Vamana, aka: Vāmana; 26 Definition(s)


Vamana means something in Hinduism, Sanskrit, Jainism, Prakrit, Buddhism, Pali, 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

Purana and Itihasa (epic history)

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

The Vāmana stone is of a round and puny size and Sureshvara has a circular mark on its left side.

Source: The Garuda puranam

1) Vāmana (वामन).—An incarnation of Mahāviṣṇu. General information. There are ten main incarnations of Mahāviṣṇu. Of these, the incarnation of Vāmana is the fifth. (See full article at Story of Vāmana from the Puranic encyclopaedia by Vettam Mani)

2) Vāmana (वामन).—One of the eight elephants supporting the universe. This elephant was one of the four sons of Irāvatī. Airāvata, Supratīka and Añjana were the other three. (Brahmāṇḍa Purāṇa, 3: 7: 292). This Vāmana was the conveyance of a famous giant in the army of Ghaṭotkaca during the battle of Bhārata. (Mahābhārata Bhīṣma Parva, Chapter 60, Verse 56).

3) Vāmana (वामन).—A holy place situated on the borders of Kurukṣetra. By bathing in the particular spot called Viṣṇupāda, in this holy place and worshipping Vāmana, one could enter the world of Viṣṇu. (Mahābhārata Vana Parva, Chapter 86, Stanza 103).

4) Vāmana (वामन).—A holy place. It is stated in Mahābhārata, Vana Parva, Chapter 84, Stanza 13, that those who worship Hari (Viṣṇu) in this place will never become miserable.

5) Vāmana (वामन).—A mountain in the Krauñca Island. (Mahābhārata, Bhīṣma Parva, Chapter 12).

Source: Puranic Encyclopaedia

1) Vamana (वमन).—One of the two gods forming a boat to cross the ocean of saṃsāra.*

  • * Vāyu-purāṇa 108. 37; 111. 72.

2a) Vāmana (वामन).—(also Vāmanaka): the fifteenth incarnation of Hari to do good to Indra. Second of the avatārs (m.p.).1 Son of Aditi and Kaśyapa: wife was Kīrtī and son Bṛhatśloka: Born on the Vijaya dvādaśi of Bhādrapada (bright) fortnight under the star Śravaṇa at the abhijit hour. After manifesting his true form to Brahmā and Aditi, he changed it to a Brāhmaṇa Brahmacārin. At his initiation ceremony all the gods were present and gave him presents;2 went to the sacrificial hall of Bali; after welcoming him, Bali wanted to know what his desire was. He asked for three feet of ground, and commended him as a worthy descendant of Prahlāda. Notwithstanding Śukra dissuading him, Bali made the desired gift when Vāmana assumed the Viśvarūpa form, and measured the earth with one foot and the svarga with the other. The Gods washed the uplifted foot of Hari and celebrated a great festivity. This brought joy to Jāmbavān. The Asuras began to attack but were roughly handled by Hari's attendants. Finding Bali unable to keep his word, Vāmana said that he should go to hell;3 Praised by Bali, by Prahlāda, Vindyāvali, and Brahmā: blessed Bali and assured Prahlāda of future bliss: asked Śuka to complete the sacrifice started by Bali and bestowed the kingdom on his brother Indra: anointed Lord of all the worlds and became known as Upendra. Taken to Heaven in a celestial car when the universe was given to Indra;4 According to Brahmāṇḍa-purāṇa this is the second avatār;5 Details of the avatār;6 Icon of: temple of, in Kurukṣetra.7

  • 1) Bhāgavata-purāṇa I. 3. 19; II. 7. 17-18; V. 24. 18 and 23; X. 40. 19; XI. 4. 20. Matsya-purāṇa 47. 42-46; Viṣṇu-purāṇa III. 1. 42-3; V. 5. 17.
  • 2) Bhāgavata-purāṇa VIII. 13. 6; X. 3. 42; VI. 18. 8-9; VIII. 18. 5-17.
  • 3) Ib. VIII. 18. 20-32; chh. 19-21 (whole) ; X. 62. 2; Matsya-purāṇa 47. 72.
  • 4) Ib. VIII. chh. 22 and 23. (whole); Vāyu-purāṇa 66. 137. 97. 73, 103; 98. 74-87.
  • 5) Brahmāṇḍa-purāṇa III. 37. 5; 72. 73, 77 and 105; 73. 77; IV. 34. 79.
  • 6) Matsya-purāṇa chh. 244-6; 259. 2.
  • 7) Ib. 244. 2-3; 285. 6.

