Suparṇa, Suparna, Śuparṇa, Shuparna, Suparṇā, Su-parna: 22 definitions


Suparṇa means something in Buddhism, Pali, Hinduism, Sanskrit, 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.

The Sanskrit term Śuparṇa can be transliterated into English as Suparna or Shuparna, using the IAST transliteration scheme (?).

In Hinduism

Vastushastra (architecture)

Source: Wisdom Library: Vāstu-śāstra

Suparṇa (सुपर्ण):—The Sanskrit name for a classification of a ‘temple’, according to the Viśvakarmaprakāśa and the 2nd century Matsyapurāṇa, both featuring a list of 20 temple types. In the Matsyapurāṇa however, the name for this temple category is Garuḍa. This list represents the classification of temples in South-India.

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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Vaishnavism (Vaishava dharma)

Source: Manblunder: Vishnu sahasranama 192: Suparṇaḥ

Suparṇa refers to the mystic bird discussed in Ṛg and Yajur Vedas. The shape of a bird is used as fire altar in agnisayana. Agnisayana is a huge Vedic fire ritual spread over a period of twelve days. It is interesting to know why ṛṣis have chosen the shape of a bird to perform this ritual. The shape of the bird is conceived to carry the yajamāna (on whose behalf and at whose expense this sacrifice is performed) of the ritual to the heavens.

Muṇḍaka Upaniṣad (III.i.1) also refers to two mystical birds by saying dvā suparṇā. These two mystical birds refer to self (individual soul) and the Self (Brahman). The Upaniṣad says that these two birds exactly look alike, conveying the truth that there is no difference between the individual soul and the Brahman. The individual self (the first bird) eats the fruits of the tree in which these birds are seated watched by the Cosmic Self (the other bird). 

Since Viṣṇu is the Lord of all fire rituals, He is adored here as Suparṇa. It can also be said that Viṣṇu is praised here as the One, whose vāhana is Garuḍa, the mystic bird.

Vaishnavism book cover
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Vaishnava (वैष्णव, vaiṣṇava) or vaishnavism (vaiṣṇavism) represents a tradition of Hinduism worshipping Vishnu as the supreme Lord. Similar to the Shaktism and Shaivism traditions, Vaishnavism also developed as an individual movement, famous for its exposition of the dashavatara (‘ten avatars of Vishnu’).

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Purana and Itihasa (epic history)

[«previous next»] — Suparṇa in Purana glossary
Source: Wisdom Library: Varāha-purāṇa

Suparṇā (सुपर्णा) is the name of a river mentioned in a list of rivers, flowing from the five great mountains (Śailavarṇa, Mālākhya, Korajaska, Triparṇa and Nīla), according to the Varāhapurāṇa chapter 82. Those who drink the waters of these rivers live for ten thousand years and become devotees of Rudra and Umā.

One of the five mountains situated near Bhadrāśva, according to the Varāhapurāṇa chapter 82. The Varāhapurāṇa is categorised as a Mahāpurāṇa, a type of Sanskrit literature preserving ancient India’s vast cultural history, instructions for religious ceremonies and a whole range of topics concerning the various arts and sciences. The original text is said to have been composed of 24,000 metrical verses, possibly originating from before the 10th century.

Source: Puranic Encyclopedia

1) Suparṇa (सुपर्ण).—A Devagandharva, son of Kaśyapa Prajāpati by his wife Muni. (Ādi Parva, Chapter 65, Verse 42).

2) Suparṇa (सुपर्ण).—Another Devagandharva, son of Kaśyapaprajāpati by his wife Pradhā. (Ādi Parva, Chapter 65, Verse 47).

3) Suparṇa (सुपर्ण).—Younger brother of the asura called Mayūra. Suparṇa in after life was born as King Kālakīrti on earth. (Ādi Parva, Chapter 67, Verse 36).

4) Suparṇa (सुपर्ण).—Another name of Garuḍa. (See under Garuḍa).

5) Suparṇa (सुपर्ण).—A maharṣi, who taught Vāyubhagavān Sātvatadharma and also attained salvation by performing penance with mind under perfect control. (Śānti Parva, Chapter 348).

6) Suparṇa (सुपर्ण).—A Synonym of Mahāviṣṇu. (Anuśāsana Parva, Chapter 149, Verse 34).

7) Suparṇā (सुपर्णा).—See under Pārvatī.

