Prabhavati, Prabhāvati, Prabhāvatī: 21 definitions


Prabhavati means something in Buddhism, Pali, Hinduism, Sanskrit, Jainism, Prakrit. 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

Natyashastra (theatrics and dramaturgy)

Source: Wisdom Library: Nāṭya-śāstra

1) Prabhāvatī (प्रभावती) refers to a type of syllabic metre (vṛtta), according to the Nāṭyaśāstra chapter 16. In this metre, the second, the fourth, the ninth, the eleventh and the twelfth syllables of a foot (pāda) are heavy (guru), while the rest of the syllables are light (laghu).


Prabhāvatī falls in the Jagatī class of chandas (rhythm-type), which implies that verses constructed with this metre have four pādas (‘foot’ or ‘quarter-verse’) containing twelve syllables each.

2) Prabhāvatī (प्रभावती) is the name of a meter belonging to the Dvipadā-caturasra class of Dhruvā (songs) described in the Nāṭyaśāstra chapter 32.

Natyashastra book cover
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Natyashastra (नाट्यशास्त्र, nāṭyaśāstra) refers to both the ancient Indian tradition (shastra) of performing arts, (natya—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), construction and performance of Theater, and Poetic works (kavya).

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Shaivism (Shaiva philosophy)

[«previous next»] — Prabhavati in Shaivism glossary
Source: Wisdom Library: Śaivism

Prabhāvatī (प्रभावती) refers to the city of Kubera or Soma, situated on the northern lower slope of mount Meru, according to Parākhyatantra 5.66. Meru is the name of a golden mountained situated in the middle of nine landmasses (navakhaṇḍa): Bhārata, Hari, Kimpuruṣa, Ramyaka, Ramaṇa, Kuru, Bhadrāśva, Ketumāla and Ilāvṛta. Together these khaṇḍas make up the continent known as Jambūdvīpa.

Prabhāvatī is also known by the name Prabhā or Mahodayā, and is mentioned in various other sources, eg., the Svacchanda-tantra 10.132-136, Kiraṇa-āgama 8.51-54, Mṛgendra-āgama vidyāpāda 13.47-54, Sarvajñānottara-tantra adhvaprakaraṇa 34-36 and Mataṅga-āgama vidyāpāda 23.60-63

The Parākhyatantra is an old Śaiva-siddhānta tantra dating from before the 10th century.

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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Chandas (prosody, study of Sanskrit metres)

[«previous next»] — Prabhavati in Chandas glossary
Source: Shodhganga: a concise history of Sanskrit Chanda literature

1) Prabhāvatī (प्रभावती) refers to one of the 130 varṇavṛttas (syllabo-quantitative verse) dealt with in the second chapter of the Vṛttamuktāvalī, ascribed to Durgādatta (19th century), author of eight Sanskrit work and patronised by Hindupati: an ancient king of the Bundela tribe (presently Bundelkhand of Uttar Pradesh). A Varṇavṛtta (e.g., prabhāvatī) refers to a type of classical Sanskrit metre depending on syllable count where the light-heavy patterns are fixed.

2) Prabhāvatī (प्रभावती) refers to one of the 34 varṇavṛttas (syllabo-quantitative verse) dealt with in the Vṛttamaṇimañjūṣā, whose authorship could be traced (also see the “New Catalogus Catalogorum” XXXI. p. 7).

Source: Journal of the University of Bombay Volume V: Apabhramsa metres (2)

Prabhāvatī (प्रभावती) is the name of a catuṣpadi metre (as popularly employed by the Apabhraṃśa bards), as discussed in books such as the Chandonuśāsana, Kavidarpaṇa, Vṛttajātisamuccaya and Svayambhūchandas.—Prabhāvatī has 19 mātrās in each of its four lines, divided into the groups of [ISI], 4, [ISI], 4 and [IS] mātrās.

Chandas book cover
context information

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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Purana and Itihasa (epic history)

[«previous next»] — Prabhavati in Purana glossary
Source: Puranic Encyclopedia

1) Prabhāvatī (प्रभावती).—A woman who was engaged in penance at the abode of Mayāsura. One of the batches of monkeys that went to different places in search of Sītā met Prabhāvatī. (Śloka 4, Chapter 282, Vana Parva). (See full article at Story of Prabhāvatī from the Puranic encyclopaedia by Vettam Mani)

2) Prabhāvatī (प्रभावती).—The wife of Sūryadeva. (Śloka 8, Chapter 117, Udyoga Parva).

3) Prabhāvatī (प्रभावती).—A female follower of Subrahmaṇya. (Śloka 3, Chapter 46, Śal a Parva).