2b) An elephant at one of the four cardinal points to maintain the balance of the worlds;1 son of Irāvatī.2

  • 1) Bhāgavata-purāṇa V. 20. 39; Vāyu-purāṇa 69. 69.
  • 2) Brahmāṇḍa-purāṇa III. 7. 292, 328 and 39.

2c) A Dānava;1 a son of Danu.2

  • 1) Brahmāṇḍa-purāṇa III. 6. 5.
  • 2) Matsya-purāṇa 6. 17.

2d) A 1000 hooded snake.*

  • * Matsya-purāṇa 6. 41.

2e) A son of Bhadra, the elephant.*

  • * Vāyu-purāṇa 69. 213.

2f) A son of Vāmadeva; his wife was Angadā; two sons; Añjanaśyāma and Sāmna who were good looking animals fit for riding by men.*

  • * Vāyu-purāṇa 69. 223-4; Brahmāṇḍa-purāṇa III. 7. 339.

2g) The purāṇa of 10000 verses, with the Māhātmya of Trivikrama and dealing with Trivarga in the Kūrma Kalpa; he who gives it in the viṣu of Śarad attains Vaiṣṇavahood (see vāmanapurāṇa).*

  • * Matsya-purāṇa 53. 45-6.
Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: The Purana Index

Vāmana (वामन) is a name mentioned in the Mahābhārata (cf. I.31.6, I.35) and represents one of the many proper names used for people and places. Note: The Mahābhārata (mentioning Vāmana) 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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Natyashastra (theatrics and dramaturgy)

Vāmana (वामन) is the name of a sage who was in the company of Bharata when he recited the Nāṭyaveda them, according to the Nāṭyaśāstra chapter 35. Accordingly, they asked the following questions, “O the best Brahmin (lit. the bull of the twice-born), tell us about the character of the god who appears in the Preliminaries (pūrvaraṅga). Why is the sound [of musical instruments] applied there? What purpose does it serve when applied? What god is pleased with this, and what does he do on being pleased? Why does the Director being himself clean, perform ablution again on the stage? How, O sir, the drama has come (lit. dropped) down to the earth from heaven? Why have your descendants come to be known as Śūdras?”.

Source: Wisdom Library: Nāṭya-śāstra

One of the Daśāvatāra (Hands of the Ten Avatars of Vishnu).—Vāmana: Musti with both hands, one upwards and the otherdownwards, and towards the right side.

Source: The mirror of gesture (abhinaya-darpana)
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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Pancaratra (worship of Nārāyaṇa)

1) Vāmana (वामन, “short, dwarf”):—One of the twenty-four forms of Viṣṇu through which Nārāyaṇa manifests himself. The meaning of this title is “Saviour of Indra, he who produces joy in others”. He is accompanied by a counterpart emanation of Lakṣmī (an aspect of Devī) who goes by the name Dayā.

2) Vāmana (वामन):—One of the eight guardians of Vaikuṇṭha, according to the Pāñcarātra literature. These eight guardians are part of the celestial entourage of Viṣṇu.

Source: Wisdom Library: Pāñcarātra

Vāmana (वामन) refers to one of the various Vibhava manifestations according to the Īśvarasaṃhitā 24.316b-319.—Accordingly, “He (Vāmana) conquers always the mighty ignorance, which is ferocious and associated with the group of sense organs and is like ten thousand suns; (doing this) by himself remaining in the heart of wise men who are afraid of worldly life with sympathy, with (the help of) punishment through regulations (of conduct). He gives within a short time the bliss of Brahman for their happiness. He shall be meditated upon as having short limbs, dark eyes resembling the petals of the lotus, as having the worlds placed within (Him) and as adorned with matted hair and dark dress holding the umbrella in the left hand and the bamboo stick in the other”.

These Vibhavas (eg., Vāmana) represent the third of the five-fold manifestation of the Supreme Consciousness the Pāñcarātrins believe in.

