Vamsha, aka: Vaṃśa, Vaṃsa, Vamsa, Vamsā, Vāṃśa, Vaṃśā; 13 Definition(s)


Vamsha means something in Buddhism, Pali, 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 terms Vaṃśa and Vāṃśa and Vaṃśā can be transliterated into English as Vamsa or Vamsha, using the IAST transliteration scheme (?).

In Hinduism

Natyashastra (theatrics and dramaturgy)

Vaṃśa (वंश).—As the first Indian flute was made from vaṃśa or bamboo, it was called Vaṃśa. Śārṅgadeva mentions also horns besides flutes made of wood (khadira and sandal), ivory and different metals (iron, kāṃsya, silver, and gold), which came into use in later times (see Śārṅgadeva’s Saṃgītaratnākara VI. 424ff). The conchshell (śaṅkha) is also another hollow (suṣira) instrument, but it is scarcely used as a musical appliance.

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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Purana and Itihasa (epic history)

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

Vaṃśā (वंशा).—A daughter born to Prajāpati Kaśyapa by his wife Pradhā. (Mahābhārata Ādi Parva, Chapter 65, Stanza 45).

Source: Puranic Encyclopaedia

1a) Vaṃśa (वंश).—A topic of the purāṇa.*

  • * Brahmāṇḍa-purāṇa I. 1. 37; Vāyu-purāṇa 4. 10.

1b) A Pārā god.*

  • * Brahmāṇḍa-purāṇa IV. 1. 57.
Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: The Purana Index
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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General definition (in Hinduism)

1) Vaṃśa (वंश) denoting the ‘rafters’ or ‘beams’ of the house as made of bamboo cane, is found in this sense from the Rigveda onwards. Cf. Tiraścīnavaṃśa, Prācīnavaṃśa, and see Gṛha.

2) Vaṃśa (वंश, ‘bamboo’) in the sense of ‘spiritual genealogy’, ‘list of teachers’, is found in the Śatapatha-brāhmaṇa (x, 6, 5, 9), the Vaṃśa-brāhmaṇa, and the Śāṅkhāyana-āraṇyaka.

Source: Vedic index of Names and Subjects

In Buddhism

Theravada (major branch of Buddhism)

The Vamsas and their country.

It lay to the south of Kosala, and its capital was Kosambi (E.g., J.iv.28) on the Yamuna. Udena, son of Parantapa, also called Vamsaraja (E.g., J.iv.370,390), was its king in the time of the Buddha.

Avanti lay to the south of the Vamsa country. The Vamsa were also called Vatsa (Bud. India, 3, 27; Mtu.i.34). The country formed one of the sixteen Mahajanapada.

The district of Bhagga, in which was Sumsumaragiri, seems to have been subject to the Vamsa in the Buddhas time, for we find Udenas son, Bodhi, living there (J.iii.157, also Mahabharata ii.30, 10f). In nominal lists (E.g., D.ii.200) the Vamsa, are generally mentioned with the Ceti.

Source: Pali Kanon: Pali Proper Names
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Theravāda is a major branch of Buddhism having the the Pali canon (tipitaka) as their canonical literature, which includes the vinaya-pitaka (monastic rules), the sutta-pitaka (Buddhist sermons) and the abhidhamma-pitaka (philosophy and psychology).

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India history and geogprahy

Vamsa, Venu or Kicaka is the name of a tree mentioned in the Kathasaritsagara by Somadeva (10th century A.D).—Vamsa refers to the “Bamboo-tree” and its woods in the Vindhya mountains and great and marvellous forests on the Hemakuta peak of the Himalaya mountain are mentioned.

Somadeva mentions many rich forests, gardens, various trees (eg., Vamsa), creepers medicinal and flowering plants and fruit-bearing trees in the Kathasaritsagara. Travel through the thick, high, impregnable and extensive Vindhya forest is a typical feature of many travel-stories. Somadeva’s writing more or less reflects the life of the people of Northern India during the 11th century. His Kathasaritsagara (‘ocean of streams of story’), mentioning Vamsa, is a famous Sanskrit epic story revolving around prince Naravahanadatta and his quest to become the emperor of the vidyadharas (celestial beings).

Source: Shodhganga: Cultural history as g leaned from kathasaritsagara

Vaṃsa (वंस) or Vatsa refers to one of the sixteen Mahājanapadas of the Majjhimadesa (Middle Country) of ancient India, as recorded in the Pāli Buddhist texts (detailing the geography of ancient India as it was known in to Early Buddhism).—The kingdom of the Vaṃsas or Vatsas is mentioned in the Aṅguttara Nikāya as one of the sixteen great countries of India. The capital of the country was Kausāmbī (Kosambī) identical with modern Kosam near Allahabad.

