Makaradamshtra, Makaradaṃṣṭrā: 2 definitions

Introduction

Makaradamshtra 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.

The Sanskrit term Makaradaṃṣṭrā can be transliterated into English as Makaradamstra or Makaradamshtra, using the IAST transliteration scheme (?).

In Hinduism

Kavya (poetry)

[«previous (M) next»] — Makaradamshtra in Kavya glossary
Source: Wisdom Library: Kathāsaritsāgara

Makaradaṃṣṭrā (मकरदंष्ट्रा) is the mother of Rūpiṇikā: a courtesan from the city named Mathurā (birth-place of Kṛṣṇa), according to the Kathāsaritsāgara, chapter 12. Her name can also be speleld as Makaradanṣṭrā. Their story is told by Vasantaka, who was disguised as a deformed Brāhman, to princess Vāsavadattā. Vasantaka, together with Yaugandharāyaṇa, was on a secret mission to rescue the captured king Udayana.

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

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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Purana and Itihasa (epic history)

[«previous (M) next»] — Makaradamshtra in Purana glossary
Source: archive.org: Puranic Encyclopedia

Makaradaṃṣṭrā (मकरदंष्ट्रा).—A prostitute of Mathurā, the birth place of Śrī Kṛṣṇa. The story of this woman who had made prostitution and cheating her aim in life was told to Vāsavadattā wife of Udayana by Vasantaka. The curbing of the arrogance of Makaradaṃṣṭrā by a poor brahmin of name Lohajaṅgha with the help of Vibhīṣaṇa, emperor of the demons, is the theme of the story.

Makaradaṃṣṭrā had a daughter named Rūpiṇikā. The mother tried to make the daughter also a prostitute. Once Rūpiṇikā went to a far-off temple for worship as instructed by her mother. There she met a poor brahmin named Lohajaṅgha and Rūpiṇikā was attracted to him by his handsome features. She sent word through her maid requesting Lohajaṅgha to come to her house. Rūpiṇikā came back and waited for her lover to come. After some time Lohajaṅgha came. Makaradaṃṣṭrā scrutinised the new-comer with suspicion but Rūpiṇikā took him to her bed-room. Both of them remained there making love. Makaradaṃṣṭrā finding her daughter going against the principles of a prostitute called her to her side and said: "Dear daughter, why do you keep this poor brahmin? Is this the duty of a prostitute? Love and prostitution never go together. We are like dusk. The twilight of love remains for a few seconds only. So do send away this brahmin who has no money." (See full article at Story of Makaradaṃṣṭrā from the Puranic encyclopaedia by Vettam Mani)

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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