Matsya, aka: Mātsya; 18 Definition(s)


Matsya means something in Hinduism, Sanskrit, Jainism, Prakrit, 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.

In Hinduism


Matsya in Purana glossary... « previous · [M] · next »

Matsya (मत्स्य):—One of the sons of Uparicara Vasu (son of Kṛtī, who was the son of Cyavana). (see Bhāgavata Purāṇa 9.22.6)

Source: Wisdom Library: Bhagavata Purana

A Matsya stone is of the shape of a long lotus and has marks of lines at the mouth.

Source: The Garuda puranam

1) Matsya (मत्स्य).—The first and foremost incarnation of Mahāviṣṇu. (See under Avatāra).

2) Matsya (मत्स्य).—An ancient country of Purāṇic fame. The people of this country are called Matsyas. The details available regarding Matsyadeśa from the Mahābhārata are given below:

2) The Pāṇḍavas wandering through the forests came to Matsyadeśa. (Śloka 2, Chapter 155, Ādi Parva).

2) The people of Matsyadeśa in fear of Jarāsandha migrated from the north to the south. (Śloka 28, Chapter 14, Sabhā Parva).

2) Bhīmasena during his victory march to the east conquered this country. (Śloka 8, Chapter 30, Sabhā Parva).

2) Sahadeva during his victory march to the south conquered the people of Matsyadeśa. (Śloka 4, Chapter 31, Sabhā Parva).

2) Matsyadeśa was one of the countries suggested by Arjuna to spend their life incognito. (Śloka 12, Chapter 1, Virāṭa Parva).

2) Virāṭa was the chief of Matsyadeśa during the time of Mahābhārata. (Śloka 17, Chapter 1, Virāṭa Parva).

2) In the Kurukṣetra battle Virāṭa, King of Matsyadeśa, came to the help of Yudhiṣṭhira with an Akṣauhiṇī (army). (Śloka 12, Chapter 18, Udyoga Parva).

2) The Pāṇḍavas spent a year of their life incognito at the palace of Virāṭa, king of Matsyadeśa. (Chapter 7, Virāṭa Parva).

2) Matsyarājya was one of the prominent kingdoms of ancient Bhārata. (Śloka 40, Chapter 9, Bhīṣma Parva).

2) Bhīṣma slaughtered many soldiers from Matsyadeśa.

2) Droṇācārya killed at a stretch five hundred Matsyas in the great battle. (Śloka 31 Chapter 190, Droṇa Parva).

2) Karṇa once conquered Matsyadeśa. (Śloka 18, Chapter 8, Karṇa Parva).

2) The people of Matsyadeśa were honest and charitable. (Chapter 45, Śloka 28, Karṇa Parva).

2) Those who were left out among the Matsyas in the great battle were killed by Aśvatthāmā. (Śloka 158, Chapter 8, Sauptika Parva).

3) Matsya (मत्स्य).—A King. He was the brother of Satyavatī, mother of Vyāsa. Satyavatī and Matsya were both found in a fish by the same fisherman. (See under Adri.)

Source: Puranic Encyclopaedia

1a) Matsya (मत्स्य).——(c)—in the Madhyadeśa, on the way from Dvārakā to Hastināpura;1 visited by Vidura;2 king of, vanquished by Kṛṣṇa.3

  • 1) Bhāgavata-purāṇa I. 10. 34; X. 71. 22; Brahmāṇḍa-purāṇa II. 16. 41; 18. 51; Matsya-purāṇa 121. 50.
  • 2) Bhāgavata-purāṇa III. 1. 24.
  • 3) Ib. II. 7. 35.

1b) An avatār of Viṣṇu;1 once during a Pralaya an Asura, Hayagrīva, carried off the Vedas when Hari took the form of a fish with one horn and fell into the palm of the Draviḍa king Satyavrata, performing ablutions; finding that it outgrew the size of his palm he took it to a pond; it outgrew the size of the pond when it was taken to a lake; it was also too small to hold it; hence after many trials it was taken to the sea; addressed by the king the fish revealed to him his true form and warned him of the Pralaya coming in a week and prepared him to get into a boat to be sent by him and have it tied to its horn; the deluge came and Satyavrata did as was directed; when they were all floating on the sea, Matsya Hari narrated to him the matsya purāṇa; after the deluge Matsya killed the demon, Hayagrīva and recovered the Vedas; through his blessings Satyavrata became Vaivasvata Manu;2 appeared to Vaivasvata Manu during deluge; protected Manu and others;3 the form of Viṣṇu worshipped in Ramyaka.4

  • 1) Bhāgavata-purāṇa I. 15. 35; X. 2. 40; XI. 4. 18; Brahmāṇḍa-purāṇa III. 7. 433; 22. 66; 57. 61; IV. 4. 22; 29. 136; Matsya-purāṇa 260. 39; 285. 6; 290. 23; Viṣṇu-purāṇa I. 4. 8.
  • 2) Bhāgavata-purāṇa VIII. ch. 24 (whole).
  • 3) Ib. II. 7. 12; XI. 4. 18; Matsya-purāṇa 22. 92.
  • 4) Bhāgavata-purāṇa V. 18. 24.