Source: Isvara Samhita Vol 1
Pancaratra book cover
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Pancaratra (पाञ्चरात्र, pāñcarātra) represents a tradition of Hinduism where Narayana is revered and worshipped. Closeley related to Vaishnavism, the Pancaratra literature includes various Agamas and tantras incorporating many Vaishnava philosophies.

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Ayurveda (science of life)

Vamana (वमन, “emesis”):—One of the five pañcakarma (or ‘five measures’) which are employed for Śodhana, an Āyurvedic method for purification of the body by eliminating malas.

Source: Wisdom Library: Āyurveda and botany
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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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Vastushastra (architecture)

Vāmana (वामन) refers to a type of temple (prāsāda) classified under the group named Triviṣṭapa, according to Samarāṅgaṇasūtradhāra chapter 49. The Triviṣṭapa group contains ten out of a sixty-four total prāsādas (temples) classified under five prime vimānas (aerial car/palace), which were created by Brahmā for as many gods (including himself). This group represents temples (eg. Vāmana) that are to be octangular in shape. The prāsādas, or ‘temples’, represent the dwelling place of God and are to be built in towns. The Samarāṅgaṇasūtradhāra is an 11th-century encyclopedia dealing with various topics from the Vāstuśāstra.

Source: Wisdom Library: Vāstu-śāstra
Vastushastra book cover
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Vastushastra (वास्तुशास्त्र, vāstuśāstra) refers to the ancient Indian science (shastra) of architecture (vastu), dealing with topics such architecture, sculpture, town-building, fort building and various other constructions. Vastu also deals with the philosophy of the architectural relation with the cosmic universe.

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Katha (narrative stories)

Vamana in Katha glossary... « previous · [V] · next »

Vāmana (वामन).—One of the incarnations of Viṣṇu.—In the Vāmana incarnation, assuming the form of a Brāhmaṇa-dwarf, he traversed the earth, air and heaven in three strides and gained the earth from Bali, the lord of the demons.

Source: Shodhganga: A critical appreciation of soddhalas udayasundarikatha
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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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Shilpashastra (iconography)

Vāmana (वामन) refers to one of the many varieties of the Śālagrāma (ammonite fossil stones).—The Vāmana is round in shape (vartula); deep-blue in colour like atasi flower; spots (bindu); avery small cakra on the left side (vāma-cakra) or two tiny cakras; lines on the right side. Śālagrāma stones are very ancient geological specimens, rendered rounded and smooth by water-currents in a great length of time. They (eg., Vāmana stones) are distinguished by the ammonite (śālā, described as “vajra-kīṭa”, “adamantine worms”) which having entered into them for residence, are fossilized in course of time, leaving discus-like marks inside the stone.

Source: Pratima Kosa Encyclopedia of Indian Iconography - Vol 6

Vāmana (वामन) or Vāmanāvatāra refers to one the “ten incarnations of Lord Viṣṇu”, as defined according to texts dealing with śilpa (arts and crafs), known as śilpaśāstras.—The hand gestures for the daśāvatāra in dancing and iconography are similar in some cases and dissimilar in most of the cases. The hasta for Vāmana (dwarf) avatāra is depicted when the left hand in muṣṭi-hasta is raised till the shoulder level and the right hand in muṣṭi-hasta is lowered till the thigh level. The left hand holds an umbrella and the right hand holds a kamaṇḍalu for vāmana-hasta. In iconography, Viṣṇu in the form of a Brahmin dwarf is seen carrying an umbrella in his left hand and a vase in his right hand. The position of the hands is similar in dance and in iconography for Vāmana-avatāra.

Source: Shodhganga: The significance of the mūla-beras (śilpa)
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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Vyakarana (Sanskrit grammar)

Vāmana (वामन).—Name of one of the joint authors of the well-known gloss or वृत्ति (vṛtti) upon the Sutras of Panini, who lived in the seventh century A. D. It cannot be ascertained which portion of the Kasika was written by Vamana and which by his colleague जयादित्य (jayāditya). There was another famous scholar of Kashmir by name Vamana who flourished in the tenth century and who wrote an independent grammar treatise विश्रान्तविद्याधर (viśrāntavidyādhara), together with उणादि-सूत्रवृत्ति (uṇādi-sūtravṛtti) and लिङ्गानुशासन (liṅgānuśāsana).

