Subahu, aka: Subāhu, Subāhu, Su-bahu; 13 Definition(s)


Subahu 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

Katha (narrative stories)

Subahu in Katha glossary... « previous · [S] · next »

1) Subāhu (सुबाहु) is the name of a king whose strength is considered as equaling a half-power warrior (ardharatha), according to the Kathāsaritsāgara, chapter 47. Accordingly, as the Asura Maya explained the arrangement of warriors in Sunītha’s army: “... [Subāhu, and others], are considered half-power warriors”.

2) Subāhu (सुबाहु) is the name of an ancient king, according to the Kathāsaritsāgara, chapter 56. Accordingly, “... then she [Damayantī] joined a caravan of merchants, which she met on the way, and with them she reached the city of a king named Subāhu”.

3) Subāhu (सुबाहु) is one of the five kings that conspired against king Vikramasiṃha from Pratiṣṭhāna, according to the Kathāsaritsāgara, chapter 58. Accordingly, “... once on a time, when he was in his city [Pratiṣṭhāna], five or six of his [Vikramasiṃha’s] relations combined together, and going to his palace, surrounded him. Their names were Mahābhaṭa, Virabāhu, Subāhu, Subhaṭa and Pratāpāditya, all powerful kings. The king’s minister was proceeding to try the effect of conciliation on them, but the king set him aside, and went out to fight with them”.

4) Subāhu (सुबाहु) is the name of a Daitya who participated in the war between the Asuras and the Devas, according to the Kathāsaritsāgara, chapter 115. Accordingly, “... then Vidyuddhvaja arrived, and there took place between those two armies a great battle, in which it was difficult to distinguish between friend and foe. Those Daityas, who were headed by Subāhu, fought with the wind-gods (Vāyus) [...]”.

5) Subāhu (सुबाहु) is the name of a warrior (sainya) in service of king Vikramāditya from Ujjayinī, according to the Kathāsaritsāgara, chapter 121. Accordingly, “... and the following speeches of the military officers, assigning elephants and horses, were heard in the neighbourhood of the city [Ujjayinī] when the kings started, and within the city itself when the sovereign started: ‘[...] and Bāhu and Subāhu [must take] the two horses Śaravega and Garuḍavega...’”.

The Kathāsaritsāgara (‘ocean of streams of story’), mentioning Subāhu, 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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Purana and Itihasa (epic history)

Subahu in Purana glossary... « previous · [S] · next »

1) Subāhu (सुबाहु).—A nāga born to Kaśyapaprajāpati by his wife Kadrū. (Ādi Parva, Chapter 85, Verse 14). (See full article at Story of Subāhu from the Puranic encyclopaedia by Vettam Mani)

2) Subāhu (सुबाहु).—An apsarā, daughter of Kaśyapaprajāpati of his wife Pradhā. (Ādi Parva, Chapter 65, Verse 50). This apsarā had participated in the birthday celebrations of Arjuna. (Ādi Parva, Chapter 122, Verse 63).

3) Subāhu (सुबाहु).—A Kṣatriya King who was in fact Hara the asura reborn as such. The Pāṇḍavas, thought of despatching a letter inviting this King to the great war. (Udyoga Parva, Chapter 4, Verse 14).

4) Subāhu (सुबाहु).—A Kṣatriya King who was Krodhvaśa, the asura, reborn. (Ādi Parva, Chapter 67, Verse 60).

5) Subāhu (सुबाहु).—One of the hundred sons of Dhṛtarāṣṭra. He was killed by Bhīma in the great war. (Bhīṣma Parva, Chapter 96, Verse 26).

6) Subāhu (सुबाहु).—General. A King of Kāśī. Subāhu had a very beautiful daughter called Śaśikalā, who was married by Sudarśana, son of Dhruvasandhi. (For details see under Śaśikalā). Other information.

(i) Though he had never been defeated till then in battle, Bhīmasena, in the course of his triumphal tour of the east defeated him. (Sabhā Parva, Chapter 20, Verse 6).

(ii) He was present at the wedding of Draupadī in the company of his son Sukumāra. In this context he is referred to as Sucitra as well. (Ādi Parva, Chapter 185, Verse 10).

7) Subāhu (सुबाहु).—A Rākṣasa. One of the two sons of Tāṭakā, the other being Mārīca. A Gandharva named Sunda was their father. Subāhu and Mārīca possessed, like Tāṭakā, great power and adeptness in magic. Agastya once cursed Tāṭakā and her two sons who went to fight him for his having cursed Sunda to ashes when he attacked his āśrama. Subāhu was killed in a battle with Śrī Rāma during his stay in exile in the forest. (Sabhā Parva, Chapter 38).

