Purana

Kuśa (कुश).—One of the three sons of Jyotiṣmān, who was a son of Priyavrata, according to the Varāhapurāṇa chapter 74. Priyavrata was a son 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

1a) Kuśa (कुश).—A son of Rāma, born in Vālmikī's āśrama and brought up by the sage. Father of Atithi.1 Ruled over Kosala kingdom from its capital Kuśasthalī.2

  • 1) Bhāgavata-purāṇa IX. 11. 11; 12. 1; Matsya-purāṇa 12-51; Viṣṇu-purāṇa 4. 104-5.
  • 2) Brahmāṇḍa-purāṇa III. 63. 198; Viṣṇu-purāṇa 88. 198-9.

1b) A son of Ajaka; father of four sons, Kuśāmbu and others.*

  • * Bhāgavata-purāṇa IX. 15. 4.

1c) A son of Suhotra and father of Prati.*

  • * Bhāgavata-purāṇa IX. 17. 3, 16.

1d) A son of Vidarbha.*

  • * Bhāgavata-purāṇa 24. 1.

1e) The son of Balākāśva. Father of Kauśāmba and three other sons.*

  • * Brahmāṇḍa-purāṇa III. 66. 31-2; Viṣṇu-purāṇa IV. 7. 8.

1f) A son of Caidyoparicara (Vidyoparicaravā p.).*

  • * Matsya-purāṇa 50. 27; Vāyu-purāṇa 99. 202.

1g) A son of Gaya and father of four sons, all versed in the Vedas.*

  • * Vāyu-purāṇa 91. 61-2.

1h) (kuśadvīpa, kumudadvīpam?)—thrice the Suroda in size surrounded by Ghṛtoḍa (sea of Ghee) (milk ocean-m.p.). Its name comes from a shining divine cluster of grass in it. Its king was a son of Priyavrata, Hīraṇyaretas, who divided it among his seven sons. Here Agni is worshipped.1 Jyotiṣmat, its first king divided it among his seven sons. Their names, and the names of hills and rivers described.2 A tīrtha sacred to Kuśodakā3 in the neighbourhood of Jambūdvīpa;4 of different villages and the residence of Kumuda the wily sister of Mahādeva.5

  • 1) Bhāgavata-purāṇa V. 1. 32; 20. 13-17; Matsya-purāṇa 122. 49; Vāyu-purāṇa 33. 12; 49. 47-58.
  • 2) Brahmāṇḍa-purāṇa II. 14. 12-30; 19. 52-64.
  • 3) Matsya-purāṇa 13. 50.
  • 4) Vāyu-purāṇa 48. 14. 34.
  • 5) Ib. 48. 34-35.

2a) Kuśā (कुशा).—A tribe.*

  • * Brahmāṇḍa-purāṇa III. 74. 268; Matsya-purāṇa 273. 73.

2b) A son of Aśoka: ruled for eight years.*

  • * Brahmāṇḍa-purāṇa III. 74. 146.
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.

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Natyashastra (theatrics and dramaturgy)

Kuśa (कुश) is the name of a sage who was in the company of Bharata when he recited the Nāṭyaveda them, according to the Nāṭyaśāstra chapter 35. Accordingly, they asked the following questions, “O the best Brahmin (lit. the bull of the twice-born), tell us about the character of the god who appears in the Preliminaries (pūrvaraṅga). Why is the sound [of musical instruments] applied there? What purpose does it serve when applied? What god is pleased with this, and what does he do on being pleased? Why does the Director being himself clean, perform ablution again on the stage? How, O sir, the drama has come (lit. dropped) down to the earth from heaven? Why have your descendants come to be known as Śūdras?”.

Source: Wisdom Library: Nāṭya-śāstra
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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Katha (narrative stories)

Kuśa (कुश) is the name of a person created out of kuśa grass by sage Vālmīki, according to in the Kathāsaritsāgara, chapter 51. Accordingly, “... the hermit made a pure babe of kuśa grass, resembling Lava, and placed him there; and Sītā came, and seeing it, said to the hermit: ‘I have my own boy, so whence came this one, hermit?’ When the hermit Vālmīki heard this, he told her exactly what had taken place, and said: ‘Blameless one, receive this second son, named Kuśa, because I by my power created him out of kuśa grass’. When he said this to her, Sītā brought up those two sons, Kuśa and Lava, for whom Vālmīki performed the sacraments. And those two young princes of the Kṣatriya race, even when children, learned the use of all heavenly weapons and all sciences from the hermit Vālmīki”.