1c) A Vasu; a son of Uparicara and a Cedipa.*

  • * Bhāgavata-purāṇa IX. 22. 6; Matsya-purāṇa 50. 28.

1d) Gift of a silver one during the ceremonial relating to the digging of tanks.*

  • * Matsya-purāṇa 58. 19.

1e) The image of.*

  • * Matsya-purāṇa 259. 2.

1f) The disciple of Śākalya.*

  • * Vāyu-purāṇa 60. 64.

1g) Also matsya purāṇa; a mahā purāṇa consisting of 14000 ślokas,1 styled as Purāṇa Samhita with details of Sānkhya, Yoga and Karma narrated by Matsya Hari to king Satyavrata during the deluge.2

  • 1) Viṣṇu-purāṇa III. 6. 23; Bhāgavata-purāṇa XII. 7. 24; 13. 8.
  • 2) Ib. VIII. 24. 54-5.

1h) A trible; country of the;1 placed on the East of the Gomanta hill by Jarāsandha;2 enlisted by Jarāsandha against the Yadus;3 followed Bhīma in his conquests;4 rose against Śiśupāla;5 heard of Kṛṣṇa going to Mithilā and met him with presents;6 their king was Virāṭa;7 he went to Syamantapañcaka for the solar eclipse.8

  • 1) Matsya-purāṇa 114. 35.
  • 2) Bhāgavata-purāṇa X. 52. 11[7].
  • 3) Ib. X. 52. 50 (V) 2.
  • 4) Ib. X. 72. 13.
  • 5) Ib. X. 74. 41.
  • 6) Ib. X. 86. 20.
  • 7) Ib. X. 52. 11[7].
  • 8) Ib. X. 82. 13.

2a) Mātsya (मात्स्य).—A son of Vasu.*

  • * Viṣṇu-purāṇa IV. 19. 81.

2b) A tribe.*

  • * Vāyu-purāṇa 47. 48.
Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: The Purana Index
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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Natyashastra (theatrics and dramaturgy)

1) One of the saṃyutta-hastāni (Twenty-four combined Hands).—Matsya (fish): Patāka hands face downwards, the thumbs and little fingers extended. Usage: fish.

Note: The palm of one hand on the back of the other, the fingers along the fingers, and the two little fingers and thumbs moved to and fro.

2) One of the Daśāvatāra (Hands of the Ten Avatars of Vishnu).—Matsya: the Matsya hand is shown, then both hands Tripatāka level at the shoulders.

Source: The mirror of gesture (abhinaya-darpana)

Matsya (मत्स्य).—Description of a women of fish (matsya) type;—A woman who has long, large and high breasts, is fickle and without any twinkle in her eyes, has many servants and offsprings, is fond of water, is said to have the nature of a fish (matsya or mīna).

Source: Natya Shastra
Natyashastra book cover
context information

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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Ayurveda (science of life)

Matsya (मत्स्य) is a Sanskrit word referring to the animal “fish”. The meat of this animal is part of the māṃsavarga (‘group of flesh’), which is used throughout Āyurvedic literature. The animal Matsya is part of the sub-group named Vāriśaya, refering to animals “living in waters”. It was classified by Caraka in his Carakasaṃhitā sūtrasthāna (chapter 27), a classical Āyurvedic work. Caraka defined such groups (vargas) based on the dietic properties of the substance.

The meat of fish (matsya) is heavy, hot, sweet, tonic, bulk-promoting, vāta-alleviating, unctuous, aphrodisiac and has plenty of demerits. Among them, Rohita, because of eating algae and grass and also avoidance of sleep, is appetiser, laghupāka (light in digestion) and strength-promoting.

Source: Wisdom Library: Āyurveda and botany
Ayurveda book cover
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Āyurveda (आयुर्वेद, ayurveda) is a branch of Indian science dealing with medicine, herbalism, taxology, anatomy, surgery, alchemy and related topics. Traditional practice of Āyurveda in ancient India dates back to at least the first millenium BC. Literature is commonly written in Sanskrit using various poetic metres.

