Shrivatsa, aka: Shri-vatsa, Śrīvatsa; 16 Definition(s)

Introduction

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

The Sanskrit term Śrīvatsa can be transliterated into English as Srivatsa or Shrivatsa, using the IAST transliteration scheme (?).

In Hinduism

Purana

[Shrivatsa in Purana glossaries]

Śrīvatsa (श्रीवत्स) refers to a variety of maṇḍapa (halls attached to the temple), according to the Matsya-purāṇa (verses 270.1-30). The śrīvatsa-maṇḍapa is to be built with 48 pillars (stambha). The Matsyapurāṇa is one of the eighteen major purāṇas dating from the 1st-millennium BCE.

Accordingly (verse 270.15-17), “These maṇḍapas (eg., śrīvatsa) should be either made triangular, circular, octagonal or with 16 sides or they are square. They promote kingdoms, victory, longevity, sons, wife and nourishment respecitvely. Temples of other shape than these are inauspicious.”

(Source): Wisdom Library: Purāṇas

Śrīvatsa (श्रीवत्स)—One of the Heavenly ornaments according to the Vāyu Purāṇa. Śrīvatsa is called the lakṣaṇa (distinguishing ornament?) of Viṣṇu.

(Source): Google Books: Cultural History from the Vāyu Purāna

Śrīvatsa (श्रीवत्स).—The jewel of Kṛṣṇa;1 of Pauṇḍarīka Vāsudeva.2

  • 1) Vāyu-purāṇa 96. 204.
  • 2) Viṣṇu-purāṇa V. 34. 17.
(Source): Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: The Purana Index
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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Pancaratra (worship of Nārāyaṇa)

[Shrivatsa in Pancaratra glossaries]

Śrīvatsa (श्रीवत्स):—One of the nine symbols representing the cosmic principles of the universe, according to the Pāñcarātra literature. These nine weapons and ornaments symbolize the principles which they represent as the presiding deity. The Śrīvatsa symbol represent Prakṛti (‘material world’).

(Source): Wisdom Library: Pāñcarātra

Śrīvatsa (श्रीवत्स) or Śrīvatsamudrā is the name of a mudrā described in the Īśvarasaṃhitā 24.23-24.—Accordingly, “Śrīvatsamudrā is only padmamudrā”. Mūdra (eg., Śrīvats-amudrā) is so called as it gives joy to the tattvas in the form of karman for those who offer spotless worship, drive out the defects which move about within and without and sealing up of what is done.

(Source): archive.org: Isvara Samhita Vol 5

Śrīvatsa (श्रीवत्स):—On Vishnu’s chest there is a small spiral mark (sometimes a small triangle) called Śrīvatsa which means beloved-of-Fortune (Laksmi). This represents Primordial Nature (prakrti)—the First Principle of Manifestation or the material energy which is the source of the natural world. This is the symbol of all that is enjoyed; the multifold beings and forms of the manifested world. The three leaves represent the three gunas or qualiti es of matter—active (rajas), passive (tamas) or balanced (sattva)

(Source): SriMatham: Vaiṣṇava Iconology based on Pañcarātra Āgama
Pancaratra book cover
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Pancaratra (पाञ्चरात्र, pāñcarātra) represents a tradition of Hinduism where Narayana is revered and worshipped. Closeley related to Vaishnavism, the Pancaratra literature includes various Agamas and tantras incorporating many Vaishnava philosophies.

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Shilpashastra (iconography)

[Shrivatsa in Shilpashastra glossaries]

Śrīvatsa (श्रीवत्स) is a mark, a sort of mole, which is conceived to adorn the chest of Viṣṇu in association with the kaustubhamaṇi which is a jewel. In sculpture this mole is represented by a flower of four petals arranged in the form of a rhombus, or by a simple equilateral triangle, and is invariably placed on the right side of the chest.

The Śrīvatsa is peculiar to Viṣṇu. On the chest of Buddha there is the mark known as śrīvatsa; it is perhaps introduced here in the belief that Buddha is an incarnation of Viṣṇu.

(Source): Google Books: Elements of Hindu iconography

Śrīvatsa (endless knot) - symbolises the way things are = endless and complex — without beginning and end.

(Source): Red Zambala: Hindu Icons and Symbols | Introduction
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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Vastushastra (architecture)

[Shrivatsa in Vastushastra glossaries]

Śrīvatsa (श्रीवत्स) refers to a type of temple (prāsāda) classified under the group named Lalita, according to Samarāṅgaṇasūtradhāra chapter 56. The Lalita group contains twenty-five out of a sixty-four total prāsādas (temples) classified under four groups in this chapter. The Samarāṅgaṇasūtradhāra is an 11th-century encyclopedia dealing with various topics from the Vāstuśāstra.

Śrīvatsa is also listed in the Agnipurāṇa which features a list of 45 temple types. It is listed under the group named Vairāja, featuring square-shaped temples. This list represents a classification of temples in Nort-India.

