Vaishnava, aka: Vaiṣṇava, Vaisnava; 14 Definition(s)


Vaishnava means something in Hinduism, Sanskrit, 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.

The Sanskrit term Vaiṣṇava can be transliterated into English as Vaisnava or Vaishnava, using the IAST transliteration scheme (?).

In Hinduism

Natyashastra (theatrics and dramaturgy)

Vaiṣṇava is one of the saṃyutta-hastāni (Twenty-seven combined Hands).

Source: The mirror of gesture (abhinaya-darpana)

Vaiṣṇava (वैष्णव).—A type of standing-posture (sthāna);—Instructions: the feet two Tālas and a half apart, one for the natural posture and another obliquely placed with toes pointing sideways and the shank bent (añcita) and limbs with Sauṣṭhava. Viṣṇu is the presiding deity of this Sthāna.

(Uses): From this Sthāna persons of the superior and the middling types should carry on their ordinary (lit. natural) conversation in connexion with various duties.

Source: Natya Shastra
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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Shaktism (Shakta philosophy)

Vaishnava in Shaktism glossary... « previous · [V] · next »

Vaiṣṇava (वैष्णव) is a Sanskrit word for a weapon used in Purāṇic literature, such as the Devī-bhāgavata-purāṇa (9.20.22-53), where it was in the presence of Devī Bhadrakālī, who was preparing for the war between Śankhacūḍa with the Devas.

Source: Wisdom Library: Śāktism
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Shakta (शाक्त, śākta) or Shaktism (śāktism) represents a tradition of Hinduism where the Goddess (Devi) is revered and worshipped. Shakta literature includes a range of scriptures, including various Agamas and Tantras, although its roots may be traced back to the Vedas.

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Purana and Itihasa (epic history)

Vaishnava in Purana glossary... « previous · [V] · next »

1a) Vaiṣṇava (वैष्णव).—A muhūrta of the night.*

  • * Brahmāṇḍa-purāṇa III. 3. 43; Vāyu-purāṇa 66. 44.

1b) Eligible for Pārvaṇa śrāddha.*

  • * Matsya-purāṇa 16. 9.

1c) The Purāṇa of 23,000 ślokas compiled by Parāśara; he who copies this and makes a gift of it on the āṣāḍha full moon day reaches the world of Varuṇa; gives an account of Varāha kalpa.*

  • * Matsya-purāṇa 53. 16-17.

1d) One of the six darśanas;1 the heart of the personified Veda.2

  • 1) Vāyu-purāṇa 104. 16.
  • 2) Ib. 104. 82.
Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: The Purana Index

Vaiṣṇava (वैष्णव) is a name mentioned in the Mahābhārata (cf. III.164.30) and represents one of the many proper names used for people and places. Note: The Mahābhārata (mentioning Vaiṣṇava) 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
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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Vaishnavism (Vaishava dharma)

Vaiṣṇava (वैष्णव).—Anyone who is a not a Vaiṣṇava, or an unalloyed devotee of the Supreme Lord, must be a materialist. A Vaiṣṇava living according to Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu’s injunctions is certainly not on the materialistic platform. Caitanya means “spiritual force”. All of Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu's activities were carried out on the platform of spiritual understanding; therefore only those who are on the spiritual platform are able to understand the activities of Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu.

A Vaiṣṇava never agrees with the speculative system of the jñānīs. Both the jñānīs and karmīs depend on direct sense perception for their imperfect knowledge. The karmīs never agree to accept anything not directly perceived, and the jñānīs put forth only hypotheses. However, the Vaiṣṇavas, the unalloyed devotees of the Lord, do not follow the process of acquiring knowledge by direct sense perception or mental speculation.

Source: Prabhupada Books: Sri Caitanya Caritamrta
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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Jyotisha (astronomy and astrology)

Vaishnava in Jyotisha glossary... « previous · [V] · next »

Vaiṣṇava (वैष्णव).—The nakṣatra, Śravaṇa that is presided over by Viṣṇu. Note: Vaiṣṇava is a Sanskrit technical term used in ancient Indian sciences such as Astronomy, Mathematics and Geometry.

Source: Wikibooks (hi): Sanskrit Technical Terms
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Jyotisha (ज्योतिष, jyotiṣa or jyotish) refers to ‘astronomy’ or “Vedic astrology” and represents the fifth of the six Vedangas (additional sciences to be studied along with the Vedas). Jyotisha concerns itself with the study and prediction of the movements of celestial bodies, in order to calculate the auspicious time for rituals and ceremonies.

