Sagara, aka: Sāgara, Sāgāra; 15 Definition(s)


Sagara means something in Buddhism, Pali, Hinduism, Sanskrit, 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

Nāṭyaśāstra (theatrics and dramaturgy)

One of the Hands of Famous Emperors.—Sagara: Alapadma hands on the head.

(Source): The mirror of gesture (abhinaya-darpana)
Nāṭyaśāstra book cover
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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).

Vaiṣṇavism (Vaiṣṇava dharma)

Sagara (“one who is born with poison”). He later became the emperor. The place known as Gaṅgāsāgara was excavated by his sons. Following the instructions of the great sage Aurva, Sagara Mahārāja performed aśvamedha sacrifices.

(Source): VedaBase: Śrīmad Bhāgavatam
Vaiṣṇavism book cover
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Vaiṣṇava (वैष्णव, vaishnava) or Vaiṣṇavism (vaishnavism) represents a tradition of Hinduism worshipping Viṣṇu as the supreme Lord. Similair to the Śāktism and Śaivism traditions, Vaiṣṇavism also developed as an individual movement, famous for its exposition of the daśāvatāra (‘ten avatars of Viṣṇu’).


1a) Sagara (सगर).—A son of Bāhu, (Phalgutantra) born with gara (poison) administered to his mother by the co-wives of her husband and after 7 years' stay in his mother's womb; brought up by sage Aurva; Keśinī was one of his queens and Sumatī was another. Prabhā, and Bhānumatī, mother of Asamanjasa were also his queens. Father of Asamanjasa who was abandoned by his father for misconduct.*

  • * A Cakravarti. His sons 60,000 in number by Sumati, excavated the sea and dug all over the earth in their search for the consecrated horse. Helped by Aurva, he propitiated Hari with sacrifices. Once Indra stole his sacrificial horse, and this was discovered near Kapila's hermitage in the N. E. by his sons who imputed the theft to the sage. The latter burnt them to ashes. But Aṃśumat, son of Asamanjasa got back the horse, and enabled his grandfather to complete the sacrifice. Anointed Aṃśumat on the throne in the presence of Paurajānapada and devoted himself to attaining salvation through the path prescribed by Aurva. Greed for more territory; conquered Tālajanghas, Yavanas, Śakas, Haihayas and Barbaras. On the advice of his guru, Vasiṣṭha, he spared their lives but punished them by disfiguring them— some wholly shaven, and some half-shaven. They became ancestors of Mlecchas and Vrātyas. 1) Bhāgavata-purāṇa IX. 8 (whole); X. 41. 15: XII. 3. 9: Brahmāṇḍa-purāṇa III. 52. 37 Chh. 53 and 54 (whole) 55. 22: 58. 37. Viṣṇu-purāṇa III. 8. 3: 17. 1: Vī. IV. 3. 35-41: 4. 1-29, 32. 63. 121-151: Matsya-purāṇa 12. 39-43. Realised the yoga power of Hari. 2) Bhāgavata-purāṇa II. 7. 44. Addressed by him Vasiṣṭha narrated the story of Paraśurāma. In the case of Haihayas, he conquered the king and burnt the city. When he invaded the Vidarbhas, its king sought alliance by offering his daughter in marriage; was honoured by Śurasenas and Yādavas. 3) Brahmāṇḍa-purāṇa III. 31. 1: 47. 93-100: Chh. 48 (whole). During his rule, nowhere was heard rāja śabdha; ruled like Dharma himself, maintained castes and orders, earned the title of Aṣṭamaṇḍalādhipati; had an erudite assembly. 4) Ib. III. Chh. 49-51. The jewel of the solar race. Sumatī brought forth a mass of flesh which ultimately through the blessings of Aurva was converted into 60,000 sons.

1b) The sons of Sagara who created eight extra countries (upadvīpas) near Jambūdvīpa, when they dug up the earth in search of their father's sacrificial horse;1 purified by the Ganges.2

  • 1) Bhāgavata-purāṇa V. 19-29-30.
  • 2) Viṣṇu-purāṇa II. 8. 115.

2a) Sāgara (सागर).—(Sindhu): one of the principal kṣetrams.*

  • * Matsya-purāṇa 110. 1.

2b) The lord of rivers;1 married Velā, the daughter of Meru;2 had a daughter Savarṇā married to Prācinabarhis.3

  • 1) Vāyu-purāṇa 70. 9.
  • 2) Ib. 30. 35.
  • 3) Brahmāṇḍa-purāṇa II. 13. 38.

