Vidushaka, Vidūṣaka: 15 definitions


Vidushaka means something in Hinduism, Sanskrit, Hindi. 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 Vidūṣaka can be transliterated into English as Vidusaka or Vidushaka, using the IAST transliteration scheme (?).

In Hinduism

Natyashastra (theatrics and dramaturgy)

Source: Wisdom Library: Nāṭya-śāstra

Vidūṣaka (विदूषक) refers to a “jester”, whose mask should be represented as having either a shaven head (śiromuṇḍa) or a head with the kākapada (crow’s feet), according to Nāṭyaśāstra chapter 23. Providing masks is a component of nepathya (costumes and make-up) and is to be done in accordance with the science of āhāryābhinaya (extraneous representation).

According to the Nāṭyaśāstra chapter 35, “the jester (vidūṣaka) should be dwarfish, should possess big teeth, and be hunch-backed, double-tongued bald-headed and tawny-eyed”. Also, “one who looks to people’s pleasure, can imitate manners of all people, resorts to various means and mixes with women, is ready-witted in disclosures made through pleasantry, or in covert pleasure and is clever, and can give censure through his words, is to be known as a jester (vidūṣaka)”

Natyashastra book cover
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Natyashastra (नाट्यशास्त्र, nāṭyaśāstra) refers to both the ancient Indian tradition (shastra) of performing arts, (natya—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), construction and performance of Theater, and Poetic works (kavya).

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Kavya (poetry)

[«previous next»] — Vidushaka in Kavya glossary
Source: Wisdom Library: Kathāsaritsāgara

Vidūṣaka (विदूषक) is the name of a Brāhman who helped the king Ādityasena when he was in need of shelter, according to the Kathāsaritsāgara, chapter 18. Their story was told by Udayana (king of Vatsa) in order to demonstratrate to his ministers that a brave man by himself without any support obtains prosperity.

The Kathāsaritsāgara (‘ocean of streams of story’), mentioning Vidūṣaka, is a famous Sanskrit epic story revolving around prince Naravāhanadatta and his quest to become the emperor of the vidyādharas (celestial beings). The work is said to have been an adaptation of Guṇāḍhya’s Bṛhatkathā consisting of 100,000 verses, which in turn is part of a larger work containing 700,000 verses.

Source: Naisadhacarita of Sriharsa

Vidūṣaka (विदूषक) refers to a “critic” or an “opponent”, and is mentioned in the Naiṣadha-carita 10.57.

Kavya book cover
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Kavya (काव्य, kavya) refers to Sanskrit poetry, a popular ancient Indian tradition of literature. There have been many Sanskrit poets over the ages, hailing from ancient India and beyond. This topic includes mahakavya, or ‘epic poetry’ and natya, or ‘dramatic poetry’.

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Sports, Arts and Entertainment (wordly enjoyments)

[«previous next»] — Vidushaka in Arts glossary
Source: Syainika Sastra of Rudradeva with English Translation (art)

Vidūṣaka (विदूषक) refers to “jesters”, according to the Śyainika-śāstra: a Sanskrit treatise dealing with the divisions and benefits of Hunting and Hawking, written by Rājā Rudradeva (or Candradeva) in possibly the 13th century.—Accordingly, “[...] It has been said that there are eighteen addictions. These are the outcome of the desire for earthly enjovments. [...] Disparagement means be-littling the merits of others and attributing demerits to them. It becomes enjoyable in a party when uttered by jesters (vidūṣaka) and others. In dramas, novels and other compositions it is extensively used, sometimes pithily and sometimes in a verbose and round-about way. [...]”.

Arts book cover
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This section covers the skills and profiencies of the Kalas (“performing arts”) and Shastras (“sciences”) involving ancient Indian traditions of sports, games, arts, entertainment, love-making and other means of wordly enjoyments. Traditionally these topics were dealt with in Sanskrit treatises explaing the philosophy and the justification of enjoying the pleasures of the senses.

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Languages of India and abroad

Sanskrit dictionary

[«previous next»] — Vidushaka in Sanskrit glossary
Source: DDSA: The practical Sanskrit-English dictionary

Vidūṣaka (विदूषक).—a. (- f.)

1) Defiling, polluting, contaminating, corrupting.

2) Detracting, abusing.

3) Witty, humorous, jocular.

-kaḥ 1 A jester, buffon.

2) Particularly, the humorous companion and confidential friend of the hero in a play, who excites mirth by his quaint dress, speeches, gestures, appearances &c., and by allowing himself to be made the butt fo ridicule by almost every body; the S. D. thus defines him :-- कुसुमवसन्ताद्यभिधः कर्मवपुर्वेशभाषाद्यैः । हास्यकरः कलहरतिर्विदूषकः स्यात् स्वकर्मज्ञः (kusumavasantādyabhidhaḥ karmavapurveśabhāṣādyaiḥ | hāsyakaraḥ kalaharatirvidūṣakaḥ syāt svakarmajñaḥ) || 79; cf. also शृङ्गारस्य सहाया विटचेटविदूषकाद्याः स्युः । भक्ता नर्मसु निपुणाः कुपितवधूमानभञ्जनाः शुद्धाः (śṛṅgārasya sahāyā viṭaceṭavidūṣakādyāḥ syuḥ | bhaktā narmasu nipuṇāḥ kupitavadhūmānabhañjanāḥ śuddhāḥ) || ibid.