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Shilpashastra (iconography)

Matsya (मत्स्य) refers to one of the many varieties of the Śālagrāma (ammonite fossil stones).—The Matsya is long and lotus-bud-shaped; golden-hued; line at the opening; three spots (bindu-traya). Śālagrāma stones are very ancient geological specimens, rendered rounded and smooth by water-currents in a great length of time. They (eg., Matsya stones) are distinguished by the ammonite (śālā, described as “vajra-kīṭa”, “adamantine worms”) which having entered into them for residence, are fossilized in course of time, leaving discus-like marks inside the stone.

Source: Pratima Kosa Encyclopedia of Indian Iconography - Vol 6

Matsya (मत्स्य, “fish”) refers to one of the several “attributes” (āyudha) or “accessories” of a detiy commonly seen depicted in Hindu iconography, defined according to texts dealing with śilpa (arts and crafs), known as śilpaśāstras.—The śilpa texts have classified the various accessories under the broad heading of āyudha or karuvi (implement), including even flowers, animals, and musical instruments. The representations of certain animals and birds are generally found in the hands of images. They are, for example, Matsya.

Source: Shodhganga: The significance of the mūla-beras (śilpa)
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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Chandas (prosody, study of Sanskrit metres)

Matsya (मत्स्य) refers to one of the 23 types of dohā metres (a part of mātrā type) described in the 1st chapter of the Vṛttamauktika by Candraśekhara (17th century): author of many metrical compositions and the son of Lakṣmīnātha Bhaṭṭa and Lopāmudrā.

Source: Shodhganga: a concise history of Sanskrit Chanda literature
Chandas book cover
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Chandas (छन्दस्) refers to Sanskrit prosody and represents one of the six Vedangas (auxiliary disciplines belonging to the study of the Vedas). The science of prosody (chandas-shastra) focusses on the study of the poetic meters such as the commonly known twenty-six metres mentioned by Pingalas.

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Itihasa (narrative history)

Matsya (मत्स्य) is a name mentioned in the Mahābhārata (cf. I.144.2) and represents one of the many proper names used for people and places. Note: The Mahābhārata (mentioning Matsya) is a Sanskrit epic poem consisting of 100,000 ślokas (metrical verses) and is over 2000 years old.

Source: JatLand: List of Mahabharata people and places
context information

Itihasa (इतिहास, itihāsa) refers to ‘epic history’ and represents a branch of Sanskrit literature which popularly includes 1) the eighteen major Puranas, 2) the Mahabharata and 3) the Ramayana. It is a branch of Vedic Hinduism categorised as smriti literature (‘that which is remembered’) as opposed to shruti literature (‘that which is transmitted verbally’).

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General definition (in Hinduism)

Matsya (मत्स्य, “fish”) is a Sanskrit word referring to one of the ten incarnations of Viṣṇu. This incarnation appeared in the satyayuga. Viṣṇu is the name of a major Hindu deity and forms part of the trinity of supreme divinity (trimūrti) together with Brahmā and Śiva. They are seen as the cosmic personifications of creation (brahmā), maintenance (viṣṇu), and destruction (śiva).

Source: Wisdom Library: Hinduism

Avatar of Viṣnu. Matsya, the fish, from the Satya Yuga. Lord Vishnu takes the form of a fish to save Manu from apocalypse, after which he takes his boat to the new world along with one of every species of plant and animal, gathered in a massive cyclone.

Source: WikiPedia: Hinduism

In Jainism

General definition (in Jainism)

Matsya (मत्स्य) or “fish” (prakrit: maccha) was an important food of a large section of the people. The canonical texts, however, highly condemn the killing of fishes and other living creatures and lay down that one should not kill any creature himself nor should induce others to do so, nor consent to such act of others. Similar restrictions have been placed on its consumption.

Source: Economic Life In Ancient India (as depicted in Jain canonical literature)
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Jainism is an Indian religion of Dharma whose doctrine revolves around harmlessness (ahimsa) towards every living being. The two major branches (Digambara and Svetambara) of Jainism stimulate self-control (or, shramana, ‘self-reliance’) and spiritual development through a path of peace for the soul to progess to the ultimate goal.

