Subhadra, aka: Subhadrā, Su-bhadra; 22 Definition(s)
Subhadra means something in Buddhism, Pali, Hinduism, Sanskrit, Jainism, Prakrit, the history of ancient India. 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.
Shaivism (Shaiva philosophy)
1) Subhadrā (सुभद्रा, “glittering”):—One of the nine Dūtī presided over by one of the nine bhaivaravas named Yogeśa (emanation of Ananta, who is the central presiding deity of Dūtīcakra), according to the Kubjikāmata-tantra and the Ṣaṭsāhasrasaṃhitā.
2) Subhadrā (सुभद्रा):—Sanskrit name of one of the thirty-two female deities of the Somamaṇḍala (second maṇḍala of the Khecarīcakra) according to the kubjikāmata-tantra. These goddesses are situated on a ring of sixteen petals and represent the thirty-two syllables of the Aghoramantra. Each deity (including Subhadrā) is small, plump and large-bellied. They can assume any form at will, have sixteen arms each, and are all mounted on a different animal.Source: Wisdom Library: Kubjikāmata-tantra
Subhadrā (सुभद्रा) is a Sanskrit name of one of the five cow-mothers, born from the churning of the milk ocean and descended on earth from Śiva’s world at the latter’s behest for the welfare of the people, according to the ŚivadharmottarapurāṇaSource: Wisdom Library: Śaivism
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.
Pancaratra (worship of Nārāyaṇa)
Subhadra (सुभद्र):—One of the eight gatekeepers who are said to embody the eight siddhis (‘yogic powers’).Source: Wisdom Library: Pāñcarātra
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.
Subhadra (सुभद्र) refers to a type of temple (prāsāda) classified under the group named Miśraka, according to Samarāṅgaṇasūtradhāra chapter 56. The Miśraka group contains nine 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.
Subhadra is mentioned in another list of 40 temples, in the Samarāṅgaṇasūtradhāra, chapter 57, where it is mentioned as one of the nine temples being a favorite of Bhagavatī, as well as one of the twenty temples being a favorite of Viṣṇu.Source: Wisdom Library: Vāstu-śāstra
Subhadra (सुभद्र).—A type of aṅgavibhakti (‘indendations’ in a wall line);—If the bhadra is provided with another offset projection, that projection is called by the name subhadra.Source: Shodhganga: Temples of Salem region Up to 1336 AD
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.
Ayurveda (science of life)
Subhadrā (सुभद्रा) is another name (synonym) for Śaṭī, which is a Sanskrit name for the plant Hedychium spicatum (spiked ginger lily). This synonym was identified by Narahari in his 13th-century Rājanighaṇṭu (verses 6.226-227), which is an Āyurvedic medicinal thesaurus.Source: Wisdom Library: Āyurveda and botany
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.
Subhadra (सुभद्र) refers to a variety of maṇḍapa (halls attached to the temple), according to the Matsya-purāṇa (verses 270.1-30). The subhadra-maṇḍapa is to be built with 12 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., subhadra) 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
1) Subhadrā (सुभद्रा).—Sister of Śrī Kṛṣṇa. Birth. Subhadrā was the daughter of Vasudeva by his wife Devakī. She had two brothers, Kṛṣṇa and Sāraṇa and she was her father’s pet child. (Ādi Parva, Chapter 217, Verse 18). (See full article at Story of Subhadrā from the Puranic encyclopaedia by Vettam Mani)
2) Subhadrā (सुभद्रा).—A daughter of Surabhi. She lives in the western region. (Udyoga Parva, Chapter 102 Verse 9).
3) Subhadra (सुभद्र).—A banyan tree. Garuḍa went to Devaloka to fetch amṛta after marking this tree as a sign-post. See under Garuḍa. (Araṇya Kāṇḍa, Canto 35).Source: archive.org: Puranic Encyclopaedia
1a) Subhadra (सुभद्र).—One of the seven divisions of Plakṣadvīpa.*
- * Bhāgavata-purāṇa V. 20. 3.
