Suvarna, aka: Suvarṇā, Suvarṇa; 22 Definition(s)


Suvarna means something in Buddhism, Pali, Hinduism, Sanskrit, Jainism, Prakrit, the history of ancient India, 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

Shaivism (Shaiva philosophy)

Suvarṇā (हिरण्या, “golden”):—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.

Source: Wisdom Library: Kubjikāmata-tantra
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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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Rasashastra (chemistry and alchemy)

Suvarṇa (सुवर्ण, “Gold”) is the name for a variation of ‘metal’ (dhātu/loha) from the sub-group named Śuddhaloha, according to the Rasaprakāśasudhākara: a 13th century Sanskrit book on Indian alchemy, or, Rasaśāstra. It is also known by its synonym Svarṇa.

Gold has 2 variations on its own:

  1. Rasaja (obtained through mercurial transformation),
  2. Khanija (obtained though mines/minerals)
Source: Wisdom Library: Rasa-śāstra

Gold (Suvarṇa) are of two types:

  1. Rasaja (through mercurial transformation)
  2. and Khanija (through mines-mineral).

There are three other varities of gold as per other texts but these are notmentioned here.

This gold-bhasma when used internally certainly improves complexion or the beauty of the body. Destroys daivakṛta-rogas (small pox, kuṣṭha, etc.) and all the tridoṣajanya diseases. And the man who uses it continuously for twenty years never becomes old, but rather remains always youthful. And for such persons the chances of being affected of garaviṣa and the manifestation or the onset of āgantuka-rogas are not there. That means these will not become affected with the effects of garaviṣa and āgantuka-rogas.

Source: Indian Journal of History of Science: Rasaprakāśa-sudhākara, chapter 4-5
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Rasashastra (रसशास्त्र, rasaśāstra) is an important branch of Ayurveda, specialising in chemical interactions with herbs, metals and minerals. Some texts combine yogic and tantric practices with various alchemical operations. The ultimate goal of Rasashastra is not only to preserve and prolong life, but also to bestow wealth upon humankind.

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Purana and Itihasa (epic history)

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

1) Suvarṇa (सुवर्ण).—A Devagandharva. A famous celibate, he attended the birthday celebrations of Arjuna. (Anuśāsana Parva, Chapter 122, Verse 58).

2) Suvarṇa (सुवर्ण).—A Brahmin sage with his body golden in colour. He once held a talk with Manu about meritorious acts and sins. (Anuśāsana Parva, Chapter 98).

3) Suvarṇā (सुवर्णा).—A princess of the Ikṣvāku dynasty. Suhotra of Pūru dynasty wedded her and to the couple was born a son called Hasti who later on became a King. (Ādi Parva, Chapter 95, Verse 34).

4) Suvarṇa (सुवर्ण).—A unit of measurement in ancient India

Source: Puranic Encyclopaedia

1a) Suvarṇa (सुवर्ण).—A son of Sāvarṇi Manu.*

  • * Matsya-purāṇa 9. 33.

1b) Fire, the presiding deity of.*

  • * Viṣṇu-purāṇa V. 1. 14.

1c) A gold coin; a fine of 100 Suvarṇas for one who, having been paid a wage does not protect the cow or milks it or uses it; besides he is liable to be bound by iron chains and made to work for his master.*

  • * Matsya-purāṇa 227. 8, 22, 122.

2a) Suvarṇā (सुवर्णा).—A river of the Bhadrā country.*

  • * Vāyu-purāṇa 43. 27.

2b) A R. of the Ketumālā country.*

  • * Vāyu-purāṇa 44. 29.
Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: The Purana Index

Suvarṇa (सुवर्ण) is a name mentioned in the Mahābhārata (cf. III.82.16) and represents one of the many proper names used for people and places. Note: The Mahābhārata (mentioning Suvarṇa) is a Sanskrit epic poem consisting of 100,000 ślokas (metrical verses) and is over 2000 years old.

Source: JatLand: List of Mahabharata people and places
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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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Shilpashastra (iconography)

Suvarṇa (सुवर्ण) refers to one of the forty-seven tānas (tone) used in Indian music.—The illustration of Suvarṇa (as a deity) according to 15th-century Indian art is as follows.—The colour of his body is yellow. His face is similar to the face of a bull. A bowl is in his right band and a viṇā is in his left hand.

The illustrations (of, for example Suvarṇa) are found scattered throughout ancient Jain manuscripts from Gujarat. The descriptions of these illustrations of this citrāvalī are based on the ślokas of Vācanācārya Gaṇi Sudhākalaśa’s Saṅgītopaniṣatsāroddhāra (14th century) and Śārṅgadeva’s Saṅgītaratnākara (13th century).