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General definition (in Hinduism)

Vaishnava in Hinduism glossary... « previous · [V] · next »

Vaishnava (वैष्‍णव): A sacrifice performed by Duryodhana in the forest. Yayati, Mandhata, Bharata and others also performed it.

Source: WikiPedia: Hinduism

In order to get an idea of the traits of a true Vaiṣṇava one has to look at a sample of the works of the Advaitins, that include Veda Vyasa, Shankara, Madhusudana Saraswati, Appayya Dikṣita, etc. a few of which are presented here.

  1. The Vaiṣṇava believes that Viṣṇu, under an apparent ignorance, is the one in samsāra.
  2. The Vaiṣṇava believes that Hari and Hara are non-different; it is One tattvam appearing as two.
  3. The Vaiṣṇava believes that the upāsana, worship, of any deity of the purāṇic/vedic pantheon leads to liberation through chitta shuddhi since the worship is directed to Brahman that is what is the core of all deities.
  4. The Vaiṣṇava believes that all lokas, including Vaikunṭha, are not eternal, even in the creation sphere. For the Vaiṣṇava these are subject to pralaya.
  5. The Vaiṣṇava believes that all attributes, guṇas, of Bhagavan, Brahman, are superimposed by the shāstra on the Nirguṇa Brahman in order to aid the aspirant to reach the goal of securing the realization of the attributeless Brahman.
Source: Adbhutam’s blog: Traits of a true Vaiṣṇava

India history and geogprahy

Vaiṣṇava (वैष्णव) refers to a system of worship that was once commonly practised in ancient Kashmir (Kaśmīra) according to the Nīlamatapurāṇa.—The popularity of the Vaiṣṇava cult in early Kaśmīra, as indicated by the Nīlamata, is corroborated by the Viṣṇudharmottara Purāṇa mentioning Kaśmīra as a seat of Viṣṇu in the form of Cakrin and by the Rājataraṅgiṇī informing about various temples of Viṣṇu erected by various kings, their relatives and ministers. Raṇāditya, Pravarasena II, Durlabhavardhana and his son Malhaṇa, Gandrāpīḍa, his wife and his preceptor Mihiradatta, Candrāpīḍa’s city-prefect Chalitaka, Lalitāditya and his queen Kamalāvatī and many others are known to have founded shrines of Viṣṇu.

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

Marathi-English dictionary

Vaishnava in Marathi glossary... « previous · [V] · next »

vaiṣṇava (वैष्णव).—a (S) Relating to viṣṇu. 2 A devotee or follower of viṣṇu.

Source: DDSA: The Molesworth Marathi and English Dictionary

vaiṣṇava (वैष्णव).—a A devotee of viṣṇu.

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

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

Vaishnava in Sanskrit glossary... « previous · [V] · next »

Vaiṣṇava (वैष्णव).—a. (- f.) [विष्णुर्देवतास्य तस्येदं वा अण् (viṣṇurdevatāsya tasyedaṃ vā aṇ)]

1) Relating to Viṣṇu; गां गतस्य तव धाम वैष्णवम् (gāṃ gatasya tava dhāma vaiṣṇavam) R.11.85.

2) Worshipping Viṣṇu.

-vaḥ 1 One of the three important modern Hindu sects, the other two being Śaiva and Śākta sects.

2) Name of the asterism Śravaṇa.

-vī 1 The personified Śakti or energy of Viṣṇu.

2) Name of Durgā.

3) Asparagus Racemosus (Mar. śatāvarī).

4) The Tulasī plant.

-vam 1 The residence of Viṣṇu; i. e. वैकुण्ठ (vaikuṇṭha).

2) The ashes of a burnt offering.

Source: DDSA: The practical Sanskrit-English dictionary

Vaiṣṇava (वैष्णव).—mfn.

(-vaḥ-vī-vaṃ) Relating or belonging to Vishnu. m.

(-vaḥ) 1. A follower of Vishnu. 2. One of the modern Hindu sects, (the Vaishnabas, the Saivas and the Saktas are the three important modern Hindu sects.) f. (-vī) 1. One of the Matris, the personified energy or Sakti of Vishnu. 2. A name of Durga. 3. A flower, (Clitoria ternatea.) 4. Sacred basil, (Ocymum sanctum.) n.

(-vaṃ) The ashes of a burnt offering. E. viṣṇu Vishnu, aṇ aff., fem. aff. ṅīṣ .

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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