Rambha, aka: Rambhā, Rāmbha; 17 Definition(s)


Rambha means something in Hinduism, Sanskrit, Buddhism, Pali, Marathi. 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

Ayurveda (science of life)

Rambhā (रम्भा):—Sanskrit word meaning “Plantain” (Musa paradisiaca).

Source: Wisdom Library: Āyurveda and botany
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)

Rambhā (रम्भा) is a Sanskrit word for “plantains” (banana cultivars in the genus Musa), 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. Note: Phyllanthus distichus is a synonym of Phyllanthus acidus.

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

According to Śukranīti 4.4.105-109: “The trees (such as rambhā) 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.”

Source: Wisdom Library: Dharma-śāstra
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)

Rambha in Purana glossary... « previous · [R] · next »

Rambha (रम्भ):—Son of Vivimsati (son of Cākṣuṣa). He had a son named Khanīnetra. (see Bhāgavata Purāṇa 9.2)

Source: Wisdom Library: Bhagavata Purana

Rambhā (रम्भा) is the name of a mind-born ‘divine mother’ (mātṛ), created for the purpose of drinking the blood of the Andhaka demons, according to the Matsya-purāṇa 179.8. The Andhaka demons spawned out of every drop of blood spilled from the original Andhakāsura (Andhaka-demon). According to the Matsya-purāṇa 179.35, “Most terrible they (eg., Rambhā) all drank the blood of those Andhakas and become exceedingly satiated.”

The Matsyapurāṇa is categorised as a Mahāpurāṇa, and was originally composed of 20,000 metrical verses, dating from the 1st-millennium BCE. The narrator is Matsya, one of the ten major avatars of Viṣṇu.

Source: Wisdom Library: The Matsya-purāṇa

1) Rambha (रम्भ).—An asura. (For details see under Karambha).

2) Rambhā (रम्भा).—General. One of the most beautiful of the apsarā women. Urvaśī, Tilottamā and Rambhā are really reputed for their beauty.

3) Rambhā (रम्भा).—Wife of Mayāsura. The couple had the following seven children i.e. Māyāvī, Dundubhi, Mahiṣa Kālaka, Ajakarṇa, and Mandodarī. (Brahmāṇḍa Purāṇa, 3. 6. 28-29).

Source: archive.org: Puranic Encyclopaedia

1a) Rambha (रम्भ).—A son of Viviṃśati, and father of Khaninetra.*

  • * Bhāgavata-purāṇa IX. 2. 25.

1b) A son of Āyu, and father of Rabhasa: known for his valour;1 had no son.2

  • 1) Bhāgavata-purāṇa IX. 17. 1 and 10; Brahmāṇḍa-purāṇa III. 67. 2.
  • 2) Viṣṇu-purāṇa IV. 8. 3; 9. 24.

1c) The fifth Kalpa.*

  • * Vāyu-purāṇa 21. 30.

2a) Rambhā (रम्भा).—The Apsaras presiding over the month of Śuci;1 wife of Maya;2 presiding over the month of Ūrja.3

  • 1) Bhāgavata-purāṇa XII. 11. 36.
  • 2) Brahmāṇḍa-purāṇa III. 6. 28; 7. 7.
  • 3) Ib. II. 23. 22; IV. 33. 18; Bhāgavata-purāṇa XII. 11. 44.

2b) The goddess enshrined at Malaya hills: a mother goddess.*

  • * Matsya-purāṇa 13. 29; 179. 20.

2c) An Apsaras versed in dancing;1 created by Brahmā;2 going with the sun sometime;3 seized by the Asuras;4 in the Sabhā of Hiraṇyakaśipu.5

  • 1) Matsya-purāṇa 24. 28; Vāyu-purāṇa 69. 6.
  • 2) Matsya-purāṇa 136. 11.
  • 3) Ib. 126. 23.
  • 4) Ib. 126. 7; 133. 9.
  • 5) Ib. 161. 75.

2d) A snake with the sun in summer.*

  • * Vāyu-purāṇa 52. 6.

2e) With the sun during Phālguna month; Śukra or Āṣāḍha;1 along with other Apsaras cursed by Aṣtāvakra.2

  • 1) Viṣṇu-purāṇa II. 10. 18.
  • 2) Ib. V. 38. 73. 77.
Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: The Purana Index

Rambhā (रम्भा) refers to the name of a Lady mentioned in the Mahābhārata (cf. I.59.48, I.65). Note: The Mahābhārata (mentioning Rambhā) is a Sanskrit epic poem consisting of 100,000 ślokas (metrical verses) and is over 2000 years old.

Source: JatLand: List of Mahabharata people and places
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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Chandas (prosody, study of Sanskrit metres)

1) Rambhā (रम्भा) is the name of a Sanskrit metre (chandas) (according to Svayambhū) to which Hemacandra (1088-1173 C.E.) assigned the alternative name of Megha-visphūrjitā in his auto-commentary on the second chapter of the Chandonuśāsana. Hemacandra gives these alternative names for the metres by other authorities (like Bharata), even though the number of gaṇas or letters do not differ.

2) Rambhā (रम्भा) refers to one of the seventy-two sama-varṇavṛtta (regular syllabo-quantitative verse) mentioned in the 334th chapter of the Agnipurāṇa. The Agnipurāṇa deals with various subjects viz. literature, poetics, grammar, architecture in its 383 chapters and deals with the entire science of prosody (eg., the rambhā metre) in 8 chapters (328-335) in 101 verses in total.