8) Subāhu (सुबाहु).—A King of Cedi, son of Vīrabāhu and brother of Sunandā. (Vana Parva, Chapter 65, Verse 45).

9) Subāhu (सुबाहु).—A King of Kulindas whose kingdom was in the suburbs of the Himālayas. (Vana Parva, Chapter 140, Verse 40). The kingdom was rich in many curious objects and elephants and horses. Kirātas, Taṅgaṇas and Kulindas lived there. King Subāhu received the Pāṇḍavas with great respect when they visited his kingdom during the period of their forest-life. They actually entered the forest after spending one day there. Subāhu fought on the Pāṇḍava side in the great war. (Vana Parva, Chapter 140, Verse 24).

10) Subāhu (सुबाहु).—A warrior who fought against the Pāṇḍavas in the great war. Both his hands were cut off in his fight with Yuyutsu. (Droṇa Parva, Chapter 25, Verse 13).

11) Subāhu (सुबाहु).—A warrior of Subrahmaṇya. (Śalya Parva, Chapter 45, Verse 73).

12) Subāhu (सुबाहु).—There is a reference in Verse 66, Chapter 115 of Anuśāsana Parva, Mahābhārata, about a Subāhu, who never consumed flesh in life.

13) Subāhu (सुबाहु).—Father of Sagara of Solar dynasty. (For details see under Sagara).

14) Subāhu (सुबाहु).—A Cola King. A great devotee of Viṣṇu, the King performed many yajñas. Though he lived according to the spiritual advice of his preceptor Jaimini he was denied the sight of Viṣṇu. Ultimately Subāhu and his queen attained heaven as they listened to Vijvala, their second son, reciting hymns addressed to Vāsudeva. (Padma Purāṇa, Bhūmi Khaṇḍa, Chapter 94).

Though Subāhu and his queen worshipped Viṣṇu for a long time in the Ānanda forest, the lord did not appear to them. Ultimately they forsook their bodies in the forest and after a very long walk came to the abode of munis. The king queried them as to why he failed to see Viṣṇu though he performed penance for a very long time. The King and queen were done up due to hunger and thirst and the munis asked them to return to Ānandāśrama and eat the corpses left there. While they were accordingly eating the corpses, Vijvala questioned Kuñjala a bird which lived nearby, why his parents were eating dead bodies. The bird answered that when the King and queen had recited the praises of Vāsudeva they would see Viṣṇu. It also taught Vijvala songs in praise of Viṣṇu. After having studied the songs, Vijvala went and sat on a tree at ānandāśrama and sang the songs. Subāhu and his queen repeated them and immediately Viṣṇu appeared before them and conducted them to heaven.

Source: Puranic Encyclopaedia

1a) Subāhu (सुबाहु).—A son of Śatrughna;1 his capital was Mathurā.2

  • 1) Bhāgavata-purāṇa IX. 11. 12; Vāyu-purāṇa 88. 186; Viṣṇu-purāṇa IV. 4. 104.
  • 2) Brahmāṇḍa-purāṇa III. 63. 187.

1b) A son of Kālindī.*

  • * Bhāgavata-purāṇa X. 61. 14.

1c) A son of Pratībāhu, and father of Śāntasena.*

  • * Bhāgavata-purāṇa X. 90. 38.

1d) An Apsaras.*

  • * Brahmāṇḍa-purāṇa III. 7. 7; Vāyu-purāṇa 69. 6.

1e) A Gandharva born to Krodhā.*

  • * Brahmāṇḍa-purāṇa III. 7. 8.

1f) A Vānara chieftain.*

  • * Brahmāṇḍa-purāṇa III. 7. 241.

1g) A son of Hṛdīka.*

  • * Brahmāṇḍa-purāṇa III. 71. 141.

1h) A sage of the Raivata epoch.*

  • * Matsya-purāṇa 9. 19.

1i) A son of Aśvinī and Akrūra.*

  • * Matsya-purāṇa 45. 32.

1j) A Gandharva king in Kailāsa.*

  • * Vāyu-purāṇa 41. 21.

1k) A Rākṣasa killed by Rāma.*

  • * Viṣṇu-purāṇa IV. 4. 100
Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: The Purana Index

Subāhu (सुबाहु) is a name mentioned in the Mahābhārata (cf. I.35.14, I.61.55) and represents one of the many proper names used for people and places. Note: The Mahābhārata (mentioning Subāhu) is a Sanskrit epic poem consisting of 100,000 ślokas (metrical verses) and is over 2000 years old.

Subāhu also refers to the name of a Lady mentioned in the Mahābhārata (cf. I.59.49, I.65).

