Phalgu, Phalgū: 10 definitions


Phalgu 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

Rasashastra (chemistry and alchemy)

Source: Wisdom Library: Rasa-śāstra

Phalgu (फल्गु):—One of the sixty-seven Mahauṣadhi, as per Rasaśāstra texts (rasa literature). These drugs are useful for processing mercury (rasa), such as the alchemical processes known as sūta-bandhana and māraṇa.

Rasashastra book cover
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Rasashastra (रसशास्त्र, rasaśāstra) is an important branch of Ayurveda, specialising in chemical interactions with herbs, metals and minerals. Some texts combine yogic and tantric practices with various alchemical operations. The ultimate goal of Rasashastra is not only to preserve and prolong life, but also to bestow wealth upon humankind.

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Ayurveda (science of life)

Source: Wisdom Library: Āyurveda and botany

Phalgu (फल्गु) is a Sanskrit word referring to tree “Redwood fig tree”, a species of tropical fig tree from the Moraceae (mulberry/fig) family, and is used throughout Āyurvedic literature such as the Caraka-saṃhitā. The official botanical name of the plant is Ficus hispida. The literal translation of Phalgu is “small, minute, insignificant” but can also mean “red, reddish”. It is used in traditional Indian medicine and is sweet, unctuous, refreshing and heavy.

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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Dharmashastra (religious law)

Source: Wisdom Library: Dharma-śāstra

Phalgu (फल्गु) is a Sanskrit word for Ficus hispida (opposite leaved fig tree), identified by various scholars in their translation of the Śukranīti. This tree is mentioned as bearing good fruits. The King should plant such domestic plants in and near villages. He should nourish them by stoole of goats, sheep and cows, water as well as meat.

The following is an ancient Indian recipe for such nourishment of trees:

According to Śukranīti 4.4.105-109: “The trees (such as phalgu) are to be watered in the morning and evening in summer, every alternate day in winter, in the fifth part of the day (i.e., afternoon) in spring, never in the rainy season. If trees have their fruits destroyed, the pouring of cold water after being cooked together with Kulutha, Māṣa (seeds), Mudga (pulse), Yava (barley) and Tila (oil seed) would lead to the growth of flowers and fruits. Growth of trees can be helped by the application of water with which fishes are washed and cleansed.”

Dharmashastra book cover
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Dharmashastra (धर्मशास्त्र, dharmaśāstra) contains the instructions (shastra) regarding religious conduct of livelihood (dharma), ceremonies, jurisprudence (study of law) and more. It is categorized as smriti, an important and authoritative selection of books dealing with the Hindu lifestyle.

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Purana and Itihasa (epic history)

Source: Puranic Encyclopedia

Phalgū (फल्गू).—A holy river. If one visits this place one would get the benefit of doing an Aśvamedha. (Śloka 98, Chapter 84, Vana Parva).

Source: JatLand: List of Mahabharata people and places

Phalgu (फल्गु) refers to the name of a River or Tīrtha (pilgrim’s destination) mentioned in the Mahābhārata (cf. II.82.86, III.85.9). Note: The Mahābhārata (mentioning Phalgu) is a Sanskrit epic poem consisting of 100,000 ślokas (metrical verses) and is over 2000 years old.

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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Languages of India and abroad

Sanskrit-English dictionary

Source: DDSA: The practical Sanskrit-English dictionary

Phalgu (फल्गु).—a. [phal-u guk ca Uṇ.1.18]

1) Pithless, unessential; unsubstantial; सारं ततो ग्राह्यमपास्य फल्गु (sāraṃ tato grāhyamapāsya phalgu) Pt.1.

2) Worthless, useless, unimportant; 'फल्गु तुच्छमसारं च (phalgu tucchamasāraṃ ca)' Yādava.; तरीषु तत्रत्यमफल्गु भाण्डम् (tarīṣu tatratyamaphalgu bhāṇḍam) Śi.3.76.

3) Small, minute; नामरूपविभेदेन फल्ग्व्या च कलया कृताः (nāmarūpavibhedena phalgvyā ca kalayā kṛtāḥ) Bhāg.8.3.22.

4) Vain, unmeaning.

5) Weak, feeble, flimsy; फल्गूनि तत्र महतां जीवो जीवस्य जीवनम् (phalgūni tatra mahatāṃ jīvo jīvasya jīvanam) Bhāg.1.13.47.

6) Untrue.

7) Beautiful, lovely.

-lguḥ f.

1) The spring season.

2) The opposite-leaved fig-tree (Mar. bokhāḍā).

3) Name of a river at Gayā.

4) A red powder of wild ginger (Mar. gulāla) thrown by the Hindus over one another at the Holi festival.

5) (du.) (In astrol.) Name of a नक्षत्र (nakṣatra).

Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: Edgerton Buddhist Hybrid Sanskrit Dictionary

Phalgu (फल्गु).—(gender not known, only in cpds.; in Sanskrit adj., worthless; Pali pheggu in meaning 1, phaggu in meaning 2), (1) ‘accessory wood…next to the pith, but inferior and worth- less’ (PTSD): Mvy 433 apagata-śākhā-pattra-palāśā-laṭikā- (read latikā with Index, Tibetan khri śiṅ, creeper; or with Mironov prapāṭikā)-tvak-phalguḥ, Bhvr. (here Tibetan skyon, fault, defect, not parallel with prec. words but having them as dependents); apagata-phalgu, adj., = Pali °phegguka, free from weak wood (PTSD), Mvy 7636 (°guḥ; here Tibetan sñiṅ po ma yin pa, what is not the pith); SP 39.4 (°guḥ); (parṣad) phalgu-vyapagatā (so with WT, cpd.) SP 44.14; tvagbhārataś ca phalgutaś ca sārataś ca (of trees) Divy 628.1, similarly 12; fig., of dauṣṭhulya in men, tvaggataṃ phalgugataṃ sāragataṃ Bbh 356.25; (2) nt., a certain religious observance (defined for Pali, MN comm. i.179.1 ff.): śuddhasya hi sadā phalgu Ud xvi.15 = Pali MN i.39.19.

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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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