Source: Illustrations of Indian Music and Dance in Western Indian Style
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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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Katha (narrative stories)

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

1) Suvarṇa (सुवर्ण) is the name of a warrior who fought on Śrutaśarman’s side, but was slain by Śatānīka, who fought on Sūryaprabha’s side, according to the Kathāsaritsāgara, chapter 48. Accordingly: “... then a fight took place between those Vidyādhara princes on the one side and Prabhāsa and his comrades on the other, in which there was a great slaughter of soldiers. And in the single combats between the two hosts many warriors were slain on both sides, men, Asuras and Vidyādharas... and Suvarṇa, [and nine others]—these ten were slain by the Prince Śatānīka”.

The story of Suvarṇa 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”.

2) Suvarṇa (सुवर्ण) or Suvarṇadvīpa is the name of an island (dvīpa) according to the Kathāsaritsāgara, chapter 56. Accordingly, “... there he [Candrasvāmin] heard that the merchant Kanakavarman had gone from that island to an island named Karpūra. In the same way he visited in turn the islands of Karpūra, Suvarṇa and Siṃhala with merchants, hut he did not find the merchant whom he was in search of”.

The Kathāsaritsāgara (‘ocean of streams of story’), mentioning Suvarṇa, 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
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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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Ayurveda (science of life)

Suvarṇā (सुवर्णा) is another name for Indravāruṇī, a medicinal plant identified with Citrullus colocynthis (colocynth, bitter apple or desert gourd) from the Cucurbitaceae or “gourd family” of flowering plants, according to verse 3.70-72 of the 13th-century Raj Nighantu or Rājanighaṇṭu. The third chapter (guḍūcyādi-varga) of this book contains climbers and creepers (vīrudh). Together with the names Suvarṇā and Indravāruṇī, there are a total of twenty-nine Sanskrit synonyms identified for this plant.

Source: WorldCat: Rāj nighaṇṭu
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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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General definition (in Hinduism)

Suvarṇa (सुवर्ण, ‘beautiful coloured’) is an epithet of gold (hiraṇya), and then comes to be used as a substantive denoting ‘gold’.

Source: Vedic index of Names and Subjects

Suvarna (सुवर्ण): A soldier on the Kaurava side.

Source: WikiPedia: Hinduism

In Buddhism

Mahayana (major branch of Buddhism)

Suvarṇa (सुवर्ण) is the name of a Buddha under whom Śākyamuni (or Gautama, ‘the historical Buddha’) acquired merit along the first through nine bhūmis, according to the Mahāvastu. There are in total ten bhūmis representing the ten stages of the Bodhisattva’s path towards enlightenment.

Suvarṇa is but one among the 500 Buddhas enumerated in the Mahāvastu during a conversation between Mahākātyāyana and Mahākāśyapa, both principle disciples of Gautama Buddha. The Mahāvastu is an important text of the Lokottaravāda school of buddhism, dating from the 2nd century BCE.

Source: Wisdom Library: Lokottaravāda

Suvarṇa (सुवर्ण, “gold”) refers to a type of jewel (ratna), into which the universe was transformed by the Buddha’s miraculous power (ṛddhibala) according to the 2nd century Mahāprajñāpāramitāśāstra (chapter XV). Accordingly, “Gold (suvarṇa) comes from rocks, sand and red copper”.

Also, “These jewels (eg, suvarṇa) are of three types, Human jewels (manuṣya-ratna), Divine jewels (divya-ratna) and Bodhisattva jewels (bodhisattva-ratna). These various jewels remove the poverty (dāridrya) and the suffering (duḥkha) of beings”.

Source: Wisdom Library: Maha Prajnaparamita Sastra
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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.

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In Jainism

General definition (in Jainism)

Suvarna in Jainism glossary... « previous · [S] · next »

Suvarṇa (सुवर्ण) refers to “gold”: a metal that was typically mined, extracted and used (both domestic and industrial) in ancient India. Mining was an important industry at that time as well. The Jaina canonical texts mention about the extraction of various kinds of minerals, metals (eg., suvarṇa) and precious stones. The term ‘āgara’ occurring intire texts denotes the mines which provided many kinds of mineral products. The references in the texts of various professions and trade in metallic commodities clearly show a highly developed industry of mining and metallurgy in that period.

Source: Economic Life In Ancient India (as depicted in Jain canonical literature)

Suvarṇa (सुवर्ण, “gold”) represents one of the classes of the external (bahya) division of attachment (parigraha) and is related to the Aparigraha-vrata (vow of non-attachment). Suvarṇa is listed in Śvetāmbara sources such as Devagupta’s Nava-pada-prakaraṇa with Laghu-vṛtti (58), and in Digambara sources such Cāmuṇḍarāya’s Caritrasāra (p. 7).

There is no hesitation in the interpretation of the word suvarṇa as “gold”, for the Digambaras “unminted”, for the Śvetāmbaras “minted or unminted”.

Source: Jaina Yoga
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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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India history and geogprahy

Suvarṇa (सुवर्ण) refers to an ancient coin once common in ancient Kashmir (Kaśmīra) as mentioned in the Nīlamatapurāṇa.—The Nīlamata contains a single reference to hundred Suvarṇas. The number hundred clearly indicates that the reference is to pieces of gold of a standard weight i.e. gold coins. According to Kauṭilya, a suvarṇa is equal in weight to one karṣa or 80 guñjas (=140 grains). Whether the Nīlamata refers here to gold coins of 140 grains of which no specimen has yet been found in Kaśmīra or to the gold coins of the Kuṣāṇas and the Kidār Kuṣāṇas (circa 122 grains) is not certain.

