Vajrahasta, Vajrahastā: 13 definitions


Vajrahasta 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.

In Hinduism

Purana and Itihasa (epic history)

[«previous next»] — Vajrahasta in Purana glossary
Source: Wisdom Library: The Matsya-purāṇa

Vajrahastā (वज्रहस्ता) is the name of a mind-born ‘divine mother’ (mātṛ), created for the purpose of drinking the blood of the Andhaka demons, according to the Matsya-purāṇa 179.8. The Andhaka demons spawned out of every drop of blood spilled from the original Andhakāsura (Andhaka-demon). According to the Matsya-purāṇa 179.35, “Most terrible they (e.g., Vajrahastā) all drank the blood of those Andhakas and become exceedingly satiated.”

The Matsyapurāṇa is categorised as a Mahāpurāṇa, and was originally composed of 20,000 metrical verses, dating from the 1st-millennium BCE. The narrator is Matsya, one of the ten major avatars of Viṣṇu.

Source: Shiva Purana - English Translation

Vajrahasta (वज्रहस्त) refers to “one who holds the thunderbolt” and is used to describe Indra, according to the Śivapurāṇa 2.5.13 (“Resuscitation of Indra”).—Accordingly, as Sanatkumāra narrated to Vyāsa: “After saying this and looking at him ferociously Indra raised his thunderbolt in order to kill him. On seeing Indra lifting up his thunderbolt (vajrahasta), Śiva prevented the fall of the thunderbolt by making his hand benumbed. Then Śiva became furious. His eyes became terrible. He blazed with his burning splendour. [...]”.

Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: The Purana Index

Vajrahastā (वज्रहस्ता).—A mind-born mother.*

  • * Matsya-purāṇa 179. 16.
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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Shilpashastra (iconography)

Source: Wisdom Library: Śilpa-śāstra

Vajrahasta (वज्रहस्त) is a Sanskrit name referring to one of the eight manifestations of Ruru, who is a form of Bhairava. According to the Rudrayāmala, there are eight main forms of Bhairava who control the eight directions of this universe. Each form (e.g., Ruru) has a further eight sub-manifestations (e.g., Vajrahasta), thus resulting in a total of 64 Bhairavas.

When depicting Vajrahasta according to traditional iconographic rules (śilpaśāstra), one should depcit him (and other forms of Ruru) having a pure white color, adorned with ornaments set with rubies; he should carry an akṣamālā, the aṅkuśa, a pustaka and a vīṇā. The word Śilpaśāstra refers to an ancient Hindu science of arts and crafts, dealing with subjects such as painting, sculpture and iconography.

Shilpashastra book cover
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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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Shaktism (Shakta philosophy)

[«previous next»] — Vajrahasta in Shaktism glossary
Source: Google Books: Manthanabhairavatantram

Vajrahastā (वज्रहस्ता) refers to “(one endowed with) the sovereignty of the wheels” and is used as an epithet for Mālinī, according to the Ṣaṭsāhasrasaṃhitā, an expansion of the Kubjikāmatatantra: the earliest popular and most authoritative Tantra of the Kubjikā cult.—Accordingly, “The venerable great lord of Oḍra resides in the cavity in the Middle Land. It is (Oḍḍiyāna) the first (sacred seat) and, yellow in colour, it has mountains, forests, and groves, large and small, and is adorned with golden walls. It has rivers and rivulets and many (other) things. It is full of all the seeds and is square all around. It has thunderbolts as door chains and Mālinī (who resides there) holds a thunderbolt in her hand. Endowed with the sovereignty of the Wheels [i.e., cakrādhipati], it is the sacred seat (Udyāna) attended by the mistress of the sacred seat”.

Source: Kamakoti Mandali: The Yoginis of Narasimha Vyuha

Vajrahastā (वज्रहस्ता) is the name of a Mātṛkā-Śakti created by Mahārudra in order to control the plague of demons created by Andhakāsura.—Accordingly, Andhaka-Asura tried to kidnap Umā (Devī Pārvatī), and was fiercely attacked by Mahārudra who shot arrows at him from his mahāpināka. when the arrows pierced the body of Andhakāsura, drops of blood fell to earth and from those drops, thousands of Andhakas arose. To control this plague of demons, Mahārudra created Mātṛkā-Śaktis [viz., Vajrahastā] and ordered them to drink the blood of the demons and drain them dry.

