Vahni: 16 definitions



Vahni means something in 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.

In Hinduism

Shaivism (Shaiva philosophy)

Source: Wisdom Library: Kubjikāmata-tantra

Vahni (वह्नि):—Fourth of the eight Mahāmātṛs existing within the Mātṛcakra, according to the Kubjikāmatatantra. Vahni stands for the “fire”. The eight Mahāmātṛs are also called mudrās because all the directions are ‘sealed’ by them.

Vahni (as do each of the eight Mahāmātṛs) divides herself into eight (secondary) mātṛs, presided over by a Bhairava (fearsome manifestations of Śiva) and his Mātṛkā as consorts. The Mātṛs of this fourth and southern group are born from Vahni’s body but their relation to fire is not quite clear. They are presided over by Unmatta Bhairava.

The eight deities originating from Vahni are called:

  1. Tṛṣṇā (‘Thirst’),
  2. Rāgavatī (‘Impassioned’),
  3. Mohā (‘Delusion’),
  4. Kāmā (‘Desire’),
  5. Kopā (‘Anger’),
  6. Tamotkaṭā (‘Highly Ignorant’),
  7. Īrṣā (‘Envy’) 
  8. and Śokavatī (‘Sorrowful’).

Since they denote mental dispositions or emotions which may be considered as obstructing the attainment of liberating knowledge, they may refer metaphorically to the ‘fire of the saṃsāra.’

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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Ayurveda (science of life)

Source: Wisdom Library: Āyurveda and botany

Vahni (वह्नि, “fire”):—Another name for Citraka (Plumbago zeylanica), a species of medicinal plant and used in the treatment of fever (jvara), as described in the Jvaracikitsā (or “the treatment of fever”) which is part of the 7th-century Mādhavacikitsā, a Sanskrit classical work on Āyurveda.

Source: Vagbhata’s Ashtanga Hridaya Samhita (first 5 chapters)

Vahni (वह्नि) refers to “gastric fire”, mentioned in verse 3.44 of the Aṣṭāṅgahṛdayasaṃhitā (Sūtrasthāna) by Vāgbhaṭa.—Accordingly, “[...] These get irritated when the sky is covered with clouds banging down because of their water, (and that) by wind accompanied with drizzle and suddenly (turned) cold, ground vapour, water liable to sour digestion and polluted, and poor (gastric) fire [viz., vahni]”.

Note: Vahni (“gastric fire”) has been paraphrased by me-drod (“heat of the gastric fire”); cf. me-yi drod in v, 18.

Source: Shodhganga: Edition translation and critical study of yogasarasamgraha

Vahni (वह्नि) is another name for “Agni” and is dealt with in the 15th-century Yogasārasaṅgraha (Yogasara-saṅgraha) by Vāsudeva: an unpublished Keralite work representing an Ayurvedic compendium of medicinal recipes. The Yogasārasaṃgraha [mentioning vahni] deals with entire recipes in the route of administration, and thus deals with the knowledge of pharmacy (bhaiṣajya-kalpanā) which is a branch of pharmacology (dravyaguṇa).

Source: Ayurveda glossary of terms

Vahni (वह्नि):—Digestive power

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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Natyashastra (theatrics and dramaturgy)

Source: Wisdom Library: Nāṭya-śāstra

Vahni (वह्नि) is a Sanskrit word referring to “fire”. Acording to the Nāṭyaśāstra 1.82-88, when Brahmā, Indra and all other gods went to inspect the playhouse (nāṭyamaṇḍapa) designed by Viśvakarmā, he assigned different deities for the protection of the playhouse itself, as well as for the objects relating to dramatic performance (prayoga).

As such, Brahmā assigned Vahni to the protection of the stage (altar, vedikā). The protection of the playhouse was enacted because of the jealous Vighnas (malevolent spirits), who began to create terror for the actors.

Natyashastra book cover
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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).

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Purana and Itihasa (epic history)

Source: Puranic Encyclopedia

1) Vahni (वह्नि).—An asura. It is mentioned in Mahābhārata, Śānti Parva, Chapter 227, Stanza 52 that this asura had been a lokapāla (Indra, Agni, Yama and Varuṇa were called lokapālas) in olden days.

2) Vahni (वह्नि).—The son of the King Turvasu. Vahni had a son named Bharga who became very famous. (Bhāgavata, Skandha 9; Brahmāṇḍa Purāṇa, 3: 74. 1).

3) Vahni (वह्नि).—One of the sons born to Kṛṣṇa by Mitravindā. (Bhāgavata, Skandha 10).

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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In Jainism

General definition (in Jainism)

Source: Trisastisalakapurusacaritra

Vahni (वह्नि) or Agni refers to one of the nine divisions of the Lokāntika-gods, according to chapter 1.2 [ādīśvara-caritra] of Hemacandra’s 11th century Triṣaṣṭiśalākāpuruṣacaritra (“lives of the 63 illustrious persons”): a Sanskrit epic poem narrating the history and legends of sixty-three important persons in Jainism. Accordingly, “[...] while in this way the Supreme Lord’s mind was woven with the threads of continuity of disgust with saṃsāra, then the Lokāntika-gods who have nine sub-divisions—Sārasvatas, Ādityas, Vahnis, Aruṇas, Gardatoyas, Tuṣitas, Avyābādhas, Maruts, and Riṣṭas, living at the end of Brahmaloka, having additional ornaments made by folded hands like lotus-buds on their heads, came to the feet of the Lord of the World”.

