Pancatirtha, aka: Pañcatīrtha, Panca-tirtha; 4 Definition(s)


Pancatirtha 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.

Alternative spellings of this word include Panchatirtha.

In Hinduism

Purana and Itihasa (epic history)

Pancatirtha in Purana glossary... « previous · [P] · next »

Pañcatīrtha (पञ्चतीर्थ).—A holy place. There is a pond at this place. Once a nymph called Vargā with her four companions lived in this pond as crocodiles as a result of a curse. Arjuna came to that pond and rescued them from their curse. From that day onwards the pond came to be known as Pañcatīrtha or Saubhadrakatīrtha (For details see under Vargā and Saubhadraka tīrtha).

Source: Puranic Encyclopaedia

1a) Pañcatīrtha (पञ्चतीर्थ).—The name of a tīrtha in Kāñcī.*

  • * Brahmāṇḍa-purāṇa IV. 40. 60; 71, 115.

1b) In Gayā.*

  • * Vāyu-purāṇa 111. 1, 21.
Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: The Purana Index
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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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Vaishnavism (Vaishava dharma)

Pancatirtha in Vaishnavism glossary... « previous · [P] · next »

Pañcatīrtha (पञ्चतीर्थ) refers to five Śiva temples at Pañca-śivālaya-ghāṭa according to Śrī Navadvīpa-dhāma-māhātmya, parikramā-khaṇḍa 5.106: “O Jīva, see here, at this ghāṭa are five Śiva temples (pañcatīrtha) where five gleaming śiva-liṅgas are splendidly situated”.

Source: Wisdomlib Libary: Vaishnavism
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Vaishnava (वैष्णव, vaiṣṇava) or vaishnavism (vaiṣṇavism) represents a tradition of Hinduism worshipping Vishnu as the supreme Lord. Similar to the Shaktism and Shaivism traditions, Vaishnavism also developed as an individual movement, famous for its exposition of the dashavatara (‘ten avatars of Vishnu’).

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Katha (narrative stories)

Pancatirtha in Katha glossary... « previous · [P] · next »

Pañcatīrtha (पञ्चतीर्थ) or Pañcatīrthī is the name of a sacred bathing-place mentioned in a story narrated by Agniśarman, according to the Kathāsaritsāgara, chapter 33. Accordingly, as Agniśarman narrated to king Śrutasena, “... having gone on a pilgrimage to all the sacred bathing-places, I reached that Pañcatīrtha [Pañcatīrthī], in which five Apsarases were reduced to the condition of crocodiles by the curse of a holy sage, and were rescued from it by Arjuna, who had come there while going round the holy spots. There I bathed in the blessed water, which possesses the power of enabling those men who bathe in it, and fast for five nights, to become followers of Nārāyaṇa”.

The story of Pañcatīrtha and Agniśarman was narrated to Udayana (king of Vatsa) by Yaugandharāyaṇa in order to demonstrate that “matrons cannot endure the interruption of a deep affection” demonstrated by the anecdote that “chaste women, when their beloved is attached to another, or has gone to heaven, become careless about all enjoyments and determined to die, though their intentions are inscrutable on account of the haughtiness of their character”.

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

Source: Wisdom Library: Kathāsaritsāgara
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Katha (कथा, kathā) refers to narrative Sanskrit literature often inspired from epic legendry (itihasa) and poetry (mahākāvya). Some Kathas reflect socio-political instructions for the King while others remind the reader of important historical event and exploits of the Gods, Heroes and Sages.

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Relevant definitions

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