Source: Kamakoti Mandali: Nrisimha matrika-mandala

Vajrahastā (वज्रहस्ता) refers to one of the various Mātṛkā-Śaktis created by Rudra in order to destroy the clones that spawned from Andhaka’s body.—Accordingly, [...] Andhakāsura attempted to abduct Girājanandinī (Pārvatī) and thus ensued a fierce battle between Andhakāsura and the great Rudra, the Lord of Umā. Like raktabīja, every drop of blood that fell from the body of Andhaka created another Asura like him and in no time, the entire world was filled with Andhakas. To destroy the growing number of Andhakas, Rudra created innumerable Mātṛkā-Śaktis [viz., Vajrahastā]. These Śaktis of immense power at once began to drink every drop of blood that flowed from the body of Andhaka, but they could still not effectively contain the emergence of more and more demons.

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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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Shaivism (Shaiva philosophy)

[«previous next»] — Vajrahasta in Shaivism glossary
Source: SOAS University of London: Protective Rites in the Netra Tantra

1) Vajrahasta (वज्रहस्त) refers to “one holding the thunderbolt” (of a great hero) and is used to describe Bhairava, according to the Netratantra of Kṣemarāja: a Śaiva text from the 9th century in which Śiva (Bhairava) teaches Pārvatī topics such as metaphysics, cosmology, and soteriology.—Accordingly, [verse 10.1-7ab, while describing the appearance and worship of Bhairava]—“[...] He] bears a sword and shield, holds a hook and noose. [His] hand[s and posed] in the wish fulfilling and protection [mudrās. He] holds the thunderbolt (vajrahasta) of a great hero. [He also] holds an axe and a hatchet. Having worshipped Bhairava, [the Mantrin] remembers being joined in union [with] him, [in the same way as] dissolution in fire”.

2) Vajrahasta (वज्रहस्त) refers to “holding a vajra in one hand” and is used to describe Sūrya.—Accordingly, [verse 13.17-25ab, while describing the appearance and worship of Sūrya]—“Now, I explain that which consists of light [i.e., Sūrya]. [...] [The Mantrin] should imagine [Sūrya] with one hand [holding] a Vajra (vajrahastavajramekena hastena) [and] one a bridle. [He is] mounted on a chariot [on which are yoked] seven horses. [He] wears a serpent as a sacred thread [and] a garland of red flowers [and is] anointed with red perfume. [...]”.

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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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In Buddhism

Tibetan Buddhism (Vajrayana or tantric Buddhism)

Source: Wisdom Library: Tibetan Buddhism

Vajrahasta (वज्रहस्त) refers to one of the male Vidyā-beings 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 Vajrahasta).

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: What is India: Epigraphia Indica volume XXXI (1955-56)

1) Vajrahasta (b. 896 A.D), son of Guṇamahārṇava, is the name of a king, according to the “Grant of Rājarāja I Devendravarman” (1077 A.D.). The son of Guṇamahārṇava was Vajrahasta I (circa 896-940 A.D.) who is next described in a stanza (verse 1) saying that he united under his rule the earth (i.e. the Gaṅga kingdom), which had been previously divided into five parts ruled separately by different kings, and reigned for forty-four years.

Then comes a section in prose (lines 13-15) speaking of the three sons of Vajrahasta I, viz. Guṇḍama I (circa 940-43 A.D.), Kāmārṇava I (circa 943-78 A. D.) and Vinayāditya (circa 978-81 A.D.), who ruled for three, thirtyfive and three years respectively.

2) Vajrahasta III (1038-70 A.D.) is the son of Aniyaṅkabhīma I, as mentioned in the “Grant of Rājarāja I Devendravarman” (1077 A.D.). Verses 7-13 describe Vajrahasta III (1038-70 A.D.) who was the son of Kāmārṇava II from the Vaidumba princess Vinaya-Mahādēvī, and ruled for thirty-three years after having been installed on the throne in Śaka 960 (viyad-ṛtu-nidhi), month Vṛṣabha (solar Jyeṣṭha), sudi 3, Sunday, Rōhiṇī-nakṣatra, Dhanurlagna.

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»] — Vajrahasta in Sanskrit glossary
Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: Cappeller Sanskrit-English Dictionary

Vajrahasta (वज्रहस्त).—[adjective] = vajrapāṇi.

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

1) Vajrahasta (वज्रहस्त):—[=vajra-hasta] [from vajra > vaj] mfn. (vajra-) ‘thunderbolt-handed’, wielding a th° (said of Indra, Agni, the Maruts), [Ṛg-veda]

2) [v.s. ...] m. Name of Śiva, [Śivagītā, ascribed to the padma-purāṇa]

3) Vajrahastā (वज्रहस्ता):—[=vajra-hastā] [from vajra-hasta > vajra > vaj] f. Name of one of the nine Samidhs, [Gṛhyāsaṃgraha]

4) [v.s. ...] of a Buddhist goddess, [Horace H. Wilson]

[Sanskrit to German]

Vajrahasta in German

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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 (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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