The story of Kuśa was narrated by the Vidyādharī Kāñcanaprabhā to Naravāhanadatta while in a Svayambhū temple of Śiva, in order to demonstrate that “people who possess firmness endure for a long time mutual separation to which no termination is assigned”, in other words, that “heroic souls endure separation for so long a time”.

The Kathāsaritsāgara (‘ocean of streams of story’), mentioning Kuśa, is a famous Sanskrit epic story revolving around prince Naravāhanadatta and his quest to become the emperor of the vidyādharas (celestial beings). The work is said to have been an adaptation of Guṇāḍhya’s Bṛhatkathā consisting of 100,000 verses, which in turn is part of a larger work containing 700,000 verses.

Source: Wisdom Library: Kathāsaritsāgara
Katha book cover
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Katha (कथा, kathā) refers to narrative Sanskrit literature often inspired from epic legendry (itihasa) and poetry (mahākāvya). Some Kathas reflect socio-political instructions for the King while others remind the reader of important historical event and exploits of the Gods, Heroes and Sages.

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General definition (in Hinduism)

Kusha (कुश): Kusha and his twin brother Lava are the children of the Hindu God Rama and his wifeSita, whose story is told in the Ramayana

Source: WikiPedia: Hinduism

Kuśa (कुश).—An auspicious grass used in Vedic rituals and sacrifices.

Source: ISKCON Press: Glossary

In Buddhism

Theravada (major branch of Buddhism)

The Bodhisatta, son of Okkaka, king of Kusavati and of his queen Silavati. Okkaka has no heir, in spite of performing various rites. But at length, by the favour of Sakka, Silavati miraculously gives birth to two sons. The elder, though ill favoured, is supernaturally wise and is called Kusa. The younger, very handsome, is called Jayampati. Kusa consents to marry only on condition that a princess can be obtained exactly like an image which he himself has fashioned. Pabhavati, daughter of King Madda of Sagala, is found to fulfil this condition, and is married to Kusa. The bride is not to look upon her husbands face until she has conceived, but Kusa plays various pranks upon her and she accidentally discovers how ugly he is. She leaves him immediately and returns to her fathers court. Thither Kusa follows her, and under a variety of menial disguises, including that of a cook, tries, but in vain, to win her affection. At length Sakka intervenes. He sends letters, purporting to come from King Madda, to seven kings, offering Pabhavati to each of them. They arrive in Sagala simultaneously and threaten to destroy the city. Madda decides to cut Pabhavati into seven pieces, and she is only saved from immediate death by the despised husband. At his appearance the kings flee, for wherever he looks the earth trembles. Kusa returns with his wife to Kusavati and they live there happily.

Pleased at Kusas victory, Sakka gives him a jewel called the Verocanamani. It was octagonal, and was evidently handed down in the succession of kings, for we are told that one of the tests, set by Videha, king of Mithila, to discover the proficiency of Mahosadha, was for him to break the old thread in this gem, remove it, and insert a new one. (J.vi.340; according to SA.i.115 and DA.iii.266, the jewel was also in the possession of Pasenadi; but see the Mahasara Jataka, where no mention is made of Kusa).

Reference is made elsewhere (E.g., MT.552) to a talavanta (fan?) possessed by Kusa, in which could be seen the forms of all things in the world. He also possessed the Kokanadavina (q.v.) given by Sakka to Silavati.

Kusa is called Sihassara, and his shout, when he appeared before the seven kings, announcing his name, was one of the four shouts heard throughout Jambudipa (SNA.i.223; SA.i.248).

The Dipavamsa (iii.40) speaks of Kusa and Mahakusa, both descended from Mahasammata.

Source: Pali Kanon: Pali Proper Names
context information

Theravāda is a major branch of Buddhism having the the Pali canon (tipitaka) as their canonical literature, which includes the vinaya-pitaka (monastic rules), the sutta-pitaka (Buddhist sermons) and the abhidhamma-pitaka (philosophy and psychology).