3) A libertine, lecher.

4) A critic; an opponent; प्राशंसि संसद्गुरुणापि चार्वी चार्वाकता सर्वविदूषकेण (prāśaṃsi saṃsadguruṇāpi cārvī cārvākatā sarvavidūṣakeṇa) N.1.57.

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

Viduṣaka (विदुषक).—(viduṣa-ka), adj., = vidu, for Sanskrit vidus (changed to a-stem, § 16.50, plus -ka), wise, skilled (in…, end of [compound]): sarvasattvasaṃgrahaṇa-°kāś ca Mahāvastu i.134.11 (prose; said of Bodhisattvas).

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

Vidūṣaka (विदूषक).—mfn.

(-kaḥ-ṣikā-kaṃ) 1. Facetious, witty, a wag, a jester. 2. Censorious, detracting, a detractor or abuser of other people. m.

(-kaḥ) 1. An actor, especially an interlocutor with the audience between the acts or scenes, a jester, a buffoon. 2. (In dramatic language,) The humble and jocose companion of the principal character. 3. A catamite. f. (-kī) Corrupting, contaminating. E. vi before, dūṣ to be or make bad, aff. kvun .

Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: Benfey Sanskrit-English Dictionary

Vidūṣaka (विदूषक).—i. e. vi-duṣ, [Causal.], + aha, I. adj. 1. Censorious, detracting. 2. Facetious, witty. Ii. m. 1. A jester, a buffoon. 2. (In dramatic language), The joeose companion of the principal person, [Vikramorvaśī, (ed. Bollensen.)] 15, 1. 3. A catamite, [Daśakumāracarita] in Chr. 180, 13.

Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: Cappeller Sanskrit-English Dictionary

Vidūṣaka (विदूषक).—[adjective] defilling; [masculine] jester, buffoon, the confidential friend of the hero ([drama])

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

1) Vidūṣaka (विदूषक):—[=vi-dūṣaka] [from vi-duṣ] mfn. defiling, disgracing, [Bhāgavata-purāṇa]

2) [v.s. ...] facetious, witty, [Horace H. Wilson]

3) [v.s. ...] m. a jester, wag, buffoon ([especially] in [dramatic language]) the jocose companion and confidential friend of the hero of a play (he acts the same confidential part towards the king or hero, that her female companions do towards the heroine; his business is to excite mirth in person and attire, and to make himself the universal butt; a curious regulation requires him to be a Brāhman, or higher in caste than the king himself; cf. [Indian Wisdom, by Sir M. Monier-Williams 474]), [Harivaṃśa; Kāvya literature; Sāhitya-darpaṇa] etc.

4) [v.s. ...] a libertine, catamite, [cf. Lexicographers, esp. such as amarasiṃha, halāyudha, hemacandra, etc.]

5) [v.s. ...] Name of a Brāhman, [Kathāsaritsāgara]

Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: Yates Sanskrit-English Dictionary

Vidūṣaka (विदूषक):—[vi-dūṣaka] (kaḥ-ṣikā-kaṃ) a. Facetious, censorious. m. An actor, a buffoon; a catamite.

Source: DDSA: Paia-sadda-mahannavo; a comprehensive Prakrit Hindi dictionary (S)

Vidūṣaka (विदूषक) in the Sanskrit language is related to the Prakrit words: Vidūsaga, Vidūsaya.

[Sanskrit to German]

Vidushaka in German

context information

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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Hindi dictionary

[«previous next»] — Vidushaka in Hindi glossary
Source: DDSA: A practical Hindi-English dictionary

Viduṣaka (विदुषक):—(nm) a jester, buffoon; the jocose companion and confidential friend of the hero in traditional Sanskrit drama.

context information


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Kannada-English dictionary

[«previous next»] — Vidushaka in Kannada glossary
Source: Alar: Kannada-English corpus

Vidūṣaka (ವಿದೂಷಕ):—

1) [adjective] dirtying; marring or spoiling the beauty of.

2) [adjective] finding fault; calling attention to defects; fault-finding.

3) [adjective] blaming, abusing; tending to blame or abuse.

4) [adjective] joking; involving joke; tending to arouse laughter; funny; jovial.

--- OR ---

Vidūṣaka (ವಿದೂಷಕ):—

1) [noun] a man who defiles, causes impurity in.

2) [noun] a man who accuses (another).

3) [noun] a man full of hearty, playful good-humour; a fun-loving, jovial man.

4) [noun] a performer who entertains, as in a circus, by antics, jokes, tricks, etc.; jester.

5) [noun] a lustful, lecherous man.

6) [noun] (rhet.) a friend or companion of the hero of a play, who would give suggesions in matters of love.

context information

Kannada is a Dravidian language (as opposed to the Indo-European language family) mainly spoken in the southwestern region of India.

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