Mriga, aka: Mṛga, Mṛgā; 17 Definition(s)


Mriga means something in Buddhism, Pali, Hinduism, Sanskrit, 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.

The Sanskrit terms Mṛga and Mṛgā can be transliterated into English as Mrga or Mriga, using the IAST transliteration scheme (?).

In Hinduism

Shilpashastra (iconography)

Mṛga (मृग, “Deer”).—The deer symbolises gentleness as well as attentiveness — whatever its doing the deer is always mindful of predators. This is indicative of the way we should live in the world — practicing ahimsa and being mindful of the impermanence and transitory nature of all created phenomena.

Source: Red Zambala: Hindu Icons and Symbols | Introduction

Mṛga (मृग, “deer”) 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, Mṛga.

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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Vastushastra (architecture)

Mṛga (मृग):—The Sanskrit name for a classification of a ‘temple’, according to the 2nd century Matsyapurāṇa and the Viśvakarmaprakāśa, both featuring a list of 20 temple types. In the Viśvakarmaprakāśa, the name for this temple category is Mṛgarāja. This list represents the classification of temples in South-India.

Source: Wisdom Library: Vāstu-śāstra
Vastushastra book cover
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Vastushastra (वास्तुशास्त्र, vāstuśāstra) refers to the ancient Indian science (shastra) of architecture (vastu), dealing with topics such architecture, sculpture, town-building, fort building and various other constructions. Vastu also deals with the philosophy of the architectural relation with the cosmic universe.

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Mṛga (मृग) refers to “beasts” and represents a type of Ādhibhautika pain, according to the Viṣṇu-purāṇa 6.5.1-6. Accordingly, “the wise man having investigated the three kinds of worldly pain, or mental and bodily affliction and the like, and having acquired true wisdom, and detachment from human objects, obtains final dissolution.”

Ādhibhautika and its subdivisions (eg., mṛga) represents one of the three types of worldly pain (the other two being ādhyātmika and ādhidaivika) and correspond to three kinds of affliction described in the Sāṃkhyakārikā.

The Viṣṇupurāṇa is one of the eighteen Mahāpurāṇas which, according to tradition was composed of over 23,000 metrical verses dating from at least the 1st-millennium BCE. There are six chapters (aṃśas) containing typical puranic literature but the contents primarily revolve around Viṣṇu and his avatars.

Source: Wisdom Library: Viṣṇu-purāṇa

1a) Mṛga (मृग).—One of the ten horses of the moon's chariot;1 a riding vehicle of a śakti.2

  • 1) Brahmāṇḍa-purāṇa II. 23. 57; Vāyu-purāṇa 52. 53.
  • 2) Brahmāṇḍa-purāṇa IV. 29. 41.

1b) A daughter of Abhramu the elephant, the vehicle of Agni; mother of 8 sons.*

  • * Brahmāṇḍa-purāṇa III. 7. 330-32. Vāyu-purāṇa 69. 214, 216.

1c) A Bhārgava gotrakāra.*

  • * Matsya-purāṇa 195. 20.

1d) To be worshipped before house and palace building.*

  • * Matsya-purāṇa 253. 25; 268. 14.

1e) (mṛgarāja)—a palace with candraśālā and six bhūmikas; the toraṇa is of 12 hastas.*

  • * Matsya-purāṇa 269. 40, 50.

1f) The son of Mṛgā and Uśīnara: also the capital of the Yaudheyas.*

  • * Vāyu-purāṇa 99. 20-1.

2) Mṛgā (मृगा).—One of the wives of Uśīnara.*

  • * Vāyu-purāṇa 99. 19.
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)

Mṛga (मृग).—Description of a women of deer (mṛga) type;—A woman who has a small abdomen, flat nose, thin shanks is fond of forest, has large red eyes, is fickle, has the habit of quickly going, susceptible to fright in day time, is timid, fond of songs and instrumental music, and intercourse, irascible in temper, unsteady in her efforts, is said to have the nature of a deer (mṛga).

Source: Natya Shastra
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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Samkhya (school of philosophy)

Mṛga (मृग) refers to “wild animals” such as the lion, tiger or deer, and represents a division of the animal world (tairyaksarga) according to the Sāṃkhyakārikā. The tairyaksarga is one of the three types of elemental creation, also known as bhautikasarga.