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Languages of India and abroad

Pali-English dictionary

Kusha in Pali glossary... « previous · [K] · next »

kusa : (m.) a kind of fragrant grass; citronella; a lot.

Source: BuddhaSasana: Concise Pali-English Dictionary

Kusa, 1. the kusa grass (Poa cynosuroides) DhA. III, 484: tikhiṇadhāraṃ tiṇaṃ antamaso tālapaṇṇam pi; Dh. 311; J. I, 190 (=tiṇa); IV, 140.—2. a blade of grass used as a mark or a lot: pātite kuse “when the lot has been cast” Vin. I, 299; kusaṃ saṅkāmetvā “having passed the lot on” Vin. III, 58.

—agga the point of a blade of grass PvA. 254=DA. I, 164; Sdhp. 349; kusaggena bhuñjati or pivati to eat or drink only (as little as) with a blade of grass Dh. 70; VvA. 73 (cp. Udānavarga p. 105);—kaṇṭhaka=prec. Pv III, 228;—cīra a garment of grass Vin. I, 305=D. I, 167 =A. I, 240, 295=II. 206=Pug. 55;—pāta the casting of a kusa lot Vin. I, 285;—muṭṭhi a handful of grass A. V, 234= 249. (Page 223)

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.

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Marathi-English dictionary

kuśa (कुश).—m n (S) Sacrificial grass, Poa cynosuroides.

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kusā (कुसा).—m A hand-implement for turning up of clods,--a pole with an iron blade or head: also the iron-member of this implement.

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kusā (कुसा).—m The womb &c. See kusavā.

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kūsa (कूस).—f sometimes kūśa f (kukṣi S) A side of the body; a hypochondre, or (in pop. understanding) a lateral chamber of the belly. Ex. kuśī or kuśīsa hōṇēṃ To turn on a side; to turn half round. gā- yīcyā dōnahī (or cārahī) kuśī bharalyā The cow has eaten a bellyfull. 2 fig. Room or capacity (for lying, cheating, fraudulent statement, illicit picking &c.); room or place for. Ex. mōjaṇī jhālyā- muḷēṃ śētānta kūsa rāhilī nāhīṃ; cillarakharca kaccā lihi- lyāmuḷēṃ cillarānta kūsa rāhilī nāhīṃ; hyā bhāṇḍyālā kūsa āhē This vessel has some (unsuspected) cavity (to hold more than would be supposed). The above is the prevailing and the dearly cherished acceptation of the word, yet is it sometimes used to express Room or vacancy gen. Ex. pōṭabhara khāllēṃ pāṇī pyāyālā kūsa ṭhēvilī nāhīṃ. Further, the word signifies such room filled up; such opportunity or occasion improved; i. e. False accounting perpetrated; as overcharge on monies expended; understatement of monies or goods received; undue gain gen. in managing for another. Again, it expresses Inaccuracy or inexactness of measurement, or of a quantity stated, or of an account rendered--slight excess or slight deficiency--without necessary implication of fraud. 3 Afterbirth (of cattle). kuśī f pl bharaṇēṃ To fill up one's flanks with stuffing. Pr. māñjara karī ēkādaśī undīra mārūna bharī kuśī 'Tis as if a cat &c. Your fastings are but for your fuller feeding and reveling. See Is. lviii. 3.

Source: DDSA: The Molesworth Marathi and English Dictionary

kuśa (कुश).—m n Sacrificial grass.

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kusā (कुसा).—m The womb. Used only in praising or dispraising the womb of a female with reference to the offspring of it. Ex. icā kusavā cāṅgalā.

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kūsa (कूस).—f A side of the body. kuśīsa hōṇēṃ To turn on one's side. Fig. Room or capa- city (for lying, cheating, fraudulent statement, illicit picking).

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.

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Sanskrit-English dictionary

Kuśa (कुश).—a.

1) Wicked, vile, depraved.

2) Mad.

-śaḥ 1 A kind of grass considered holy and forming an essential requisite of several religious ceremonies; पवित्रार्थे इमे कुशाः (pavitrārthe ime kuśāḥ) Śrāddha Mantra; कुशपूतं प्रवयास्तु विष्टरम् (kuśapūtaṃ pravayāstu viṣṭaram) R.8.18, 1.49,95.