4) Prabhāvatī (प्रभावती).—Wife of Citraratha, king of Aṅga. This Prabhāvatī was the eldest sister of Ruci, wife of Devaśarmā. (Śloka 8, Chapter 42, Anuśāsana Parva).

5) Prabhāvatī (प्रभावती).—Daughter of the demon Vajranābha. She was married to Pradyumna, son of Śrī Kṛṣṇa.

There was once a very valiant demon called Vajranābha. He went into the valley of Meru and performed penance to propitiate Brahmā. Brahmā appeared before him and he got from him boons such as strength to conquer and subdue all kings, the secret of leaving the body and entering that of others etc. Empowered with these boons he made Vajranābhapura his capital. He got a daughter named Prabhāvatī. His brother Sunābha had two daughters named Candramatī and Guṇavatī.

Source: JatLand: List of Mahabharata people and places

Prabhāvatī (प्रभावती) refers to the name of a Lady mentioned in the Mahābhārata (cf. IX.45.3). Note: The Mahābhārata (mentioning Prabhāvatī) 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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Kavya (poetry)

[«previous next»] — Prabhavati in Kavya glossary
Source: Wisdom Library: Kathāsaritsāgara

Prabhāvatī (प्रभावती) is the name of a Vidyādharī, according to the Kathāsaritsāgara, chapter 106. Accordingly, as Prabhāvatī said to prince Naravāhanadatta: “... know that I am his [prince Piṅgalagāndhāra] unmarried daughter, named Prabhāvatī, for he obtained me by the special favour of the God of Fire, who was pleased with his adoration. I went to the city of Āṣāḍhapura to visit my friend Vegavatī, and I did not find her there, as she had gone somewhere to perform asceticism”.

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

Kavya book cover
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Kavya (काव्य, kavya) refers to Sanskrit poetry, a popular ancient Indian tradition of literature. There have been many Sanskrit poets over the ages, hailing from ancient India and beyond. This topic includes mahakavya, or ‘epic poetry’ and natya, or ‘dramatic poetry’.

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In Buddhism

Tibetan Buddhism (Vajrayana or tantric Buddhism)

Source: Wisdom Library: Tibetan Buddhism

1) Prabhāvatī (प्रभावती) is the name of a Yakṣiṇī mentioned as attending the teachings in the 6th century Mañjuśrīmūlakalpa: one of the largest Kriyā Tantras devoted to Mañjuśrī (the Bodhisattva of wisdom) representing an encyclopedia of knowledge primarily concerned with ritualistic elements in Buddhism. The teachings in this text originate from Mañjuśrī and were taught to and by Buddha Śākyamuni in the presence of a large audience (including Prabhāvatī).

Source: Wisdomlib Libary: Vajrayogini

Prabhāvatī (प्रभावती) is the goddess presiding over one of the six petals of the eastern lotus of the vārāhyabhyudaya-maṇḍala, according to the Vārāhyabhyudayatantra (largerly extracted from the 10th century Abhidhānottaratantra). These six petals are presided over by a kuleśvarī (presiding lady) named Māmakī. The central deity of the vārāhyabhyudaya-maṇḍala is the twelve-armed Vajravarāhī.

Prabhāvatī is associated with the sacred site (pīṭha) named Oḍḍiyāna. All the goddess of the eastern lotus petals are to be visualised as dancing naked and being half-male / half-female (ardhanarīśvarī) with their two sides being white and green. In their four arms they brandish a bowl and staff, with a ḍamaru and their familial attribute.

Source: A Critical Study of the Vajraḍākamahātantrarāja (II)

Prabhāvatī (प्रभावती) is the name of a Ḍākinī (‘sacred girl’) presiding over Oḍyāna: one of the four Pīṭhas (‘sacred spot’) present within the Cittacakra (‘circle of mid’), according to the 9th-centruy Vajraḍākatantra. The Cittacakra is one of three Cakras within the Tricakra system which embodies twenty-four sacred spots or districts resided over by twenty-four Ḍākinīs (viz., Prabhāvatī) whose husbands abide in one’s body in the form of twenty-four ingredients (dhātu) of one’s body.

Prabhāvatī has for her husband the hero (vīra) named Kaṅkāla. She is the presiding deity of Oḍyāna and the associated internal location is ‘right ear’ and the bodily ingredients (dhātu) are ‘skin’ and ‘dirt’.

