Wisdom Library Logo

Prabhavati, aka: Prabhāvati, Prabhāvatī; 4 Definition(s)


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

Nāṭyaśāstra (theatrics and dramaturgy)

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.

Source: Wisdom Library: Nāṭya-śāstraNāṭyaśāstra book cover
context information

Nāṭyaśāstra (नाट्यशास्त्र, natya-shastra) refers to both the ancient Indian tradition of performing arts, (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 (nāṭya) and poetic works (kāvya).

Śaivism (Śaiva philosophy)

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.

Source: Wisdom Library: ŚaivismŚaivism book cover
context information

Śaiva (शैव, shaiva) or Śaivism (shaivism) represents a tradition of Hinduism worshipping Śiva as the supreme being. Closeley related to Śāktism, Śaiva literature includes a range of scriptures, including tantras, while the root of this tradition may be traced back to the ancient Vedas.

In Buddhism

Vajrayāna (Tibetan Buddhism)

Prabhāvatī (प्रभावती) is the goddess presiding over one of the six petals of the eastern lotus of the vārāhyabhyudaya-maṇḍala, according to the Vārāhyabhyudayatantra. 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.

The Vārāhyabhyudayatantra is an explanatory tantra on the Laghuśaṃvara, but its verses are largerly extracted from the 10th century Abhidhānottaratantra, a scriputre describing various sādhanas (path towards spiritual realization).

Source: Wisdomlib Libary: VajrayoginiTibetan Buddhism book cover
context information

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.

In Jainism

General definition (in 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 (eg., 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: Wisdom Library: Jainism

Relevant definitions

Search found 13 related definition(s) that might help you understand this better. Below you will find the 15 most relevant articles:

Ashoka is the son of Bindusara and Subhadrangi.—Northern and Southern traditions of Buddhism ag...
1) Kumbha (कुम्भ) is the father of Mallinātha, the nineteenth of twenty-four Tīrthaṅkaras in Ja...
Meru (मेरु).—Various inscriptions describe the mountain Meru as mighty, firm, rugged, piled wit...
Oḍḍiyāna (ओड्डियान) is the name of a sacred site (pīṭha) presided over by Prabhāvatī, according...
Candrābha (चन्द्राभ) is the name of a kulakara (law-giver) according to both Śvetāmbara and Dig...
Prabhā (प्रभा) refers to the city of Kubera or Soma, situated on the northern lower slope of mo...
Mahodayā (महोदया) refers to the city of Kubera or Soma, situated on the northern lower slope of...
Mallī (मल्ली) is another name for Mallikā (Jasminum sambac “Sambac jasmine”), fr...
Brihat-katha-manjari is a well known prose work composed by Kshemendra. It was probably comp...
Pahoti, & (in verse) pabhavati (pa+bhu, cp. Vedic prabhavati in meaning “to be helpful”) 1. to ...
Mallinātha (मल्लिनाथ) is another name for Malli, the nineteenth Tīrthaṅkara (Janism recognizes ...
Kulakara (कुलकर) represent the first law-givers in Jainism;—In course of time, the Wishing Tree...
1) Māmakī (मामकी) is the presiding deity of the eastern lotus of the vārāhyabhyudaya-maṇḍala, a...

Relevant text

Search found books containing Prabhavati, Prabhāvati or Prabhāvatī. You can also click to the full overview containing English textual excerpts. Below are direct links for the most relevant articles:

- Was this explanation helpufll? Leave a comment:

Make this page a better place for research and define the term yourself in your own words.

You have to be a member in order to post comments. Click here to login or click here to become a member.