Mandavisarpini, Mandavisarpiṇī: 3 definitions


Mandavisarpini 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»] — Mandavisarpini in Purana glossary
Source: Puranic Encyclopedia

Mandavisarpiṇī (मन्दविसर्पिणी).—A louse, a character in a story of Pañcatantra. (For details see under Pañcatantra).

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)

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

Mandavisarpiṇī (मन्दविसर्पिणी) is the name of a louse (yūka), according to the Kathāsaritsāgara, chapter 59. Accordingly, “... in the bed of a certain king there long lived undiscovered a louse, that had crept in from somewhere or other, by name Mandavisarpiṇī. And suddenly a flea, named Ṭiṭṭibha, entered that bed, wafted there by the wind from some place or other”.

The story of Mandavisarpiṇī was narrated by Damanaka to Piṅgalaka in order to demonstrate that “if a wicked person is wise enough not to do an injury himself, it will happen by association with him”.

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

Kavya book cover
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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»] — Mandavisarpini in Sanskrit glossary
Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: Monier-Williams Sanskrit-English Dictionary

Mandavisarpiṇī (मन्दविसर्पिणी):—[=manda-visarpiṇī] [from manda-visarpin > manda > mad] f. Name of a louse, [Pañcatantra]

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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