The Sāṃkhyakārikā by Iśvarakṛṣṇa is the earliest extant text of the Sāṃkhya school of philosophy and dates from the 4th century CE. It contains 72 Sanskrit verses and contents include epistemology and the theory of causation.

Source: Wisdom Library: Sāṃkhya philosophy
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Samkhya (सांख्य, Sāṃkhya) is a dualistic school of Hindu philosophy (astika) and is closeley related to the Yoga school. Samkhya philosophy accepts three pramanas (‘proofs’) only as valid means of gaining knowledge. Another important concept is their theory of evolution, revolving around prakriti (matter) and purusha (consciousness).

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Shaktism (Shakta philosophy)

Mṛga (मृग) refers to one of the 53 gods to be worshipped in the southern quarter and given pāyasa (rice boiled in milk) according to the Vāstuyāga rite in Śaktism (cf. Śāradātilaka-tantra III-V). The worship of these 53 gods happens after assigning them to one of the 64 compartment while constructing a Balimaṇḍapa. Vāstu is the name of a prodigious demon, who was killed by 53 gods (eg., Mṛga).

Source: Wisdom Library: Śāktism
Shaktism book cover
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Shakta (शाक्त, śākta) or Shaktism (śāktism) represents a tradition of Hinduism where the Goddess (Devi) is revered and worshipped. Shakta literature includes a range of scriptures, including various Agamas and Tantras, although its roots may be traced back to the Vedas.

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Jyotisha (astronomy and astrology)

Mṛga (मृग).—Sign Capricorn. Note: Mṛga is a Sanskrit technical term used in ancient Indian sciences such as Astronomy, Mathematics and Geometry.

Source: Wikibooks (hi): Sanskrit Technical Terms
Jyotisha book cover
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Jyotiṣa (ज्योतिष, jyotisha or jyotish) basically refers to ‘astronomy’ or “Vedic astrology” and represents one of the six additional sciences to be studied along with the Vedas. Jyotiṣa concerns itself with the study and prediction of the movements of celestial bodies, in order to calculate the auspicious time for rituals and ceremonies.

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Itihasa (narrative history)

Mṛga (मृग) is a name mentioned in the Mahābhārata (cf. I.60.7) and represents one of the many proper names used for people and places. Note: The Mahābhārata (mentioning Mṛga) 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
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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)

Mṛga (मृग)—Sanskrit word meaning “animal”.

Source: Wisdom Library: Hinduism

In Buddhism

Mahayana (major branch of Buddhism)

Mṛga (मृग, “deer”) represents an incarnation destination of the tiryaggati (animal realm) according to the “world of transmigration” section in the 2nd century Mahāprajñāpāramitāśāstra (chapter XXVII).—The Bodhisattva sees the animals (tiryak) undergoing all the torments: they are made to gallop by blows of the whip or stick; they are made to make long journeys carrying burdens; their harness is damaged; they are branded with hot iron. People who, in their former lives, have trussed them up, whipped them or been guilty of crimes of this kind, assume the animal form of an elephant (haja), a horse (aśva), a cow (go), a sheep (eḍaka) or a deer (mṛga).

Source: Wisdom Library: Maha Prajnaparamita Sastra
Mahayana book cover
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Mahayana (महायान, mahāyāna) is a major branch of Buddhism focusing on the path of a Bodhisattva (spiritual aspirants/ enlightened beings). Extant literature is vast and primarely composed in the Sanskrit language. There are many sūtras of which some of the earliest are the various Prajñāpāramitā sūtras.

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India history and geogprahy

Mṛgā (मृगा) is the name of a river mentioned in the Nīlamatapurāṇa that remains unidentified.

Source: Nilamata Purana: a cultural and literary study (history)

Mṛga.—(CII 1), a deer; an animal in general. Note: mṛga is defined in the “Indian epigraphical glossary” as it can be found on ancient inscriptions commonly written in Sanskrit, Prakrit or Dravidian languages.

Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: Indian Epigraphical Glossary
India history book cover
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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

mṛga (मृग).—m (S) A deer, an antelope. 2 The fifth nakṣatra or lunar mansion: also the rain that falls under it. Pr. mṛgācē adhīṃ pērāvēṃ āṇi bōmbēcē adhīṃ paḷāvēṃ. 3 S A beast or quadruped in general.