8) Suparṇa (सुपर्ण) or Suparṇavyūha refers to the “Disposition of an army in the shape of a kite”.—Disposition of an army (vyūha) of four parts, (infantry, cavalry, elephants and chariots) in the battlefield, the arrangement of it, in various forms. It is said that during the period of Mahābhārata, there were various forms of disposition of the army.—Suparṇa-vyūha is mentioned in the Mahābhārata Droṇa Parva, Chapter 20.

Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: The Purana Index

1) Śuparṇa (शुपर्ण).—A Sudhāmāna god.*

  • * Brahmāṇḍa-purāṇa II. 36. 28.

2a) Suparṇa (सुपर्ण).—A name of Garuḍa;1 brother of Aruṇa;2 outwitted by Kālanemi in the Tārakāmaya;3 residence of, in the Mārkaṇḍeya hill.4

  • 1) Bhāgavata-purāṇa III. 1. 39; Matsya-purāṇa 8. 8; Viṣṇu-purāṇa I. 21. 18.
  • 2) Matsya-purāṇa 174. 47.
  • 3) Ib. 173. 32.
  • 4) Vāyu-purāṇa 40. 1-2.

2b) A boundary hill in Plakṣadvīpa.*

  • * Bhāgavata-purāṇa V. 20. 4.

2c) An Asura residing in Rasātalam.*

  • * Brahmāṇḍa-purāṇa II. 20. 39.

2d) A son of Krodhā and a deva gandharva.*

  • * Brahmāṇḍa-purāṇa III. 6. 39.

2e) A Mauneya gandharva.*

  • * Brahmāṇḍa-purāṇa III. 7. 11.

2f) A brother of Sumatī; wife of Sagara.*

  • * Brahmāṇḍa-purāṇa III. 63. 158.

2g) A devagaṇa.*

  • * Vāyu-purāṇa 31. 12.

2h) A son of Antarikṣa, and father of Amitrajit.*

  • * Vāyu-purāṇa 99. 286; Viṣṇu-purāṇa IV. 22. 5.

2i) Worship Pitṛs; soma saṃhitās are attributed to them.*

  • * Brahmāṇḍa-purāṇa II. 35. 71; III. 10. 111.

3) Suparṇā (सुपर्णा).—A name of Vinatā and mother of Garuḍa.*

  • * Bhāgavata-purāṇa VI. 6. 22.
Source: JatLand: List of Mahabharata people and places

Suparṇa (सुपर्ण) is a name mentioned in the Mahābhārata (cf. I.59.41, I.65, I.59.45, I.65, I.61.34) and represents one of the many proper names used for people and places. Note: The Mahābhārata (mentioning Suparṇa) is a Sanskrit epic poem consisting of 100,000 ślokas (metrical verses) and is over 2000 years old.

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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Ayurveda (science of life)

[«previous next»] — Suparṇa in Ayurveda glossary

Veterinary Medicine (The study and treatment of Animals)

Source: Shodhganga: Portrayal of Animal Kingdom (Tiryaks) in Epics An Analytical study

1) Suparṇa (सुपर्ण) (lit. “one who is looking beautiful”) is a synonym (another name) for the Horse (Aśva), according to scientific texts such as the Mṛgapakṣiśāstra (Mriga-pakshi-shastra) or “the ancient Indian science of animals and birds” by Hamsadeva, containing the varieties and descriptions of the animals and birds seen in the Sanskrit Epics such as the Ramayana and Mahabharata.

2) Suparṇa (सुपर्ण) (lit. “one who has beautiful wings”) is also another name for Garuḍa.

Toxicology (Study and Treatment of poison)

Source: Shodhganga: Kasyapa Samhita—Text on Visha Chikitsa

Suparṇa (सुपर्ण) (roots) is used in the treatment of snake-bites such as those caused by the Kuṭila-snakes, according to the Kāśyapa Saṃhitā: an ancient Sanskrit text from the Pāñcarātra tradition dealing with both Tantra and Viṣacikitsā—an important topic from Āyurveda which deals with the study of Toxicology (Viṣavidyā or Sarpavidyā).—Accordingly, the treatment is mentioned as follows: “A paste made out of Red chalk or Ochre, (famed for its cooling properties) one measure of the powder of the bark of Śleṣmātaka and Śiriṣa must be used as lepa or ointment. An effusion of the roots of (Suparṇa or Sugandha) and Vega combined with ghee and milk must be given as a drink”.