2c) A son of Śakti.*

  • * Vāyu-purāṇa 70. 83.

2d) (also Sagaras s.v.) were purified by the waters of the Ganges flowing from the foot of Viṣṇu. 60,000 sons of Sumatī who were unrighteous; sent by Sagara to seize the sacrificial horse; finding it near Kapila they treated him as thief but perished by the fire of his wrath; as they dug up the earth, the sea got enlarged and came to be known as Sāgara; ruled Campā.*

  • * ^1 Bhāgavata-purāṇa X. 41. 15; Brahmāṇḍa-purāṇa III. chh. 52-3; 54. 11; 56. 3. ^2 Ib. III. 74. 197.
(Source): Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: The Purana Index

Sagara (सगर), after his education at the āśrama of the sage Cyavana, with the might of his own arm conquers back the lost kingdom of his ancestors and becomes the king of Ayodhyā. He prays to Śiva to bless him with children. According to the blessings of Śiva, the king begot one son named Aṃśumat from his first wife and sixty thousand from the other.

(Source): Archaeological Survey of India: Śaiva monuments at Paṭṭadakal (purāṇa)
Purāṇa book cover
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The Purāṇas (पुराण, purana) refers to Sanskrit literature preserving ancient India’s vast cultural history, including historical legends, religious ceremonies, various arts and sciences. The eighteen mahāpurāṇas total over 400,000 ślokas (metrical couplets) and date to at least several centuries BCE.

Itihāsa (narrative history)

Sagara (सगर).—According to the Harivaṃśa, Bāhuka, (also known as Asita in some texts), was the father of Sagara. In consequence of his leading a debauched life, Bāhuka lost his kingdom. He was in exile with his two spouses. Yādavī, his elder wife, was preparing to commit satī, when he breathed his last. But she was forbidden from her act by the sage Bhārgava because she was pregnant. The second wife, owing to jealousy, administered poison to the pregnant lady. But the child was born in spite of the poison. That is the reason why the new born baby was named Sagara (sa -gara: sa, with; gara, poison).

(Source): Archaeological Survey of India: Śaiva monuments at Paṭṭadakal (harivaṃśa)
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Itihāsa (इतिहास) refers to ‘epic history’ and represents a branch of Sanskrit literature which popularly includes 1) the eighteen major Purāṇas, 2) the Mahābhārata and 3) the Rāmāyaṇa. It is a branch of Vedic Hinduism categorised as smṛti literature (‘that which is remembered’) as opposed to śruti literature (‘that which is transmitted verbally’).

Śilpaśāstra (iconography)

Sagara (सगर) is depicted as a sculpture on the third pillar of the southern half of the maṇḍapa of the temple of Lokeśvara.—Probably, the story from the Viṣṇudharmottara is the source for the visualization of three sequences here, from left to right. A lady lying on a bed is feeding her baby. The baby is sucking her breast. By the side of her bed are sitting a man and his consort. We venture to think that it is Bāhuka who is holding the hand of his second wife to forbid her from doing some nasty act to the child. And the lady with the child is Yādavī. The next scene is, about the two ladies after the death of their husband, Bāhuka. The third sequence is that of Yādavī in the āśrama of Sage Cyavana. The sage is sitting to the right and the child Sagara is on the left lap of his mother. There is an attendant at the pavilion door.

(Source): Archaeological Survey of India: Śaiva monuments at Paṭṭadakal (śilpa)
Śilpaśāstra book cover
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Śilpaśāstra (शिल्पशास्त्र, shilpa-shastra) represents the ancient Indian science of creative arts such as sculpture, iconography and painting. Closely related to Vāstuśāstra (architecture), they often share the same literature.

General definition (in Hinduism)

Sagara (बाहुक):—Son of Bāhuka (son of Vṛka). His name means “one who is born with poison”. He later became the emperor. He had two wives, named Sumati and Keśinī. He is mentioned to have at least sixty thousand sons. One of them was named Asamañjasa. (see Bhāgavata Purāṇa 9.8.4,8-14)

(Source): Wisdom Library: Hinduism

Sagara was an emperor of the Solar dynasty, the son of Asita, and an ancestor of Rama. After being defeated in battle, his father fled to the Himalayas with his two wives. He died there, both his wives being pregnant at that time. One of his wives, Kalindi by name, gave poison to the other with the intention of inducing abortion. However, by the grace of the sage Chyavana, her child Sagara was born alive, but with toxin in his blood.