2) Name of the elder son of Rāma. [He was one of the twin sons of Rāma, born after Sītā had been ruthlessly abandoned in the forest; yet he was the elder of the two in point of first seeing the light of this world. He, with Lava was brought up by the sage Vālmīki, and the two boys were taught to repeat the Rāmāyaṇa, the epic of the poet. Kuśa was made by Rāma king of Kuśāvatī, and he lived there for some time after his father's death. But the presiding deity of the old capital Ayodhyā presented herself to him in his dream and besought him not to slight her. Kuśa then returned to Ayodhya; see R.16.3-42.]

3) A rope of Kuśa grass for connecting the yoke of a plough with the pole.

4) One of the great Dvīpas; Bhāg.5.1.32.

-śā 1 A plank for covering anything.

2) A piece of wood.

3) A horse's bridle.

-śī A sort of ladle.

2) Wrought iron.

3) Ploughshare.

4) A pod of cotton.

5) A piece of Udumbara wood used for counting the number of Sāmans in a Stotra; औदुम्बरे स्त्रियाम् । छन्दोगस्तोत्रगणनाशङ्कासु (audumbare striyām | chandogastotragaṇanāśaṅkāsu) ...... Nm.

-śam Water; as in कुशेशय (kuśeśaya) q. v. ह्रदश्च कुशवानेष यत्र पद्मं कुशेशयम् (hradaśca kuśavāneṣa yatra padmaṃ kuśeśayam) Mb.3.13.18.

Derivable forms: kuśaḥ (कुशः).

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Kuśā (कुशा).—

1) A rope.

2) A bridle.

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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Relevant definitions

Search found 235 related definition(s) that might help you understand this better. Below you will find the 15 most relevant articles:

Kuśadvīpa (कुशद्वीप).—One of the seven islands. Kuśa island is rich in pearls. (Bhīṣma Parva, C...
Kuśasthala (कुशस्थल) is a name mentioned in the Mahābhārata (cf. V.31.19 ) and represents one ...
1) Kuśadhvaja (कुशध्वज).—A brahmin, son of Bṛhaspati. Penniless and poor, the brahmin once soug...
Kuśāsana (कुशासन).—a seat or mat of Kuśa grass; अक्षमालापवृत्तिज्ञा कुशासनपरिग्रहा । शांभवीव तन...
Kuśacīrā (कुशचीरा).—A river the water of which Indians of ancient days used to drink. (Bhīṣma P...
Kuśāgra (कुशाग्र).—the sharp point of a blade of the Kuśa grass; hence often used in comp. in t...
Kuśākara (कुशाकर).—the sacrificial fire. Derivable forms: kuśākaraḥ (कुशाकरः).Kuśākara is a San...
Kusa, 1. the kusa grass (Poa cynosuroides) DhA. III, 484: tikhiṇadhāraṃ tiṇaṃ antamaso tālapaṇṇ...
Kuśodaka (कुशोदक).—water in which Kuśa grass has been infused; Ms.11.212. Derivable forms: kuśo...
Kuśadhārā (कुशधारा).—A river the water from which Indians used to drink. (Bhīṣma Parva, Chapter...
Kuśamuṣṭi (कुशमुष्टि).—f. a handful of Kuśa grass कुशमुष्टिमुपादाय लवं चैव तु स द्विजः (kuśamuṣ...
Kuśāṅgulī (कुशाङ्गुली).—a ring of Kuśa grass worn at religious ceremonies. Kuśāṅgulī is a Sansk...
Hrasvakuśa (ह्रस्वकुश).—the short or white Kuśa grass. Derivable forms: hrasvakuśaḥ (ह्रस्वकुशः...
Vahati Kusa
vāhatī kūsa (वाहती कूस).—f (vāhaṇēṃ & kūsa from kukṣi) A term for a womb that has begun to bear...
Kuśākṣa (कुशाक्ष).—a monkey. Derivable forms: kuśākṣaḥ (कुशाक्षः).Kuśākṣa is a Sanskrit compoun...

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