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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Pancaratra (worship of Nārāyaṇa)

Source: Shodhganga: Kasyapa Samhita—Text on Visha Chikitsa (p)

Suparṇa (सुपर्ण) is another name for Garuḍa, according to the Viṣvaksena Samhitā (verse 26.61) which mentions the efficacy of the Garuḍa-mantra by paying obeisance to him.—It mentions that Garuḍa also renowned as Suparṇa, the king of birds and the illustrious son of Vinatā, is adorned by the eight divine serpents residing in the seven nether-worlds; his body is smeared with the blood of serpents he has slain. Garuḍa is eulogised as the vehicle of Viṣṇu, who can make the three worlds tremble with his primal strength, and who conquered Brahmā and the other gods (and brought the nectar) to free his mother from bondage:

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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General definition (in Hinduism)

[«previous next»] — Suparṇa in Hinduism glossary
Source: Vedic index of Names and Subjects

Suparṇa (सुपर्ण, ‘well-winged’) designates a large bird of prey, the ‘eagle’ or the ‘vulture’, in the Rigveda and later. In the passages in which it appears as an eater of carrion it must be the vulture. The Jaiminīya-brāhmaṇa mentions an eagle which separates milk from water like the Kruñc. In the Rigveda the Suparṇa is said to be the child of the Śyena, and is distinguished from the latter in another passage: this led Zimmer to think that the falcon is probably meant. The Atharvaveda alludes to its cry, and describes it as living in the hills.

In Buddhism

Tibetan Buddhism (Vajrayana or tantric Buddhism)

Source: Wisdom Library: Tibetan Buddhism

Suparṇa (सुपर्ण) is the name of a Garuḍa mentioned as attending the teachings in the 6th century Mañjuśrīmūlakalpa: one of the largest Kriyā Tantras devoted to Mañjuśrī (the Bodhisattva of wisdom) representing an encyclopedia of knowledge primarily concerned with ritualistic elements in Buddhism. The teachings in this text originate from Mañjuśrī and were taught to and by Buddha Śākyamuni in the presence of a large audience (including Suparṇa).

Tibetan Buddhism book cover
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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.

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India history and geography

Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: Indian Epigraphical Glossary

Suparṇa.—(EI 2), a class of demi-gods. Note: suparṇa is defined in the “Indian epigraphical glossary” as it can be found on ancient inscriptions commonly written in Sanskrit, Prakrit or Dravidian languages.

Source: Singhi Jain Series: Ratnaprabha-suri’s Kuvalayamala-katha (history)

Suparṇa (सुपर्ण) refers to one of the deities being worshiped in ancient India, as vividly depicted in the Kathās (narrative poems) such as Uddyotanasūri in his 8th-century Kuvalayamālā (a Prakrit Campū, similar to Kāvya poetry).—The Kuvalayamala (779 A.D.) is full of cultural material which gains in value because of the firm date of its composition. [...] Page 256.31-2 ff.: Here is a mixed list of 25 gods and Godlings of all religions. These were worshipped and propitiated to obtain favours. The list includes [e.g., Suparṇa] [...].

India history book cover
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The history of India traces the identification of countries, villages, towns and other regions of India, as well as mythology, zoology, 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.

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Languages of India and abroad

Sanskrit dictionary

[«previous next»] — Suparṇa in Sanskrit glossary
Source: DDSA: The practical Sanskrit-English dictionary

Suparṇa (सुपर्ण).—a.

-rṇā or -rṇī f.)

Suparṇa is a Sanskrit compound consisting of the terms su and parṇa (पर्ण).

--- OR ---

Suparṇā (सुपर्णा).—f.

1) a number of lotuses.

2) a pool abounding in lotuses.

3) Name of the mother of Garuḍa.

Suparṇā is a Sanskrit compound consisting of the terms su and parṇā (पर्णा). See also (synonyms): suparṇī.

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

Suparṇa (सुपर्ण).—m.

(-rṇaḥ) 1. Garuda, the bird and vehicle of Vishnu. 2. A tree, (Cassia fistula.) 3. A cock. 4. A being of a superhuman character, as Garuda, and other birds of an equally fanciful description; one of those classes first created by the Brahmadikas, and included in the daily presentation of water to deceased ancestors, &c. 5. A ray of the sun. f. (-rṇā or -rṇī) 1. Name of the mother of Garuda. 2. A number of lotuses, or a pool abounding with them. Adj. 1. Well-winged. 2. Having beautiful leaves. E. su handsome, and parṇa a leaf or feather.

Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: Benfey Sanskrit-English Dictionary

Suparṇa (सुपर्ण).—I. m. 1. Garuḍa. 2. a cock. Ii. f. ṇā and ṇī, 1. a number of lotusses. 2. the mother of Garuḍa.

