Putana, Pūtanā, Pūtana, Puṭana: 16 definitions


Putana means something in Buddhism, Pali, 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

Shaivism (Shaiva philosophy)

Source: Wisdom Library: Kubjikāmata-tantra

Pūtanā (पूतना):—Sanskrit name of one of the twenty-four goddesses of the Sūryamaṇḍala (first maṇḍala of the Khecarīcakra) according to the kubjikāmata-tantra. She is also known as Pavanā according to the Gorakṣa-saṃhitā. The Khecarīcakra is the fifth cakra (‘internal mystic center’) of the five (pañcacakra) and is located on or above the head. She presides over the pītha (‘sacred site’) called Āmrātikeśvara.

Source: academia.edu: A Critical Study of the Vajraḍākamahātantrarāja (II) (shaivism)

Pūtanā (पूतना) is the name of a Goddess (Devī) presiding over Āmrātikeśvara: one of the twenty-four sacred districts mentioned in the Kubjikāmatatantra (chapter 22). Her weapon is the gadā. Furthermore, Pūtanā is accompanied by the Kṣetrapāla (field-protector) named Mahākrodha. A similar system appears in the 9th century Vajraḍākatantra (chapter 18).

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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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Ayurveda (science of life)

Source: Wisdom Library: Āyurveda and botany

Pūtanā (पूतना):—One of the seven varieties of Harītakī (‘yellow myrobalan tree’), which is used throughout Āyurvedic literature such as the Caraka-saṃhitā. It has small fruits with big seeds and can be used for external application. It is found throughout the Sindh area.

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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Vaishnavism (Vaishava dharma)

Source: ISKCON Press: Glossary

Pūtanā (पूतना).—A witch who was sent by Kaṃsa to appear in the form of a beautiful woman to kill baby Kṛṣṇa but who was killed by Him and granted liberation.

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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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Purana and Itihasa (epic history)

Source: archive.org: Puranic Encyclopedia

1) Pūtanā (पूतना).—A demoness who was killed by Kṛṣṇa at Ambāḍi. Her previous birth, her relationship with Kaṃsa and such other details are found differently in different Purāṇas. Kaṃsa and Pūtanā.

(i) Pūtanā was the daughter of a demoness called Kaitavī and was the servant maid of the wife of Kaṃsa. She had a younger sister called Vṛkodarī. (Ādi Parva, Chapter 18).

(ii) Pūtanā was the dhātrī (foster-mother) of Kaṃsa. She entered Gokula in the form of a bird. (Harivaṃśa, Chapter 2, Verse 6).

(iii) Pūtanā was the sister of Kaṃsa and the wife of Ghaṭodara. (Brahmavaivarta Purāṇa). Pūrvajanma (previour birth).

(i) Pūtanā in her previous birth was born as the daughter of Mahābali bearing the name Ratnamālā. When Vāmana appeared before Mahābali during the time of the latter’s Yajña, Ratnamālā mentally desired thus:—"Oh if only this Vāmana became my child! I could have then breast-fed him." Vāmana, the omniscient, understood the desire of Ratnamālā. So during the incarnation as Kṛṣṇa, Ratnamālā was born as Pūtanā and Kṛṣṇa gave her salvation by drinking her breast-milk. (Brahma Vaivarta Purāṇa, Chapters 4 and 10).

(ii) Once when the sage Kālabhīru and his daughter Cārumatī were travelling together they saw the sage Kakṣīvān doing penance on the shores of the river Sarasvatī. Kālabhīru saw in Kakṣīvān a suitable husband for his daughter and so gave Cārumatī in marriage to him. They were thus living happily together when once Kakṣīvān had to go on a pilgrimage alone leaving Cārumatī in his āśrama. Taking advantage of her loneliness a Śūdra made her his concubine and when Kakṣīvān returned he found out the deceit and cursed her to be born as a demoness. She begged for relief and the sage said she would get relief when Viṣṇu incarnated as Kṛṣṇa. Pūtanā was the cursed form of Cārumatī. (Chapter 18, Ādi Parva). (See full article at Story of Pūtanā from the Puranic encyclopaedia by Vettam Mani)

2) Pūtanā (पूतना).—An evil spirit. This spirit which torments children stays with Subrahmaṇya. (See under Grahapīḍā. (Chapter 23, Vana Parva).

Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: The Purana Index

1a) Pūtanā (पूतना).—A demoness and a friend of Kaṃsa; was deputed by him to kill all infants. Once she came to Vraja and changing her form to that of a fascinating lady, entered Nanda's house and began to suckle the baby Kṛṣṇa. He understood the purpose and sucked her life out to the wonderment of the Gopīs and Gopas. Her body was cremated and she reached heaven;1 to be propitiated at the commencement of building operations of palaces.2

  • 1) Bhāgavata-purāṇa X. 2. 1; 6. 2-17, 28 and 34-38; 14. 35; 26. 4; 43. 25; Brahmāṇḍa-purāṇa IV. 29. 124; III. 73. 100; Vāyu-purāṇa 9. 97; 98. 100; Viṣṇu-purāṇa V. 4. 1; 5. 7-11, 23; 6. 23; 15. 2; 29. 5.
  • 2) Matsya-purāṇa 268. 29.

1b) A daughter of Bali;1 mother of the bhūtas and a graha.2

  • 1) Brahmāṇḍa-purāṇa III. 5. 43; Vāyu-purāṇa 67. 84.
  • 2) Brahmāṇḍa-purāṇa III. 7. 158 and 161.

1c) A Varṇa śakti.*

  • * Brahmāṇḍa-purāṇa IV. 44. 59.

1d) A Rākṣasī and wife of Bhadra: Her sons are called Naiṛrtas.*

  • * Brahmāṇḍa-purāṇa III. 59. 12-4.

2) Pūtana (पूतन).—A class of fearful Rākṣasas.*

  • * Vāyu-purāṇa 69. 190.
Source: JatLand: List of Mahabharata people and places

Pūtanā (पूतना) refers to the name of a Lady mentioned in the Mahābhārata (cf. IX.45.16). Note: The Mahābhārata (mentioning Pūtanā) 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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Shilpashastra (iconography)

Source: Archaeological Survey of India: Śaiva monuments at Paṭṭadakal (śilpa)

Pūtanā (पूतना) is depicted as a sculpture on the second pillar of the southern half of the maṇḍapa of the temple of Lokeśvara.—The next sequence shows the demoness Pūtanā who tried to feed the child with her poisonous breasts. In no time, the baby put an end to her life by sucking her blood through her venomous breast. According to Bhāgavata, he was only seven days old, when he encountered Pūtanā. But in the sculpture, he looks a little older.

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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Shaktism (Shakta philosophy)

Source: Wisdom Library: Śāktism

Pūtanā (पूतना) refers to one of the 53 gods to be worshipped 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., Pūtanā).

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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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General definition (in Hinduism)

Source: WikiPedia: Hinduism

Pūtanā (पूतना, “putrefaction”) is a Rakṣasī (demoness), who is killed by the infant-god Kṛṣṇa. Pūtanā is also considered as a foster-mother of Kṛṣṇa as she breast-fed him, though it was with the motive of killing Kṛṣṇa by poisoned milk. By offering her milk, Pūtanā had performed “the supreme act of maternal devotion”, in the shadow of her evil motives. The word “Pūtanā”, broken as pūt (‘virtue’) and (‘no’) means “devoid of virtue”. Another explanation derives “Pūtanā” from pūta (‘purifying’), thus meaning “she who purifies”.

In Buddhism

Tibetan Buddhism (Vajrayana or tantric Buddhism)

Source: academia.edu: A Critical Study of the Vajraḍākamahātantrarāja (II)

Pūtanā (पूतना) is the name of a Goddess (Devī) presiding over Āmraka: one of the twenty-four sacred districts mentioned in the 9th century Vajraḍākatantra (chapter 18). Her weapons are the lāṅgala and gaya. Furthermore, Pūtanā is accompanied by the Kṣetrapāla (field-protector) named Mahāvrata and their abode is a dāru-tree.

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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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Languages of India and abroad

Sanskrit-English dictionary

Source: DDSA: The practical Sanskrit-English dictionary

Puṭana (पुटन).—Enveloping, wrapping.

Derivable forms: puṭanam (पुटनम्).

--- OR ---

Pūtana (पूतन).—A dead body in a cemetery.

-nā 1 Name of a female demon who, while attempting to kill Kṛṣṇa, when but an infant, was herself crushed by him.

2) A demoness, or Rākṣasī in general; मा पूतनात्वमुपगाः शिवतातिरेधि (mā pūtanātvamupagāḥ śivatātiredhi) Māl.9.5.

3) Terminalia chebula (harītakī); 'पूतना राक्षसीभेदे हरीतक्यां च पूतना (pūtanā rākṣasībhede harītakyāṃ ca pūtanā)' Viśva.

Derivable forms: pūtanaḥ (पूतनः).

Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: Shabda-Sagara Sanskrit-English Dictionary

Pūtanā (पूतना).—f.

(-nā) 1. Yellow myrobalan, (Terminalia chebula.) 2. The name of a female demon killed by Krishna, when he was but an infant on her attempting to take his life. 3. A disease, atrophy and wasting in a child, ascribed to the malignant operations of the female fiend Putana. E. pūt to be pure, nominal verb, yuc aff.

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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