Source: Nilamata Purana: a cultural and literary study (history)

Suvarṇa.—(IE 8-8; EI 28; CII 3), name of a gold coin and also of a weight of gold; equal to 16 māṣas or 80 ratis; also called akṣa, picu, pāṇi, kroḍa, binduka, viḍālapadaka, haṃsapada, grāsagraha and tola. See JNSI, Vol. XVI, p. 46. (SII 13), same as Tamil kaḻañju. Note: suvarṇa is defined in the “Indian epigraphical glossary” as it can be found on ancient inscriptions commonly written in Sanskrit, Prakrit or Dravidian languages.

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Suvarṇa.—weight of 16 māṣas or 80 ratis (about 146 grains); 16 kārṣāpaṇas or rūpakas or 48 paṇas according to different authorities; called picu, pāṇi, kroḍa, binduka, viḍālapadaka, haṃsapada, grāsagraha and tola; also called niṣka; (1/4) of pala; gold coin weighing 80 ratis; name applied to Tamil kaḻañju (about 32 ratis or 58 grains theoretically). Note: suvarṇa is defined in the “Indian epigraphical glossary” as it can be found on ancient inscriptions commonly written in Sanskrit, Prakrit or Dravidian languages.

Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: Indian Epigraphical Glossary
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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.

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Languages of India and abroad

Marathi-English dictionary

Suvarna in Marathi glossary... « previous · [S] · next »

suvarṇa (सुवर्ण).—n (S The good color.) Gold. 2 m n A weight of gold, equal to sixteen masha; which, at five rati to each masha, amounts nearly to 176 grains Troy.

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suvarṇa (सुवर्ण).—a (S) Of a good color: also of a good caste, tribe, family &c.

Source: DDSA: The Molesworth Marathi and English Dictionary

suvarṇa (सुवर्ण).—n Gold.

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suvarṇa (सुवर्ण).—a Of a good colour. Of a good caste or family.

Source: DDSA: The Aryabhusan school dictionary, Marathi-English
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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

Suvarṇa (सुवर्ण).—a. [śobhano varṇo'sya]

1) Of good or beautiful colour, brilliant in hue, bright, yellow, golden.

2) Of a good tribe or caste.

3) Of good fame, glorious, celebrated.

-rṇaḥ 1 A good colour.

2) A good tribe or caste.

3) A sort of sacrifice.

4) An epithet of Śiva.

5) The thorn-apple.

-rṇā 1 One of the seven tongues of fire.

2) Black aloe-wood.

3) Turmeric.

4) Colocynth.

-rṇam 1 Gold.

2) A golden coin (-m. also); नन्वहं दशसुवर्णान् प्रयच्छामि (nanvahaṃ daśasuvarṇān prayacchāmi) Mk.2.

3) A weight of gold equal to 16 Māṣas or about 175 grains Troy (m. also).

4) Money, wealth, riches.

5) A sort of yellow sandalwood.

6) A kind of red chalk.

7) Name of a tree (nāgakeśara).

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Suvarṇa (सुवर्ण).—see s. v.

Suvarṇa is a Sanskrit compound consisting of the terms su and varṇa (वर्ण).

Source: DDSA: The practical Sanskrit-English dictionary

Suvarṇa (सुवर्ण).—m., (1) (= AMg. suvaṇṇa, Sanskrit suparṇa; compare suvarṇin), the garuḍa bird, ‘king of birds’: suvarṇa- rājāno suvarṇādhipatayo (in i.208.8 mss. suvarṇa-patayo) Mv i.208.8; 212.6 = ii.16.3; ii.164.3—4; others, Mv ii.91.13; iii.83.20; 84.5; Mmk 655.8 (pakṣiṇāṃ rājā); (2) n. of a former Buddha: Mv i.138.6.

Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: Edgerton Buddhist Hybrid Sanskrit Dictionary

Suvarṇa (सुवर्ण).—mfn.

(-rṇaḥ-rṇā-rṇaṃ) 1. Of a good tribe or caste. 2. Brilliant, bright. 3. Of a good colour. 4. Praiseworthy. n.

(-rṇaṃ) 1. Gold. 2. A sort of Sandal-wood. 3. A kind of red chalk or ochre. 4. Wealth, property. 5. A weight of gold equal to sixteen Mashas, or about 175 grains troy. m.

(-rṇaḥ) 1. A tree, (Cassia fistula.) 2. A sort of sacrifice. f.

(-rṇā) 1. Aloe-wood, the black kind. 2. Turmeric. 3. A bitter gourd. (Colocynth.) 4. Sida, (Cordifolia, &c.) E. su excellent, varṇa tribe or colour, &c.

Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: Shabda-Sagara 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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