1b) A son of Pauravī and Vasudeva.*
- * Bhāgavata-purāṇa IX. 24. 47.
1c) A son of Kṛṣṇa and Bhadrā: fought with Sangrāmajit deluded by Kṛṣṇa.*
- * Bhāgavata-purāṇa X. 61. 17; XI. 30. 16.
1d) An Yakṣa; a son of Puṇyajanī and Maṇibhadra.*
- * Brahmāṇḍa-purāṇa III. 7. 124; Vāyu-purāṇa 69. 156.
2a) Subhadrā (सुभद्रा).—A daughter of Vasudeva and Devakī: queen of Arjuna, mother of Abhimaṇyu, and grandmother of Parīkṣit, younger sister of Kṛṣṇa of dark complexion;1 taken by Kṛṣṇa to Dvārakā;2 heard from the wives of Kṛṣṇa of their marriage and was in wonder;3 grieved at Kṛṣṇa's departure from Hastināpura: welcomed Vidura;4 the pride of the Vṛṣṇis.5
- 1) Bhāgavata-purāṇa IX. 24. 55; 22. 33; Matsya-purāṇa 46. 15; 50. 56; Vāyu-purāṇa 96. 175-6; Viṣṇu-purāṇa IV. 20. 51. 99. 249.
- 2) Bhāgavata-purāṇa X. 64 ;
- 3) Ib. X. 84. 1.
- 4) Ib. I. 10. 9; 13. 3.
- 5) Brahmāṇḍa-purāṇa III. 71. 177-8.
2b) The goddess enshrined at Śoṇasamgama.*
- * Matsya-purāṇa 13. 45.
2c) The wife of Aniruddha.*
- * Viṣṇu-purāṇa IV. 15. 40.
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.
Subhadra (सुभद्र) refers to a type of upapīṭha (sub-structure, beneath the adhiṣṭhāna), according to the Mayamata 13.5.
Subhadra is constructed with the following major mouldings (aṃśa):
Subhadra has two varieties according to the Mayamata, and is listed as identical to the vedibhadra (except for the surface treatments, which is plain with little ornamentation).Source: Wisdom Library: Śilpa-śāstra
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.
Natyashastra (theatrics and dramaturgy)
Subhadrā (सुभद्रा) is the name of a meter belonging to the Uṣṇik class of Dhruvā (songs) described in the Nāṭyaśāstra chapter 32:—“the metre which has in its feet of seven syllables the second, the fourth, the penultimate and the last one long, is subhadrā”.Source: Wisdom Library: Nāṭya-śāstra
Natyashastra (नाट्यशास्त्र, nāṭyaśāstra) refers to both the ancient Indian tradition (śāstra) of performing arts, (nāṭya, 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 (nataka) and poetic works (kavya).
Katha (narrative stories)
Subhadrā (सुभद्रा) is the daughter of the Asura prince Sumāya, and was given to Sūryaprabha in marriage according to the Kathāsaritsāgara, chapter 45. Accordingly, “... and the next day Sumāya, a prince of the Asuras, after presenting an invitation, conducted him with all his friends to his underworld, the sixth; there he too gave him his daughter, by name Subhadrā, with body black as a stalk of durvā grass, like a female incarnation of the God of Love; and Sūryaprabha spent that day with that black maiden, whose face was like a full moon”.
The story of Subhadrā and Sumāya was narrated by the Vidyādhara king Vajraprabha to prince Naravāhanadatta in order to relate how “Sūryaprabha, being a man, obtain of old time the sovereignty over the Vidyādharas”.
The Kathāsaritsāgara (‘ocean of streams of story’), mentioning Subhadrā, 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 (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.