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India history and geogprahy

Matsya (मत्स्य) refers to one of the sixteen Mahājanapadas of the Majjhimadesa (Middle Country) of ancient India, as recorded in the Pāli Buddhist texts (detailing the geography of ancient India as it was known in to Early Buddhism).—The Matsya country comprises the modern territory of Jaipur; it included the whole of the present territory of Alwar with a portion of Bharatpur. From the Aṅguttara Nikāya we know that the Matsya country was included in the traditional list of the sixteen Mahājanapadas. The country of the Matsyas lay to the south or south west of Indraprastha and to the south of Sūrasena. The capital of the Matsya country was Virāṭanagara or Vairat, so called because it was the capital of Virāṭa, King of the Matsyas.

The Janavasabha Suttanta tells us of the Matsyas or Macchas in connection with the account of the Buddha’s stay at Nādika. In the Vidhura Paṇḍita Jātaka we read that the Macchas witnessed the dice-play of the King of the Kurus with the Yakkha Puṇṇaka.

Source: Ancient Buddhist Texts: Geography of Early Buddhism
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The history of India traces the identification of countries, villages, towns and other regions of India, as well as royal dynasties, rulers, tribes, local festivities and traditions and regional languages. Ancient India enjoyed religious freedom and encourages the path of Dharma, a concept common to Buddhism, Hinduism, and Jainism.

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Languages of India and abroad

Marathi-English dictionary

matsya (मत्स्य).—m (S) A fish. 2 fig. The ellipsis formed by the intersection of two circles. 3 A figure formed by the lines on the palm or sole; supposed to betoken good fortune. 4 A mole (on the body &c.)

Source: DDSA: The Molesworth Marathi and English Dictionary

matsya (मत्स्य).—m A fish. matsyāvatāra m The first of the ten incarnations of viṣṇu.

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

Matsya (मत्स्य).—[mad-syan; Uṇ.4.2]

1) A fish; शूले मत्स्यानिवापक्ष्यन् दुर्बलान् बलवत्तराः (śūle matsyānivāpakṣyan durbalān balavattarāḥ) Ms.7.2.

2) A particular variety of fish.

3) A king of the Matsyas.

-tsyau (dual) The sign Pisces of the zodiac.

-tsyāḥ (pl.) Name of a country and its inhabitants, the country of Virāṭa q. v.; Ms. 2.19.

Derivable forms: matsyaḥ (मत्स्यः).

--- OR ---

Mātsya (मात्स्य).—a. Relating to or coming from fish; यदर्थमदधाद्रूपं मात्स्यं लोकजुगुप्सितम् (yadarthamadadhādrūpaṃ mātsyaṃ lokajugupsitam) Bhāg.8.24.2.

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 4469 related definition(s) that might help you understand this better. Below you will find the 15 most relevant articles:

Matsyāśana (मत्स्याशन).—1) a king-fisher. 2) one who eats fish. Derivable forms: matsyāśanaḥ (म...
Matsyāvatāra (मत्स्यावतार) refers to one of the various Vibhava manifestations according to the...
Matsyapurāṇa (मत्स्यपुराण).—One of the eighteen Purāṇas. This Purāṇa was told to Manu Satyavrat...
Matsyodarī (मत्स्योदरी).—Another name for Satyavatī, mother of Vyāsa. (See under Satyavatī).
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Matsyapittā (मत्स्यपित्ता).—Helleborus Niger (Mar. kedārakuṭakī). Matsyapittā is a Sanskrit com...
Matsyākṣī (मत्स्याक्षी).—Name of a kind of Soma plant. Matsyākṣī is a Sanskrit compound consist...
Matsyarāja (मत्स्यराज).—1) the Rohita fish. 2) Name of Virāṭa. Derivable forms: matsyarājaḥ (मत...
Matsyamāṃsa (मत्स्यमांस).—fish-flesh; द्वौ मासौ मत्स्यमांसेन (dvau māsau matsyamāṃsena) Ms.3.26...
Matsyabandha (मत्स्यबन्ध).—m. a fisherman; कदाचित्तं जलस्थायं मत्स्यबन्धाः समन्ततः (kadācittaṃ ...
Dhruvamatsya (ध्रुवमत्स्य):—The Dhruva-matsya is a constellation of twelve stars. Of t...
Pākamatsya (पाकमत्स्य)—Sanskrit word for a fish. This animal is from the group called ...
Matsyatirtha is one of the places visited by Chaitanya during his pilgrimage in Southern India ...
Gomatsya (गोमत्स्य)—Sanskrit word for a fish. This animal is from the group called Nād...
Kṛṣṇamatsya (कृष्णमत्स्य)—Sanskrit word for a fish (lit: “black-fish”). This animal is...

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