(Source): Wisdom Library: Vāstu-śāstra
Vastushastra book cover
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Vastushastra (वास्तुशास्त्र, vāstuśāstra) refers to the ancient Indian science (shastra) of architecture (vastu), dealing with topics such architecture, sculpture, town-building, fort building and various other constructions. Vastu also deals with the philosophy of the architectural relation with the cosmic universe.

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Shaivism (Shaiva philosophy)

[Shrivatsa in Shaivism glossaries]

Śrīvatsa (श्रीवत्स) refers to one of the “eight lords of divisions” (vigraheśvara) associated with the so-called eight divisions (vigraha) according to the Mataṅgapārameśvara (1.8.83–5). These “eight lords of divisions” are also mentioned in a copper-plate inscription found in Malhar, Chhattisgarh, written around 650 CE. The eight divisions (vigraha) represent the uppermost part of the Lākulas’ impure universe.

All these manifestations of Śiva (eg., Śrīvatsa) appear at the borders of various divisions of the universe according to the Lākula system.

(Source): Wisdom Library: Śaivism
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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General definition (in Hinduism)

[Shrivatsa in Hinduism glossaries]

The Shrivatsa is an ancient symbol, considered auspicious in India. Srivatsa means "beloved of Sri", the goddess Lakshmi. It is a mark on the chest of Vishnu where his consort Sri Lakshmi resides. It is said that the tenth avatar of Vishnu, Kalki, will bear the Shrivatsa mark on his chest.

In Buddhism, the Srivatsa is said to be a feature of the tutelary deity (Tibetan: yidam) Manjusri the Youth (Skt: Manjusrikumarabhuta).

Tibetan Buddhists depict the shrivatsa as a triangular swirl or an endless knot.

In Jainism, it often marks the chest of the Tirthankara image. It is one of the ashtamangala (auspicious symbol). It can look somewhat like a fleur-de-lis, an endless knot, a flower or diamond-shaped symbol.

(Source): WikiPedia: Hinduism

In Buddhism

General definition (in Buddhism)

[Shrivatsa in Buddhism glossaries]

One of the Eight Auspicious Symbols

The endless knot (Sanskrit: Shrivatsa); Tibetan: Dpal beu), representing the inter twining of wisdom and compassion; represents the mutual dependence of religious doctrine and secular affairs; represents the union of wisdom and method; the inseparability of emptinesss (Sanskrit: Sunyata) and Dependent Co arrising (Sanskrit: Pratitya samutpada at the time of the path); at the time of enlightenment the union of wisdom (Sanskrit: Prajna) and great compassion (Sanskrit: Karuna); also symbolic of knot symbolism in linking ancestors and omnipresence and the magical ritual and meta process of binding (refer etymology of Tantra, Yoga and religion) (see Namkha), the knot, net and the web metaphor also conveys the Buddhist teaching of the Doctrine of Interpenetration;

(Source): WikiPedia: Buddhism

In Jainism

General definition (in Jainism)

[Shrivatsa in Jainism glossaries]

Śrivatsa (श्रिवत्स, “jewel”).—One of the eight providential symbols, or, aṣṭamaṅgala.—Śrivatsa represents the enlightened knowledge that resides in Jineśvara’s heart.

(Source): Shodhganga: A cultural study on the jain western Indian illustrated manuscripts
General definition book cover
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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

Marathi-English dictionary

[Shrivatsa in Marathi glossaries]

śrīvatsa (श्रीवत्स).—m S A name of viṣṇu. 2 m n also śrīvatsa- lāñcchana n S śrīvatsāṅka m S The mark (a cross-form curl of hair) on the breast of viṣṇu (made by the foot of a Brahman). See ex. under bhramarapaḍaḷī.

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

[Shrivatsa in Sanskrit glossaries]

Śrīvatsa (श्रीवत्स).—

1) an epithet of Viṣṇu.

2) a mark or curl of hair on the breast of Viṣṇu; प्रभानुलिप्त- श्रीवत्सं लक्ष्मीविभ्रमदर्पणम् (prabhānulipta- śrīvatsaṃ lakṣmīvibhramadarpaṇam) R.1.1.

3) a hole in a wall made by a house-breaker. °अङ्कः, °धारिन्, °मृत्, °लक्ष्मन्, °लाञ्छन (aṅkaḥ, °dhārin, °mṛt, °lakṣman, °lāñchana) m. epithets of Viṣṇu; तमभ्यगच्छत् प्रथमो विधाता श्रीवत्सलक्ष्मा पुरुषश्च साक्षात् (tamabhyagacchat prathamo vidhātā śrīvatsalakṣmā puruṣaśca sākṣāt) Ku.7.43.

Derivable forms: śrīvatsaḥ (श्रीवत्सः).

Śrīvatsa is a Sanskrit compound consisting of the terms śrī and vatsa (वत्स).

(Source): DDSA: The practical 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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