Source: Shodhganga: a concise history of Sanskrit Chanda literature
Chandas book cover
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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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Katha (narrative stories)

Rambha in Katha glossary... « previous · [R] · next »

1) Rambhā (रम्भा) is the name of an Apsaras as mentioned in the Kathāsaritsāgara, chapter 28. Accordingly, “once on a time Rambhā, a fair one of heaven, came that way, wandering at will through the air from the palace of Indra. She beheld the king [Suṣeṇa] roaming in that garden like an incarnation of the Spring in the midst of a garden of fullblown flowers”.

The story of Rambhā and Suṣeṇa was narrated to king Kaliṅgadatta by a certain Brāhman in order to demonstrate that “daughters are better even than sons, and produce happiness in this world and the next”.

2) Rambha (रम्भ) is the name of an ancient king of Vajrarātra, whose daughter, Tārāvalī, was captured by Sūryaprabha, according to the Kathāsaritsāgara, chapter 44. Accordingly, as Vajraprabha said to Naravāhanadatta: “... accompanied by Prahasta only, [Sūryaprabha] visited the city called Vajrarātra. There he carried off the daughter of King Rambha before his eyes, Tārāvalī by name, who was enamoured of him and burning with the fire of love”.

The Kathāsaritsāgara (‘ocean of streams of story’), mentioning Rambhā, 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
Katha book cover
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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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General definition (in Hinduism)

Rambha is an Apsara (celestial maiden, a dancer) at the court of Indra. According to some accounts, she emereged from the ocean-of-milk, when it was churned by the Asuras and Devas.

Source: Apam Napat: Indian Mythology

Rambha in Hindu mythology is the Queen of the Apsarases, the magical and beautiful female beings in Devaloka. She is unrivalled in her accomplishments in the arts of dancing, music and love-making. She is often asked by the king of the Devas, Indra to break the tapasya of sages so that the purity of their penance is tested against temptation, and also that the order of the three worlds remains undisturbed by any one man's mystical powers. When she tries to disturb the penance of Rishi Vishwamitra (who is doing it to become a Brahmarishi), she is cursed by him to become a rock for 10,000 years till a Brahmin delivers her from the curse.

In the epic Ramayana, Rambha is violated by Ravana, king of Lanka, who is thereby cursed by Brahma that if he violates another woman again, his head will burst. This curse protects the chastity of Sita, the wife of Rama when she is kidnapped by Ravana.

Source: WikiPedia: Hinduism

Languages of India and abroad

Pali-English dictionary

Rambha in Pali glossary... « previous · [R] · next »

rambhā : (f.) plantain tree.

Source: BuddhaSasana: Concise Pali-English Dictionary

Rambhā, (f.) (Sk. rambhā) a plantain or banana tree Abhp 589. (Page 565)

Source: Sutta: The Pali Text Society's Pali-English Dictionary
Pali book cover
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Pali is the language of the Tipiṭaka, which is the sacred canon of Theravāda Buddhism and contains much of the Buddha’s speech. Closeley related to Sanskrit, both languages are used interchangeably between religions.

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Marathi-English dictionary

rambhā (रंभा).—f (S) A courtesan of svarga or Indra's paradise. 2 The Plantain. 3 An instrument for rubbing or rooting up grass.

Source: DDSA: The Molesworth Marathi and English Dictionary

rambhā (रंभा).—f A courtezan of svarga. The Plantain.

Source: DDSA: The Aryabhusan school dictionary, Marathi-English
context information

Marathi is an Indo-European language having over 70 million native speakers people in (predominantly) Maharashtra India. Marathi, like many other Indo-Aryan languages, evolved from early forms of Prakrit, which itself is a subset of Sanskrit, one of the most ancient languages of the world.

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Sanskrit-English dictionary

Rambha (रम्भ).—

1) Sounding, roaring &c.

2) A support, prop.

3) A stick.

4) A bamboo.

5) Dust.

Derivable forms: rambhaḥ (रम्भः).

--- OR ---

Rambhā (रम्भा).—

1) A plantain tree; विजितरम्भमूरुद्वयम् (vijitarambhamūrudvayam) Gīt. 1; पिबोरु रम्भातरुपीवरोरु (piboru rambhātarupīvaroru) N.22.43;2.37.

2) Name of Gaurī.

3) Name of an apsaras, wife of Nalakūbara and considered as the most beautiful woman in the paradise of Indra; तरुमूरुयुगेन सुन्दरी किमु रम्भां परिणाहिना परम् । तरुणीमपि जिष्णुरेव तां धनदापत्यतपः फल- स्तनीम् (tarumūruyugena sundarī kimu rambhāṃ pariṇāhinā param | taruṇīmapi jiṣṇureva tāṃ dhanadāpatyatapaḥ phala- stanīm) || N.2.37.

4) A harlot.

5) Sounding, roaring.

6) the lowing of cows.

7) A kind of rice.

--- OR ---

Rāmbha (राम्भ).—A bomboo-staff carried by a religious student or ascetic; यतिहस्तस्थितैस्तस्य राम्भैरारम्भि तर्जना (yatihastasthitaistasya rāmbhairārambhi tarjanā) N.17.187.

Derivable forms: rāmbhaḥ (राम्भः).

Source: DDSA: The practical Sanskrit-English dictionary

Rambha (रम्भ).—m.

(-mbhaḥ) 1. A bamboo. 2. The name of a monkey. f.

(-mbhā) 1. A plantain. 2. One of the Apsaras or courtezans of Swarga, and wife of Nala-Kubara. 3. A harlot, a whore. 4. A name of Gauri. 5. Lowing, as of a cow. E. rami to sound, to begin, &c., aff. ac .

--- OR ---

Rāmbha (राम्भ).—m.

(-mbhaḥ) The bamboo staff of a religious student. E. rambhā a bamboo, aff. añ .

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