Source: Wikisource: A dictionary of Sanskrit grammar
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Vyakarana (व्याकरण, vyākaraṇa) refers to Sanskrit grammar and represents one of the six additional sciences (vedanga) to be studied along with the Vedas. Vyakarana concerns itself with the rules of Sanskrit grammar and linguistic analysis in order to establish the correct context of words and sentences.

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General definition (in Hinduism)

Vāmana (वामन, “dwarf”) is a Sanskrit word referring to one of the ten incarnations of Viṣṇu. This incarnation appeared in the tretāyuga. Viṣṇu is the name of a major Hindu deity and forms part of the trinity of supreme divinity (trimūrti) together with Brahmā and Śiva. They are seen as the cosmic personifications of creation (brahmā), maintenance (viṣṇu), and destruction (śiva).

Source: Wisdom Library: Hinduism

Vāmana was the author of a well-known work on poetics called the Kāvyālaṅkārasūtravṛtti. It consists of sūtras and a vṛtti, both composed by Vāmana. His orderly presentation of poetic theory was the most well-thought-out scheme of poetics up to that point in time. He argued that rīti (a particular stylistic arrangement of words) was the soul of petry. His theory embraced major topics such as literary flaws (doṣa), poetic qualities (guṇa), and embellishments (alaṅkāra). He is believed to have been a minister to Jayāpīda (779-813 CE), the king of Kashmir.

Source: Google Books: Croaking Frogs: A Guide to Sanskrit Metrics and Figures of Speech

Bali, the son of Prahalada, had obtained powerful boons and had conquered all the three worlds. Vishnu was born as a dwarf, Vamana, the son of Aditi and sage Kashyapa to restore the Devas to their rightful place.

Source: Apam Napat: Indian Mythology

Avatar of Viṣnu. Vamana, the dwarf, appeared in the Treta Yuga. The fourth descendant of Hiranyakashyap, Bali, with devotion and penance was able to defeat Indra, the god of firmament. This humbled the other deities and extended his authority over the three worlds. The gods appealed to Vishnu for protection and he descended as the dwarf Vamana. During a yajna of the king, Vamana approached him in the midst of other Brahmins. Bali was happy to see the diminutive holy man, and promised whatever he asked. Vamana asked for three paces of land. Bali agreed, and the dwarf then changed his size to that of a giant. He stepped over heaven in his first stride, and the netherworld with the second. Bali realized that Vamana was Vishnu incarnate. In deference, the king offered his head as the third place for Vamana to place his foot. The avatar did so and thus granted Bali immortality. Then in appreciation to Bali and his grandfather Prahlada, Vamana made him ruler of Pathala, the netherworld. Bali is believed to have ruled Kerala and Tulunadu. He is still worshiped there as the king of prosperity and recalled before the time of harvest.

Source: WikiPedia: Hinduism

Vāmana (वामन) refers to the fifth of ten avatars (daśāvatāra) of Lord Viṣṇu, as described by Vāsudeva in his Vṛttagajendramokṣa verse 108. All the incarnations have been described with their respective contexts in 10 different verses in 10 different metres; Vāmana has been described in the Pramitākṣarā metre.

Source: Shodhganga: a concise history of Sanskrit Chanda literature (h)

In Jainism

General definition (in Jainism)

Vāmana (वामन, “dwarf”) refers to one of the six types of Saṃsthāna (structure karma), representing one of the various kinds of Nāma, or “physique-making (karmas)”, which in turn represents one of the eight types of Prakṛti-bandha (species bondage): one of the four kinds of bondage (bandha) according to the 2nd-century Tattvārthasūtra chapter 8. What is meant by dwarf (vāmana) body (saṃsthāna) body-making (nāma) karma? The karmas rise of which causes the dwarf structure of the body accomplished are called dwarf body body-making karma. 

Source: Encyclopedia of Jainism: Tattvartha Sutra 8: Bondage of karmas
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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

Vāmana (वामन) is mentioned in the Paṭṭaṇakuḍi plates of Avasara II.—“This royal order was clearly written by the poet, the illustrious Devapāla, son of the illustrious Vāmana, the illustrious Nāgara-Sāndhivigrahika, by the permission of his Lord, and it was incised in (all its) details by Vajjaḍa”.