Source: Ancient Buddhist Texts: Geography of Early Buddhism
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

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

vaṃsa : (m.) 1. a race; lineage; family; 2. a bamboo tree; 3. a bamboo flute.

Source: BuddhaSasana: Concise Pali-English Dictionary
Pali book cover
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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

vaṃśa (वंश).—S Race, lineage, family. 2 Progeny. 3 A bamboo.

--- OR ---

vaṃsā (वंसा) [or वसा, vasā].—m A self-imposed religious observance or obligation to hold it. v ghē, hō. Among women only.

Source: DDSA: The Molesworth Marathi and English Dictionary

vaṃśa (वंश).—m Race, family. A bamboo.

--- OR ---

vaṃsā (वंसा).—m A self-imposed religious observance.

--- OR ---

vāṃsā (वांसा).—m A rafter. khāllā gharacē vāsē mōjaṇēṃ To seek the evil of a bene- factor.

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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Sanskrit-English dictionary

Vaṃśa (वंश).—[vamati udgirati vam-śa tasya netvam Uṇ.4.116]

1) A bamboo; धनुर्वशविशुद्धोऽपि निर्गुणः किं करिष्यति (dhanurvaśaviśuddho'pi nirguṇaḥ kiṃ kariṣyati) H. Pr.23; वंशभवो गुणवानपि संगविशेषेण पूज्यते पुरुषः (vaṃśabhavo guṇavānapi saṃgaviśeṣeṇa pūjyate puruṣaḥ) Bv.1.8 (where vaṃśa has sense 2 also); Me.81.

2) A race, family, dynasty, lineage; स जातो येन जातेन याति वंशः समुन्नतिम् (sa jāto yena jātena yāti vaṃśaḥ samunnatim) H.2; सूर्यप्रभवो वंशः (sūryaprabhavo vaṃśaḥ) R.1.2. &c.; see वंशकर, वंशस्थिति (vaṃśakara, vaṃśasthiti) &c.

3) A shaft.

4) A flute, pipe, reed-pipe; कूजद्भिरापादितवंशकृत्यम् (kūjadbhirāpāditavaṃśakṛtyam) R.2.12.

5) A collection, assemblage, multitude (usually of similar things); सान्द्रीकृतः स्यन्दनवंशचक्रैः (sāndrīkṛtaḥ syandanavaṃśacakraiḥ) R.7.39.

6) A cross-beam; यदस्थिभिर्निर्मित- वंशवंश्यस्थूणं त्वचा रोमनखैः पिनद्धम् (yadasthibhirnirmita- vaṃśavaṃśyasthūṇaṃ tvacā romanakhaiḥ pinaddham) Bhāg.11.8.33.

7) A joint (in a bamboo).

8) A sort of sugar-cane.

9) The back-bone.

1) The Śāla tree.

11) A particular measure of length (equal to ten hastas).

12) The central projecting part of a sabre.

13) Bamboo-manna.

14) Offspring.

15) A son.

16) A particular musical note.

17) Pride, arrogance.

Derivable forms: vaṃśaḥ (वंशः).

--- OR ---

Vāṃśa (वांश).—a. (

-śī f. [vaṃśa-aṇ] Made of bamboo.

-śī Bamboo-manna.

Source: DDSA: The practical Sanskrit-English dictionary

Vaṃśa (वंश).—m., (1) (compare Pali vaṃsa, tradition, as in Dpvs. 18.3 saddhamma-vaṃsa-kovidā, knowing the tradition of the true religion; compare Miln. 190.24, 27, syn. paveṇi 31, traditional usage, orig. line of descent), tradition: (na… parinirvāsyāmi) yāvan mayā buddhadharmasaṃgha-vaṃśo loke na pratiṣṭhāpito bhaviṣyati LV 377.17 (prose); Tibetan sgra, voice, sound, hence Foucaux (for BHS) renommée, but I cannot find evidence for this meaning in Sanskrit or MIndic; (2) (= Pali Vaṃsa = Sanskrit Vatsa, q.v., which is also used as Vaccha, personal name, in Pali) n. of a people: idaṃ Vaṃśarājakulaṃ ṛddhaṃ…LV 21.1 (no v.l.), also 3 (v.l. Vaṃsa); Tibetan bad sa (= Vatsa).

Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: Edgerton Buddhist Hybrid Sanskrit 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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