General definition (in Hinduism)
Subhadra was the sister of Krishna and Balarama. Krishna wanted her to marry Arjuna but Balarama was against it. Finally, with the help of Krishna's plot, Subhadra and Arjuna eloped together and were married. The great boy-warrior Abhimanyu is their son.Source: Apam Napat: Indian Mythology
Subhadra (सुभद्रा): Wife of Arjuna, sister of Sri Krishna and mother of Abhimanyu.Source: WikiPedia: Hinduism
Mahayana (major branch of Buddhism)
Subhadra (सुभद्र) is the name of a Brahmacārin of 120 years old, according to the Subhadrabrahmacārisūtra as related in the 2nd century Mahāprajñāpāramitāśāstra (chapter VI). Accordingly, “The brahmacārin Subhadra, 120 years old and possessing the superknowledges (abhijñā), was on the shore of lake Anavatapta. During the night in a dream he saw everybody without eyes, with bodies naked and deep in shadow; the sun had disappeared, the earth destroyed, the ocean dried up and Sumeru toppled over by wind-storms”.Source: Wisdom Library: Maha Prajnaparamita Sastra
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.
Tibetan Buddhism (Vajrayana or tantric Buddhism)
Subhadrā (सुभद्रा) is the goddess presiding over one of the six petals of the western lotus of the vārāhyabhyudaya-maṇḍala, according to the Vārāhyabhyudayatantra. These six petals are presided over by a kuleśvarī (presiding lady) named Tārā. The central deity of the vārāhyabhyudaya-maṇḍala is the twelve-armed Vajravarāhī.
Subhadrā is associated with the sacred site (pīṭha) named Lampāka. All the goddess of the western lotus petals are to be visualised as dancing naked and being half-male / half-female (ardhanarīśvarī) with their two sides being red and yellow. In their four arms they brandish a bowl and staff, with a ḍamaru and their familial attribute.
The Vārāhyabhyudayatantra is an explanatory tantra on the Laghuśaṃvara, but its verses are largerly extracted from the 10th century Abhidhānottaratantra, a scriputre describing various sādhanas (path towards spiritual realization).Source: Wisdomlib Libary: Vajrayogini
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.
General definition (in Buddhism)Source: Buddhist Door: Glossary
General definition (in Jainism)
1) Subhadra (सुभद्र) refers to a class of yakṣa deities according to both the Śvetāmbara and the Digambara traditions. The yakṣas refer to a category of vyantaras gods which represents one of the four classes of celestial beings (devas). The assigned color of yakṣas is black and their caitya-vṛkṣa (sacred tree) is the “banyan tree” (vaṭa).
The deities such as the Subhadras are defined in ancient Jain cosmological texts such as the Saṃgrahaṇīratna in the Śvetāmbara tradition or the Tiloyapaṇṇati by Yativṛṣabha (5th century) in the Digambara tradition.
Subhadra (सुभद्र) is also mentioned in the Tattvārtha-bhāṣya amongst a list of thirteen. The Tattvārtha-bhāṣya is a commentary on the Tattvārtha-sūtra, an ancient and foundational Jain text written in the 2nd century by Umāsvāti. It contains philosophy accepted as authoritative by both the Digambara and the Śvetāmbara sects of Jainism.
2) Subhadrā (सुभद्रा) is the mother of Vijaya: the second Baladeva according to Śvetāmbara, while the Digambara tradition mentions him as the first Baladeva. Jain legends describe nine such Baladevas (“gentle heroes”) usually appearing together with their “violent” twin-brothers known as the Vāsudevas. The legends of these twin-heroes usually involve their antagonistic counterpart known as the Prativāsudevas (anti-heroes).
The stories of Subhadrā and Vijaya are narrated in texts such as the Triṣaṣṭiśalākāpuruṣacarita (“the lives of the sixty-three illustrious persons”), a twelfth-century Śvetāmbara work by Hemacandra.Source: Wisdom Library: Jainism
Subhadra (सुभद्र) is one of the nine graiveyakas: a subclasses of kalpātītas (born beyond heaven), itself a division of empyrean celestial beings (vaimānika) according to the 2nd-century Tattvārthasūtra 4.19. The living beings residing in the vimānas are called the empyrean gods (vaimānika) and represents one of the four classes of Devas.