(Source): Apam Napat: Indian Mythology

Sagara (सगर): King Sagar is one of the greatest kings of Suryavansha in the Satya Yuga. He was king of Ayodhya, ancestor to King Dasharatha. He had two wives Keshini and Sumati. Asamanja was his son from Keshini.

(Source): WikiPedia: Hinduism

In Buddhism

Theravada (major branch of Buddhism)

1. Sagara. The personal attendant of Sumedha Buddha. J.i.38; Bu.xii.23.

2. Sagara. A khattiya, father of Atthadassi Buddha and husband of Sudassana. He lived in Sobhana (Bu.xv.14; J.i.39). The Apadana (Ap.i.153; cf. ThagA.i.153) mentions a monk, named Sagara, a disciple of Atthadassi Buddha, who continued to live after the Buddhas death. The two may have been identical.

3. Sagara. See Gunasagara.

4. Sagara. A king of long ago, mentioned in a list of persons, who, though they held great almsgivings, could not attain beyond the Kamavacara worlds ( It is probably the same king that is mentioned in the Bhuridatta Jataka ( as having become a mahesakkha deva after death.

5. Sagara. Elder son of Mahasagara, king of Uttaramadhura. Upasagara was his younger brother. Sagara was killed by the Andhakavenhuputta. The story is given in the Ghata Jataka. J.iv.79f.

6. Sagara. A king of the line of Mahasammata. He was the son of Mucalinda and father of Sagaradeva. Dpv.iii.6; Mhv.ii.3.

7. Sagara. One of the eminent monks present at the Foundation Ceremony of the Maha Thupa. Dpv.xix.8; MT.525.

-- or --

. A mythical king of the line of Okkaka. He had sixty thousand sons, who ruled in as many towns in Jambudipa. Cv.lxxxvii.34; the legend of Sagara and his sons is given in the Mahabharata (iii.106ff.).

(Source): Pali Kanon: Pali Proper Names
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Theravāda is a major branch of Buddhism having the the Pali canon (tipitaka) as their canonical literature, which includes the vinaya-pitaka (monastic rules), the sutta-pitaka (Buddhist sermons) and the abhidhamma-pitaka (philosophy and psychology).


sāgara : (m.) the sea; ocean. || sāgāra (adj.) living in a house.

(Source): BuddhaSasana: Concise Pali-English Dictionary

Sāgara, (cp. Epic Sk. sāgara) the ocean D. I, 89; A. II, 56, 140; III, 52; V, 116 sq.; Vin. I, 246; Sn. 568; PvA. 29; sāgara‹-› ūmi a wave of the ocean, a flood J. IV, 165; °-vāri the ocean J. IV, 165; sāgaranta or sāgarapariyanta bounded or surrounded by the ocean (said of the earth) J. VI, 203; °-kuṇḍala the same J. III, 32; VI, 278. (Page 702)

— or —

Sāgāra, (adj.) (sa3+agāra) living in a house, It. 111; sleeping under the same roof Vin. II, 279. (Page 702)

(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.

Mahayana (major branch of Buddhism)

Sāgara (सागर) is the name of a king belonging to the ‘sun-king lineage’ into which Buddha was previously born, mentioned in order to demonstrate the fearlessness of the Buddha according to the Mahāprajñāpāramitāśāstra chapter XL.1.4. Accordingly, “The Buddha himself from the very beginning has always taken birth in the lineage of noble cakravartin kings. He was born into the families of the lineage of ‘sun kings’: king So-kie (Sāgara), etc. This is why he has no fear”.

(Source): Wisdom Library: Maha Prajnaparamita Sastra
Mahayana book cover
context information

Mahayana (महायान, mahāyāna) is a major branch of Buddhism focusing on the path of a Bodhisattva (spiritual aspirants/ enlightened beings). Extant literature is vast and primarely composed in the Sanskrit language. There are many sūtras of which some of the earliest are the various Prajñāpāramitā sūtras.

Languages of India and abroad

Marathi-English dictionary

sāgara (सागर).—m (S) A sea or the ocean.

(Source): DDSA: The Molesworth Marathi and English Dictionary

sāgara (सागर).—m A sea or the ocean.

(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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