Suparṇa is a Sanskrit compound consisting of the terms su and parṇa (पर्ण).

Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: Cappeller Sanskrit-English Dictionary

Suparṇa (सुपर्ण).—[feminine] ī [adjective] well-winged. [masculine] a cert. large bird (eagle, vulture etc., [figuratively] of the sun); a cert. myth. bird (often identif. with Garuḍa).

Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: Monier-Williams Sanskrit-English Dictionary

1) Suparṇa (सुपर्ण):—[=su-parṇa] [from su > su-pakva] n. a beautiful leaf, [Rāmāyaṇa]

2) [v.s. ...] mf(ī)n. having beaut° leaves, [cf. Lexicographers, esp. such as amarasiṃha, halāyudha, hemacandra, etc.]

3) [v.s. ...] having beaut° wings, [Ṛg-veda]

4) [v.s. ...] m. any large bird of prey (as a vulture, eagle; also applicable to the sun or moon as ‘having beaut° rays’, and to soma and clouds; [dual number] ‘sun and moon’), [ib.]

5) [v.s. ...] any mythical or supernatural bird (often identified with Garuḍa, and sometimes personified as a Ṛṣi, a Deva-gandharva, and an Asura), [Ṛg-veda; Taittirīya-saṃhitā; Kāṭhaka; Mahābhārata]

6) [v.s. ...] a ray, [Naighaṇṭuka, commented on by Yāska]

7) [v.s. ...] a horse, [ib.; Nirukta, by Yāska]

8) [v.s. ...] a cock, [Monier-Williams’ Sanskrit-English Dictionary]

9) [v.s. ...] a [particular] array (as of an army), [Mahābhārata]

10) [v.s. ...] Cassia Fistula, [cf. Lexicographers, esp. such as amarasiṃha, halāyudha, hemacandra, etc.]

11) [v.s. ...] Name of a son of Antarikṣa ([varia lectio] -varṇa), [Viṣṇu-purāṇa]

12) [v.s. ...] of a mountain, [Bhāgavata-purāṇa]

13) [v.s. ...] m. n. a [particular] section of 103 Vedic verses, [Mahābhārata]

14) Suparṇā (सुपर्णा):—[=su-parṇā] [from su-parṇa > su > su-pakva] f. a lotus plant, a pool abounding with lotuses, [cf. Lexicographers, esp. such as amarasiṃha, halāyudha, hemacandra, etc.]

15) [v.s. ...] Name of the mother of Garuḍa or of the Prājāpatya Āruṇi Suparṇeya, [Bhāgavata-purāṇa; Nārāyaṇa-upaniṣad]

16) [v.s. ...] of a river, [Viṣṇu-purāṇa]

Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: Yates Sanskrit-English Dictionary

Suparṇa (सुपर्ण):—[su-parṇa] (rṇaḥ) 1. m. Garuḍa; a superhuman bird; Cassia fistula; a cock. f. (ī) Mother of Garuḍa; number of lotuses, or a pond of them.

Source: DDSA: Paia-sadda-mahannavo; a comprehensive Prakrit Hindi dictionary (S)

Suparṇa (सुपर्ण) in the Sanskrit language is related to the Prakrit word: Suvaṇṇa.

[Sanskrit to German]

Suparṇa in German

context information

Sanskrit, also spelled संस्कृतम् (saṃskṛtam), is an ancient language of India commonly seen as the grandmother of the Indo-European language family (even English!). 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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Kannada-English dictionary

[«previous next»] — Suparṇa in Kannada glossary
Source: Alar: Kannada-English corpus

Suparṇa (ಸುಪರ್ಣ):—

1) [adjective] having beautiful wings; beautiful-winged.

2) [adjective] having beautiful leaves.

--- OR ---

Suparṇa (ಸುಪರ್ಣ):—

1) [noun] the Brahminee kite, Haliastur indus, an accipitrine bird with long, pointed wings, forked tail and white neck.

2) [noun] (myth.) the king of birds, which is used by Viṣṇu as his vehicle.

3) [noun] a particular class of gods.

4) [noun] the individual soul (when considered diff. from the Supreme Soul).

5) [noun] the Supreme Being.

6) [noun] any of a widespread division (Filicophyta) of nonflowering embryophytes having roots, stems, and fronds, and reproducing by spores instead of by seeds; fern.

context information

Kannada is a Dravidian language (as opposed to the Indo-European language family) mainly spoken in the southwestern region of India.

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