These copper plates (mentioning Vāmana) were obtained from Tonappa Parisa Upadhye, the priest of the Jain basti of Paṭṭaṇakudi, who claims that they have been preserved as heirloom in his family. The inscription refers itself to the reign of the Śilāra (i.e. Śilāhāra) king Avasara II, ruling from Balinagara. The inscription is dated in the expired Śaka year 910 (expressed in words), the cyclic year being Sarvadhārin, on Monday, the fifth tithi of the bright fortnight of Kārttika.

Source: What is India: Inscriptions of the Śilāhāras
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

Pali-English dictionary

Vamana in Pali glossary... « previous · [V] · next »

vamana : (nt.) vomiting; discharged food. || vāmana (m.), a dwarf. (adj.) dwarfish.

Source: BuddhaSasana: Concise Pali-English Dictionary

Vamana, (nt.) (fr. vam) an emetic D. I, 12; A. V, 219; cp. J. P. T. S. 1907, 452. (Page 601)

— or —

Vāmana, (adj.) (fr. vāma1, cp. Ger. linkisch=uncouth) dwarfish; m. dwarf Vin. I, 91; DA. I, 148. (Page 609)

Source: Sutta: The Pali Text Society's Pali-English Dictionary
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Pali is the language of the Tipiṭaka, which is the sacred canon of Theravāda Buddhism and contains much of the Buddha’s speech. Closeley related to Sanskrit, both languages are used interchangeably between religions.

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Marathi-English dictionary

vamana (वमन).—n (S) Vomiting.

--- OR ---

vāmana (वामन).—m or a (S) A dwarf or dwarfish. 2 Vishn̤u in his character of the dwarf, in which he appeared in his fifth avatar, to prevent Bali from obtaining the dominion of the three worlds. 3 The baṭu or Brahman-boy invited to the meal on vāmana- dvādaśī. 4 (Because of the character and deeds of Vishn̤u under this avatar.) A term for a deceiver, rogue, cheat.

Source: DDSA: The Molesworth Marathi and English Dictionary

vāmana (वामन).—m or a A dwarf or dwarfish. rogue. Vishnu in his fifth avatāra.

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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Relevant definitions

Search found 207 related definition(s) that might help you understand this better. Below you will find the 15 most relevant articles:

Vāmanapurāṇa (वामनपुराण).—One of the eighteen Purāṇas. (See under Purāṇa).
Vāmanāvatāra (वामनावतार) or Vāmana is one of the daśāvatāra (ten incarnations) of Viṣṇu, is fou...
Vamana Sutta
Vamana, (nt.) (fr. vam) an emetic D. I, 12; A. V, 219; cp. J. P. T. S. 1907, 452. (Page 601)
Vāmana-mudrā.—(SITI), figures of śaṅkha and cakra marked on the boundary stones set up to demar...
Abhiṣyandavamana (अभिष्यन्दवमन).—स्वर्गाभिष्यन्दवमनं कृत्वेवोपनिवेशितम् (svargābhiṣyandavamanaṃ...
Vamanopaga (वमनोपग) is the Sanskrit name for a group of medicinal plants, classified as “eme...
Kubjavāmana (कुब्जवामन).—a. hump-backed person and a dwarf. Derivable forms: kubjavāmanaḥ (कुब्...
Dadhivāmana (दधिवामन) refers to one of the many varieties of the Śālagrāma (ammonite fossil sto...
Vāmanākṛti (वामनाकृति).—a. dwarfish. Vāmanākṛti is a Sanskrit compound consisting of the terms ...
Yogavāmana (योगवामन).—secret contrivances; Kau. A. Derivable forms: yogavāmanam (योगवामनम्).Yog...
Vāmanadvādaśī (वामनद्वादशी).—the 12th day in the light half of चैत्र (caitra). Vāmanadvādaśī is...
Guṇa (गुण).—(1) m. (Sanskrit and Pali id., not recorded in this use), advantage: Mv i.155.7 (v...
Bali (बलि).—m. (-liḥ) 1. Tax, royal revenue. 2. An oblation, religious offering in general. 3. ...
Purāṇa (पुराण).—The purāṇas were first compiled by Brahmā (Vāyu-purāṇa I.60-61). Sanatkumāra, a...
1) Kāśyapa (काश्यप) is the name of a Buddha whose “assistant” (upasthāyaka) was named Sarvamitr...

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