The nava-graiveyakas (eg., Subhadra) are the three layered residences above the sixteenth heaven (kalpa) where Ahamindra deities reside. Which thought-colourations are there in Graivaiyaka, Anudiśa and Anuttara gods? They have pure white thought-colouration.Source: Encyclopedia of Jainism: Tattvartha Sutra 4: The celestial beings (deva)
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.
India history and geogprahy
Subhadra (सुभद्र).—To the west of Kuśinagara, not far off, is a stūpa. This is where Subhadra (Shen-hien) died (entered Nirvāṇa). Subhadra was originally a Brāhmaṇ teacher. He was 120 years of age; being so old, he had acquired in consequence much wisdom. Hearing that Buddha was about to die, he came to the two (sāla) trees, and asked ānanda, saying, “The Lord is about to die; pray let me ask him respecting some doubts I have, which still hamper me”.Source: archive.org: Buddhist records of the Western World
The history of India traces the identification of countries, villages, towns and other regions of India, as well as royal dynasties, rulers, tribes, local festivities and traditions and regional languages. Ancient India enjoyed religious freedom and encourages the path of Dharma, a concept common to Buddhism, Hinduism, and Jainism.
Languages of India and abroad
Subhadra (सुभद्र).—a. very happy or fortunate.
-draḥ Name of Viṣṇu; साकं साकम्पमंसे वसति विदधती बासुभद्रं सुभद्रम् (sākaṃ sākampamaṃse vasati vidadhatī bāsubhadraṃ subhadram) Viṣṇupāda S.31.
-drā Name of the sister of Balarāma and Kṛṣṇa, married to Arjuna q. v. She bore to him a son named Abhimanyu.
Subhadra is a Sanskrit compound consisting of the terms su and bhadra (भद्र).Source: DDSA: The practical Sanskrit-English dictionary
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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Search found 38 books and stories containing Subhadra, Subhadrā or Su-bhadra. You can also click to the full overview containing English textual excerpts. Below are direct links for the most relevant articles:
Brihad Bhagavatamrita (by Śrīla Sanātana Gosvāmī)
Verse 2.1.27 < [Chapter 1 - Vairāgya: Renunciation]
Verse 2.5.210 < [Chapter 5 - Prema: Love of God]
Verse 1.5.90 < [Chapter 5 - Priya: The Beloved]
The Brahma Purana (by G. P. Bhatt)
Sri Bhakti-rasamrta-sindhu (by Śrīla Rūpa Gosvāmī)
Verse 3.2.148 < [Part 2 - Affection and Service (dāsya-rasa)]
Verse 3.3.23 < [Part 3 - Fraternal Devotion (sakhya-rasa)]
Maha Prajnaparamita Sastra (by Gelongma Karma Migme Chödrön)
Part 5 - Pañcamātra Bhikṣusahasra (section of five thousand arhats) < [Chapter VI - The Great Bhikṣu Saṃgha]
Jātaka of the deer who sacrificed himself < [Part 1 - Mahāyānist list of the eighteen special attributes of the Buddha]
Appendix 3 - Suicide in Buddhism (ātmavadha) < [Chapter XX - The Virtue of Generosity and Generosity of the Dharma]
Trishashti Shalaka Purusha Caritra (by Helen M. Johnson)
Part 1: Birth of Vasudeva (parents Andhakavṛṣṇi and Subhadrā) < [Chapter II - Marriages of Vasudeva with maidens]
Part 13: Birth of Vijaya < [Chapter II - Vāsupūjyacaritra]
Part 10: Cārudatta’s adventures < [Chapter II - Marriages of Vasudeva with maidens]