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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India history and geography

Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: Indian Epigraphical Glossary

Vahni.—(IE 7-1-2), ‘three’. Note: vahni 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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Vahni.—(EI 33), ‘three’. Note: vahni is defined in the “Indian epigraphical glossary” as it can be found on ancient inscriptions commonly written in Sanskrit, Prakrit or Dravidian languages.

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 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

Source: DDSA: The practical Sanskrit-English dictionary

Vahni (वह्नि).—[vah-niḥ &Uṇ.4.53]

1) Fire; अतृणे पतितो वह्निः स्वयमेवोपशाम्यति (atṛṇe patito vahniḥ svayamevopaśāmyati) Subhāṣ.

2) The digestive faculty, gastric fluid.

3) Digestion, appetite.

4) A vehicle.

5) The marking-nut plant.

6) Lead-wort.

7) A sacrificer, priest.

8) A god in general.

9) An epithet of the Maruts.

1) Of Soma.

11) A horse.

12) A draught animal.

13) The number 'three'.

14) The mystical Name of the letter र् (r); रकार (rakāra).


Derivable forms: vahniḥ (वह्निः).

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

Vahni (वह्नि).—m.

(-hniḥ) 1. Fire, or its deity Agni. 2. Lead-wort, (Plumbago zeylanica.) 3. Marking-nut plant. 4. Appetite, digestion, the metaphorical fire of the stomach. E. vaha to bear, (the oblations presented to the gods,) and ni Unadi aff.

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

Vahni (वह्नि).—[vah + ni], m. 1. A sacrificer, Chr. 288, 11 = [Rigveda.] i. 48, 11. 2. Fire, [Pañcatantra] ii. [distich] 96; or its deity, [Rāmāyaṇa] 3, 53, 60. 3. Digestion, appetite. 4. Marking-nut plant. 5. Lead-wort, Plumbago zeylanica.

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

Vahni (वह्नि).—[masculine] beast for draught, team; conveyer, [especially] who brings an oblation to the gods (Agni); the rider or charioteer ([several] gods), the flowing one (Soma); in [later language] mostly fire or the god of fire.

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

1) Vahni (वह्नि):—[from vah] a m. any animal that draws or bears along, a draught animal, horse, team, [Ṛg-veda; Atharva-veda; Vājasaneyi-saṃhitā; Taittirīya-brāhmaṇa]

2) [v.s. ...] any one who conveys or is borne along (applied to a charioteer or rider, or to various gods, [especially] to Agni, Indra, Savitṛ, the Maruts etc.), [Ṛg-veda; Atharva-veda]

3) [v.s. ...] Name of Soma (as ‘the flowing or streaming one’), [Ṛg-veda ix, 9, 6 etc.]

4) [v.s. ...] the conveyer or bearer of oblations to the gods ([especially] said of Agni, ‘fire’, or of the three sacrificial fires See agni), [Ṛg-veda]

5) [v.s. ...] [particular] fire, [Gṛhyāsaṃgraha]

6) [v.s. ...] fire (in general or ‘the god of fire’), [Manu-smṛti; Mahābhārata] etc. (vahninā saṃ-√skṛ, to hallow by fire, burn solemnly)

7) [v.s. ...] the fire of digestion, [Varāha-mihira’s Bṛhat-saṃhitā]

8) [v.s. ...] Name of the number ‘three’ ([from] the three sacred fires), [cf. Lexicographers, esp. such as amarasiṃha, halāyudha, hemacandra, etc.]

9) [v.s. ...] Name of various plants ([according to] to [cf. Lexicographers, esp. such as amarasiṃha, halāyudha, hemacandra, etc.] Plumbago Ceylanica; Semecarpus Anacardium; Poa Cynosuroides; and the citron tree), [Suśruta]

10) [v.s. ...] a mystical Name of the letter r, [Upaniṣad]

11) [v.s. ...] Name of the 8th Kalpa (q.v.), [Catalogue(s)]

12) [v.s. ...] of a Daitya, [Mahābhārata]

13) [v.s. ...] of a son of Kṛṣṇa, [Bhāgavata-purāṇa]

14) [v.s. ...] of a son of Turvasu, [ib.]

15) [v.s. ...] of a son of Kukura, [ib.]

16) b etc. See p. 933, col. 3.

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

Vahni (वह्नि):—(hniḥ) 2. m. Fire or its deity; lead wort; marking nut plant; appetite, digestion.

[Sanskrit to German] (Deutsch Wörterbuch)

Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: Böhtlingk and Roth Grosses Petersburger Wörterbuch

Vahni (वह्नि):—

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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