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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General definition (in Hinduism)

Subahu was an Asura, the kinsman of Ravana, the King of the Asuras. Accompanied by his brother Maricha, he used to disrupt the sacrifice of the sage Vishwamitra by throwing unclean offal and blood into the sacred fire. Vishwamitra sought the help of the Kosala princes Rama and Laxmana to guard against this menace. When the demons tried their usual tricks, Rama slew Subahu with a divine missile, but Maricha escaped by running away to Lanka. Maricha was later slain by Rama when he posed as a golden stag to draw Rama away from his wife Sita.

Source: Apam Napat: Indian Mythology

Subahu (सुबाहु): King of Kulinda in the Himalayas, ally of the Kauravas, Subahu was a demon who tried to interrupt Viswamitra's yaga. He was slain by Lord Rama. King of Chedi.

Source: WikiPedia: Hinduism

In Buddhism

Theravada (major branch of Buddhism)

1. Subahu Thera. He was the son of a setthi family of Benares, and was the friend of Yasa. When Yasa and his companions joined the Order Subahu followed his example, and they all became arahants. Vin.i.19f.

2. Subahu Thera. He was the son of a Malla raja of Pava. He joined the Order on the occasion of the Buddhas first visit to Rajagaha and attained arahantship together with his friends Godhika, Valliya and Uttiya. Bimbisara built a hut for them but forgot the roof; there was no rain until this defect had been made good (Thag.vs.52; ThagA.i.123f).

Ninety nine kappas ago Subahu paid homage to Siddhattha Buddha. Thirty seven kappas ago he was king sixteen times, under the name of Agada. He is perhaps identical with Nanasannaka of the Apadana. Ap.i.140f.

3. Subahu. Five hundred kappas ago there were thirty four kings of this name, previous births of Ekasaniya (Sivali) Thera. Ap.i.150; ThagA.i.139.

4. Subahu. A tiger. See the Vannaroha and Tittira (No. 438) Jatakas. He is identified with Moggallana. J.iii.192, 540.

5. Subahu. A Pacceka Buddha. M.iii.70; ApA.i.107.

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).

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General definition (in Buddhism)

Taranatha mentions that King Subahu (Probably, the king of Aparantaka Kingdom) was the contemporary of Madhyandina. After the death of Subahu, Sudhanu succeeded him. Madhyandina went Kashmir and preached Buddhism for 20 years.

Source: The Chronological History of Buddhism

In Jainism

General definition (in Jainism)

Subāhu (सुबाहु) participated in the war between Rāma and Rāvaṇa, on the side of the latter, as mentioned in Svayambhūdeva’s Paumacariu (Padmacarita, Paumacariya or Rāmāyaṇapurāṇa) chapter 57ff. Svayambhū or Svayambhūdeva (8th or 9th century) was a Jain householder who probably lived in Karnataka. His work recounts the popular Rāma story as known from the older work Rāmāyaṇa (written by Vālmīki). Various chapters [mentioning Subāhu] are dedicated to the humongous battle whose armies (known as akṣauhiṇīs) consisted of millions of soldiers, horses and elephants, etc.

Source: Een Kritische Studie Van Svayambhūdeva’s Paümacariu

Subāhu (सुबाहु) was one of the four friends and brother of Vajranābha: Vṛṣabhanātha’s eleventh incarnation (bhava).—After completing his life as a deva Jīvānanda was born in Puṣkalāvatī to the wife of king Vajrasena, Dharaṇī. At the time of conception the mother saw 14 great dreams. Vajrasena named his son Vajranābha, who went on to become a cakravartī (emperor). His four friends were born as his brothers Bāhu, Subāhu, Pīṭha and Mahāpīṭha and became provincial kings. When his father, Tīrthaṅkara Vajrasena, after attaining omniscience (kevalī), started delivering his religious sermons, the cakravartī Vajranābha (due to his past good merits) too accepted initiation (renounced the world).

Source: HereNow4u: Lord Vṛṣabhanātha
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

Pali-English dictionary

Subahu in Pali glossary... « previous · [S] · next »

subahu : (adj.) very many.

Source: BuddhaSasana: Concise 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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Sanskrit-English dictionary

Subāhu (सुबाहु).—a.

1) handsomearmed.

2) strong-armed.

-huḥ Name of a demon, brother of Mārīcha, who had become a demon by the curse of Agastya. He with Mārīcha began to disturb the sacrifice of Viśvāmitra, but was defeated by Rāma. and Lakṣmaṇa; यः सुबाहुरिति राक्षसोऽपरस्तत्र तत्र विससर्प मायया (yaḥ subāhuriti rākṣaso'parastatra tatra visasarpa māyayā) R.11.29.

Subāhu is a Sanskrit compound consisting of the terms su and bāhu (बाहु).

Source: DDSA: The practical Sanskrit-English dictionary
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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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Relevant definitions

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