Vajradhara, Vajradhāra, Vajra-dhara: 8 definitions

Introduction

Vajradhara means something in Buddhism, Pali, Hinduism, Sanskrit, Jainism, Prakrit, 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.

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In Hinduism

Rasashastra (chemistry and alchemy)

Source: Wisdom Library: Rasa-śāstra

Vajradhara (वज्रधर) is the name of an Ayurvedic recipe defined in the fourth volume of the Rasajalanidhi (chapter 3, grahaṇī: chronic diarrhoea). These remedies are classified as Iatrochemistry and form part of the ancient Indian science known as Rasaśāstra (medical alchemy). Meghanādā is an ayurveda treatment and should be taken with caution and in accordance with rules laid down in the texts.

Accordingly, when using such recipes (eg., vajra-dhara-rasa): “the minerals (uparasa), poisons (viṣa), and other drugs (except herbs), referred to as ingredients of medicines, are to be duly purified and incinerated, as the case may be, in accordance with the processes laid out in the texts.” (see introduction to Iatro chemical medicines)

Rasashastra book cover
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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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In Buddhism

Tibetan Buddhism (Vajrayana or tantric Buddhism)

Source: archive.org: The Indian Buddhist Iconography

Vajradhara (वज्रधर) or the Ādibuddha is supposed to be the originator of the five Dhyāni Buddhas, the progenitors of the five Kulas or families of Buddhist gods and goddesses.

Vajradhara is the principal deity in the Vajrasattva-maṇḍala in the Niṣpannayogāvalī. His colour is reddish-white; he has three faces; six arms and his pose is Tāṇḍava Dance.—Accordingly: “In the innermost chamber of the Maṇḍala there is Vajradhara. His colour is reddish white. He is three-faced. The right face is blue and the left is red. He is six-armed. With the two principal hands carrying the vajra and the ghaṇṭā he embraces the prajñā. The two other right hands show the excellent sword and the aṅkuśa. In the two remaining left hands, he carries the kapāla and the noose. He stands in the ardhaparyaṅka and dances the tāṇḍava dance exhibiting the nine dramatic sentiments”.

Source: academia.edu: The Structure and Meanings of the Heruka Maṇḍala

Vajradhara (वज्रधर) is the name of a Vīra (hero) who, together with the Ḍākinī named Vajradharī forms one of the 36 pairs situated in the Hṛdayacakra, according to the 10th century Ḍākārṇava chapter 15. Accordingly, the hṛdayacakra refers to one of the four divisions of the sahaja-puṭa (‘innate layer’), situated within the padma (lotus) in the middle of the Herukamaṇḍala. The 36 pairs of Ḍākinīs and Vīras [viz., Vajradhara] are reddish yellow in color; they each have one face and four arms; they hold a skull bowl, a skull staff, a small drum, and a knife.

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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In Jainism

General definition (in Jainism)

[«previous (V) next»] — Vajradhara in Jainism glossary
Source: archive.org: Een Kritische Studie Van Svayambhūdeva’s Paümacariu

Vajradhara (वज्रधर) participated in the war between Rāma and Rāvaṇa, on the side of the latter, as mentioned in Svayambhūdeva’s Paumacariu (Padmacarita, Paumacariya or Rāmāyaṇapurāṇa) chapter 57ff. Svayambhū or Svayambhūdeva (8th or 9th century) was a Jain householder who probably lived in Karnataka. His work recounts the popular Rāma story as known from the older work Rāmāyaṇa (written by Vālmīki). Various chapters [mentioning Vajradhara] are dedicated to the humongous battle whose armies (known as akṣauhiṇīs) consisted of millions of soldiers, horses and elephants, etc.

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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Languages of India and abroad

Marathi-English dictionary

[«previous (V) next»] — Vajradhara in Marathi glossary
Source: DDSA: The Molesworth Marathi and English Dictionary

vajradhāra (वज्रधार).—a S Exquisitely sharp or keen.

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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

[«previous (V) next»] — Vajradhara in Sanskrit glossary
Source: DDSA: The practical Sanskrit-English dictionary

Vajradhara (वज्रधर).—

1) an epithet of Indra; वज्रधरप्रभावः (vajradharaprabhāvaḥ) R.18.21.

2) an owl.

Derivable forms: vajradharaḥ (वज्रधरः).

Vajradhara is a Sanskrit compound consisting of the terms vajra and dhara (धर).

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

Vajradhara (वज्रधर).—(compare Vajrapāṇi?), n. of a Bodhisattva or deity: Mmk 312.6; Sādh 515.4 etc.

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Vajradharā (वज्रधरा).—n. of a rākṣasī: Māy 243.22.

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

Vajradhara (वज्रधर).—m.

(-raḥ) 1. Indra, as the Jupiter Tonans of the Hindus. 2. A Baud'dha saint. E. vajra the thunder-bolt, dhara who has or holds.

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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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