Source: The Structure and Meanings of the Heruka Maṇḍala

Prabhāvatī (प्रभावती) is the name of a Ḍākinī who, together with the Vīra (hero) named Kaṅkāla forms one of the 36 pairs situated in the Vajracakra, according to the 10th century Ḍākārṇava chapter 15. Accordingly, the vajracakra refers to one of the four divisions of the sahaja-puṭa (‘innate layer’), situated within the padma (lotus) in the middle of the Herukamaṇḍala. The 36 pairs of Ḍākinīs [viz., Prabhāvatī] and Vīras each have one face and four arms; they hold a skull bowl, a skull staff, a small drum and a knife; they are dark-bluish-black in color.

Source: OSU Press: Cakrasamvara Samadhi

Prabhāvatī (प्रभावती) refers to one of the “four great rivers” (Mahānadī), according to the Guru Mandala Worship (maṇḍalārcana) ritual often performed in combination with the Cakrasaṃvara Samādhi, which refers to the primary pūjā and sādhanā practice of Newah Mahāyāna-Vajrayāna Buddhists in Nepal.

Tibetan Buddhism book cover
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Tibetan Buddhism includes schools such as Nyingma, Kadampa, Kagyu and Gelug. Their primary canon of literature is divided in two broad categories: The Kangyur, which consists of Buddha’s words, and the Tengyur, which includes commentaries from various sources. Esotericism and tantra techniques (vajrayāna) are collected indepently.

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In Jainism

General definition (in Jainism)

[«previous next»] — Prabhavati in Jainism glossary
Source: Wisdom Library: Jainism

1) Prabhāvatī (प्रभावती) is the mother of Mallinātha, the nineteenth of twenty-four Tīrthaṅkaras in Janism, according to the Ācāradinakara (14th century work on Jain conduct written by Vardhamāna Sūri). A Tīrthaṅkara is an enlightened being who has conquered saṃsāra (cycle of birth and death), leaving behind him a path for others to follow.

The husband of Prabhāvatī is Kumbha. It is an ancient Jain practice to worship the Tīrthaṅkara’s parents in various rites, such as the pratiṣṭhāvidhi.

2) Prabhāvati (प्रभावति) is the wife of Candrābha, who is a kulakara (law-giver) according to Digambara sources. The kulakaras (similair to the manus of the Brahmanical tradition) figure as important characters protecting and guiding humanity towards prosperity during ancient times of distress, whenever the kalpavṛkṣa (wishing tree) failed to provide the proper service.

These law-givers and their wifes (e.g., Prabhāvati) are listed in various Jain sources, such as the Bhagavatīsūtra and Jambūdvīpaprajñapti in Śvetāmbara, or the Tiloyapaṇṇatti and Ādipurāṇa in the Digambara tradition.

Source: Trisastisalakapurusacaritra

1) Prabhāvatī (प्रभावती) is the chief-queen of king Kumbha from Mithilā, according to chapter 6.6 [śrī-mallinātha-caritra] of Hemacandra’s 11th century Triṣaṣṭiśalākāpuruṣacaritra: an ancient Sanskrit epic poem narrating the history and legends of sixty-three illustrious persons in Jainism.—Accordingly: “[...] Kumbha [king of Mithilā] was a pitcher of the nectar of the Ocean of Milk in the form of the Ikṣvāku-family, the abode of Lakṣmī, like a pitcher of treasure. [...] His chief-queen was named Prabhāvatī, who surpassed the moon in beauty of face, like Śacī the queen of Vajrin. She alone was the ornament of the earth and virtue was her ornament; armlets, anklets, etc. were merely for the sake of formality. Purifying the whole earth by her spotless wife-hood, the source of happiness, she shone like a living Tīrtha. [...]”.

2) Prabhāvatī (प्रभावती) refers to one of the wives of Munisuvrata, according to chapter 6.7 [śrī-munisuvratanātha-caritra].—Accordingly:—“ [...] Though his soul was purified by the three kinds of knowledge, pretending lack of knowledge to the people by childish play, the Lord gradually grew up. When he had become a young man, twenty bows tall, he married princesses, Prabhāvatī, and others. Then Queen Prabhāvatī bore a son, named Suvrata, to Lord Munisuvrata, like the east the moon. When seven and a half thousand years had passed, the Lord assumed the burden of the kingdom imposed by his father”.

3) Prabhāvatī (प्रभावती) refers to one of the four chief-queens of Rāma (son of Aparājitā and Daśaratha), according to the Jain Ramayana and chapter 7.8 [The abandonment of Sītā].

