Mridanga, aka: Mṛdaṅga; 9 Definition(s)


Mridanga means something in Hinduism, Sanskrit, 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 term Mṛdaṅga can be transliterated into English as Mrdanga or Mridanga, using the IAST transliteration scheme (?).

In Hinduism

Purana and Itihasa (epic history)

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

Mṛdaṅga (मृदङ्ग): a Musical Instrument.—It is not mentioned in the Ṛgveda. The Jātakas mention Mūtiṅgā probably the same as Mṛdaṅga. But Kauṭilya knows it well. The Rāmāyaṇa mentions Mṛdaṅga as also the Mahābhārata. In later literature we find the origin of this instrument atributed to Brahmā made to serve as an accompaniment to the dance of Śiva in honour of his victory over the three cities and that Gaṇeśa first played upon it.

The Vāyu-purāṇa associates this instrument with the Kurus who used it in their sports for entertainment. The information occurs not in the genealogical accounts but in the chapters on geography. Of the late story of its origin the Vāyu knows nothing. The Rāmāyaṇa tells us that it was also used in war but there is no such reference in the Vāyu.

Source: Google Books: Cultural History from the Vāyu Purāna

Mṛdaṅga (मृदङ्ग).—A musical instrument.*

  • * Vāyu-purāṇa 45. 40.
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)

Mṛdaṅga (मृदङ्ग) refers to one of the major types of drums (puṣkara) according to the Nāṭyaśāstra chapter 33. Accordingly, “When the playing of Mṛdaṅgas follow a performance, it is Anuvādya. When the Mṛdaṅgas are played simultaneously with a performance, it is Samavādita”. Mṛdaṅga is a kind of earthen drum still in use in Bengal among the singers of Vaiṣṇava kīrtana.

According to verse 33.242-244.—“Three are the shapes of mṛdaṅgas. In shape they are like myrobalan, barley and cow’s tail. The mṛdaṅga and the āṅkika should be three tālas and a half long, and their face should be twelve fingers in diametre”.

And according to verse 33.272-274, “Mṛdaṅgas are so called because of being made of mṛt (earth)”

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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Shaivism (Shaiva philosophy)

Mridanga in Shaivism glossary... « previous · [M] · next »

Mṛdaṅga (मृदङ्ग) refers to one of the ten kinds of sounds (śabda) according to the Haṃsa-upaniṣad.

Source: The Yoga of the Mālinīvijayottaratantra
Shaivism book cover
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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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Shilpashastra (iconography)

Mṛdaṅga refers to a type of “drum”, representing 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 musical instruments held in the hands of deities are, for example, Mṛdaṅga.

Source: Shodhganga: The significance of the mūla-beras (śilpa)
Shilpashastra book cover
context information

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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General definition (in Hinduism)

Mridanga in Hinduism glossary... « previous · [M] · next »

Mṛdaṅga (मृदङ्ग).—A two-headed clay drum used for kīrtana performances and congregational chanting.

Source: ISKCON Press: Glossary

Languages of India and abroad

Marathi-English dictionary

Mridanga in Marathi glossary... « previous · [M] · next »

mṛdaṅga (मृदंग).—m (S) A sort of tabor. Pr. mṛdaṅgāsa māra dōhōkaḍūna.

Source: DDSA: The Molesworth Marathi and English Dictionary

mṛdaṅga (मृदंग).—m A sort of tabor.

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

Mridanga in Sanskrit glossary... « previous · [M] · next »

Mṛdaṅga (मृदङ्ग).—[mṛd-aṅgac kiñca]

1) A kind of drum or tabor; वीणावेणुमृदङ्गानि पुरं प्रविशति प्रभौ (vīṇāveṇumṛdaṅgāni puraṃ praviśati prabhau) Bhāg.1.5.38.

2) A bamboo-cane.

3) Noise.

Derivable forms: mṛdaṅgaḥ (मृदङ्गः).

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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