Madanamala, Madanamālā: 3 definitions



Madanamala 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.

In Hinduism

Purana and Itihasa (epic history)

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

Madanamālā (मदनमाला).—A celebrated prostitute of the city of Pratiṣṭhāna. Narasiṃha, King of Pratiṣṭhāna, did not surrender himself to Vikramāditya, emperor of Pāṭalīputra. The resourceful Vikramāditya went to Pratiṣṭhāna and caught hold of the prostitute Madanamālā first and then through her subdued the King Narasiṃha. After that Vikramāditya took Madanamālā to his place and made her stay there. (Taraṅga 4, Ratnaprabhālambaka, Kathāsaritsāgara).

Purana book cover
context information

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)

[«previous next»] — Madanamala in Kavya glossary
Source: Wisdom Library: Kathāsaritsāgara

Madanamālā (मदनमाला) is the name of a courtesan from Pratiṣṭhāna, according to the Kathāsaritsāgara, chapter 38. Accordingly, “there [at Pratiṣṭhāna] he entered the splendid mansion of a beautiful courtesan named Madanamālā, that resembled the palace of a king. It seemed to invite him with the silk of its banners, hoisted on the pinnacles of high ramparts, the points of which waved to and fro in the soft breeze.”.

The story of Madanamālā was narrated by Marubhūti in order to demonstrate that “women are generally fickle, but not always, for even courtesans are seen to be rich in good qualities, much more others”, in other words, that “even courtesans are occasionally of noble character and as faithful to kings as their own wives, much more than matrons of high birth”.

The Kathāsaritsāgara (‘ocean of streams of story’), mentioning Madanamālā, 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.

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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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Languages of India and abroad

Sanskrit dictionary

[«previous next»] — Madanamala in Sanskrit glossary
Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: Monier-Williams Sanskrit-English Dictionary

Madanamālā (मदनमाला):—[=madana-mālā] [from madana > mad] ([Kathāsaritsāgara]) f. Name of two women.

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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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