Source: HereNow4u: Lord Śrī Mahāvīra

Prabhāvatī (प्रभावती) is the name of the queen-wife of Udāyana.—King Udāyana was a popular king of Sindhu-Sauvīra kingdom. The capital of this kingdom was Vītabhaya city, which was large, beautiful and prosperous in every way. Prabhāvatī was the queen of King Udāyana and Abhīcakumāra was their son. Udāyana's nephew Keśīkumāra too used to live with him. King Udāyana had great faith in the words of Lord Mahāvīra. He was a 12-vows follower of Mahāvīra.

Source: JAINpedia: Women in the Jain tradition: Soḷ satī

Prabhāvatī (प्रभावती) refers to one of the 16 Satīs mentioned in the Brāhmī Candanbālikā.—In Jain contexts “Satī” revolves around fidelity to the Jain religion. Although Jains call many virtuous Jain women satīs, among Śvetāmbara Jains there is a group of satīs called the soḷ satī or 16 Satīs (i.e., Prabhāvatī). These Jain Satīs are revered as role models for women and their stories are widely known. Even though the general group of Satī grows over time, the group of 16 Satīs is unchanging.

Source: Tessitori Collection I

Prabhāvatī (प्रभावती) or Prabhāvatīkathā refers to one of the 157 stories embedded in the Kathāmahodadhi by Somacandra (narrating stories from Jain literature, based on the Karpūraprakara), which is included in the collection of manuscripts at the ‘Vincenzo Joppi’ library, collected by Luigi Pio Tessitori during his visit to Rajasthan between 1914 and 1919.—The Kathāmahodadhi represents a repository of 157 stories [e.g., Prabhāvatī-kathā] written in prose Sanskrit, although each of them is preceded by a verse. Together, they stage a large number of Jain characters (including early teachers). [...]

General definition book cover
context information

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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Languages of India and abroad

Sanskrit dictionary

[«previous next»] — Prabhavati in Sanskrit glossary
Source: DDSA: The practical Sanskrit-English dictionary

Prabhāvatī (प्रभावती).—f.

1) A kind of metre.

2) (In music) A particular श्रुति (śruti).

3) Name of the wife of the sun.

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

Prabhāvatī (प्रभावती).—(1) name of one of the four goddesses who guard the Bodhisattva in his mother's womb: Lalitavistara 66.9; (2) name of a yoginī: Sādhanamālā 427.3.

Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: Monier-Williams Sanskrit-English Dictionary

1) Prabhāvatī (प्रभावती):—[=prabhā-vatī] [from prabhā-vat > prabhā > pra-bhā] f. the lute of one of the Gaṇas or demigods attendant on Śiva, [cf. Lexicographers, esp. such as amarasiṃha, halāyudha, hemacandra, etc.]

2) [v.s. ...] a kind of metre, [Śrutabodha]

3) [v.s. ...] (in music) a [particular] Śruti, [Saṃgīta-sārasaṃgraha]

4) [v.s. ...] Name of a, [Buddhist literature] deity, [Lalita-vistara]

5) [v.s. ...] of the wife of the sun, [Mahābhārata]

6) [v.s. ...] of one of the Mātṛs attendant on Skanda, [ib.]

7) [v.s. ...] of an Apsaras, [Viṣṇu-purāṇa]

8) [v.s. ...] of a Surāṅganā, [Siṃhāsana-dvātriṃśikā or vikramāditya-caritra, jaina recension]

9) [v.s. ...] of a sister of the Asura Indra-damana, [cf. Lexicographers, esp. such as amarasiṃha, halāyudha, hemacandra, etc.]

10) [v.s. ...] of a daughter of king Vajra-nābha and wife of Pradyumna, [Harivaṃśa]

11) [v.s. ...] of the wife of Citra-ratha king of Aṅga, [Mahābhārata]

12) [v.s. ...] of the daughter of Suvīra and wife of Marutta, [Mārkaṇḍeya-purāṇa]

13) [v.s. ...] of a Tāpasī, [Mahābhārata]

14) [v.s. ...] of them other of Malli (the 19th Arhat of present Avasarpiṇī), [cf. Lexicographers, esp. such as amarasiṃha, halāyudha, hemacandra, etc.]

15) [v.s. ...] of the daughter of the Śreṣṭhin Soma-datta and wife of Madana the son of Vikrama-sena, [Śukasaptati]

16) [v.s. ...] of a river, [Horace H. Wilson]

Source: DDSA: Paia-sadda-mahannavo; a comprehensive Prakrit Hindi dictionary (S)

Prabhāvatī (प्रभावती) in the Sanskrit language is related to the Prakrit word: Pabhāvaī.

context information

Sanskrit, also spelled संस्कृतम् (saṃskṛtam), is an ancient language of India commonly seen as the grandmother of the Indo-European language family (even English!). 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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