Source: DDSA: The Molesworth Marathi and English Dictionary

mṛga (मृग).—m A deer. The fifth nakṣatra. A beast.

Source: DDSA: The Aryabhusan school dictionary, Marathi-English
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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

Mṛga (मृग).—[mṛg-ka]

1) (a) A quadruped, an animal in general; नाभिषेको न संस्कारः सिंहस्य क्रियते मृगैः । विक्रमार्जित- राज्यस्य स्वयमेव मृगेन्द्रता (nābhiṣeko na saṃskāraḥ siṃhasya kriyate mṛgaiḥ | vikramārjita- rājyasya svayameva mṛgendratā); see मृगाधिप (mṛgādhipa) below. (b) A wild beast.

2) A deer, an antelope; विश्वासोपगमादभिन्नगतयः शब्दं सहन्ते मृगाः (viśvāsopagamādabhinnagatayaḥ śabdaṃ sahante mṛgāḥ) Ś.1.14; R.1.4,5; आश्रममृगोऽयं न हन्तव्यः (āśramamṛgo'yaṃ na hantavyaḥ) Ś.1.

3) Game in general.

4) The spots on the moon represented as an antelope.

5) Musk.

6) Seeking, search.

7) Pursuit, chase, hunting.

8) Inquiry, investigation.

9) Asking, soliciting.

1) A kind of elephant; Name of the third caste of elephants; Mātaṅga L.1.26.29; 'भद्रा मन्द्रा मृगाश्चेति विज्ञेयास्त्रिविधा गजाः । क्रमेण हिमवद्विन्ध्यसह्यजाः (bhadrā mandrā mṛgāśceti vijñeyāstrividhā gajāḥ | krameṇa himavadvindhyasahyajāḥ) |' com. on Rām.1.6.25.

11) Name of a particular class of men; मृगे तुष्टा च चित्रिणी (mṛge tuṣṭā ca citriṇī); वदति मधुरवाणीं दीर्घनेत्राऽतिभीरुश्चपलमतिसुदेहः शीघ्रवेगो मृगोऽयम् (vadati madhuravāṇīṃ dīrghanetrā'tibhīruścapalamatisudehaḥ śīghravego mṛgo'yam) Śabdak.

12) The lunar mansion called मृगशिरस् (mṛgaśiras).

13) The lunar month called मार्गशीर्ष (mārgaśīrṣa).

14) The sign Capricornus of the zodiac.

15) Name of a district in Śākadvīpa.

Derivable forms: mṛgaḥ (मृगः).

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

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Mṛgaśīrṣa (मृगशीर्ष).—the constellation मृगशिरस् (mṛgaśiras). -rṣaḥ the lunar month Mārgaśīrṣa....
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Mṛgarāja (मृगराज).—1) a lion; शिलाविभङ्गैर्मृगराजशावस्तुङ्गं नगोत्सङ्ग- मिवारुरोह (śilāvibhaṅga...
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Mṛgamātṛkā (मृगमातृका).—a doe. Mṛgamātṛkā is a Sanskrit compound consisting of the terms mṛga a...
Īhāmṛga (ईहामृग).—[īhāpradhāno mṛgaḥ] 1) a wolf; सुकृतेहामृगाकीर्णम् (sukṛtehāmṛgākīrṇam) Rām.2...
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Mṛganābhi (मृगनाभि).—1) musk; प्रस्थं हिमाद्रेर्मृगनाभिगन्धि (prasthaṃ himādrermṛganābhigandhi)...
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Mṛgajala (मृगजल).—mirage. °स्नानम् (snānam) bathing in the waters of the mirage; i. e. an impos...
Krīḍāmṛga (क्रीडामृग).—a toy-deer; विक्रीडितो यथैवाहं क्रीडामृग इवाधमः (vikrīḍito yathaivāhaṃ k...
Parṇamṛga (पर्णमृग).—any wild animal living in the boughs of trees (as a monkey, squirrel, &c.)...
The festival of Mriga-yatra is the hunting expedition mentioned in all the agamas. The festi...

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