Vira, aka: Vīrā, Vīra; 18 Definition(s)


Vira 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.

In Hinduism

Natyashastra (theatrics and dramaturgy)

1) Vīra (वीर) is the Sanskrit name of one of Bharata’s sons, mentioned in the Nāṭyaśāstra 1.26-33. After Brahmā created the Nāṭyaveda (nāṭyaśāstra), he ordered Bharata to teach the science to his (one hundred) sons. Bharata thus learned the Nāṭyaveda from Brahmā, and then made his sons study and learn its proper application. After their study, Bharata assigned his sons (eg., Vīra) various roles suitable to them.

2) Vīra (वीर) refers to the “heroic” sentiment (rasa). It is one of the eight rasas mentioned in the Nāṭyaśāstra 6.15. The color associated with the vīra is yellowish (gaura), and the presiding deity of of the heroic (śṛṅgāra) sentiment is Indra.

According to the Nāṭyaśāstra, “The Heroic (vīra) Sentiment, relates to the superior type of persons and has energy as its basis. This is created by Determinants, such as presence of mind, perseverance, diplomacy, discipline, military strength, aggressiveness, reputation of might, influence and the like.”.

3) Vīrā (वीरा, “heroic”) refers to a specific “glance” (dṛṣṭi), according to the Nāṭyaśāstra chapter 8. This is a type of glance that expresses the ‘heroic sentiment’ (vīrarasa). There are a total thirty-six glances defined. The Glance which is bright, fully open, agitated, serious, and in which eyeballs are at the centre of the eye (lit. leyel) is called vīrā (heroic), and it is used in the Heroic Sentiment.

Source: Wisdom Library: Nāṭya-śāstra

A type of glance (or facial expression): Vīra (heroic): radiant, direct, open, rather majestic, selfcontrolled, the pupils at rest. Usage: the heroic.

Source: The mirror of gesture (abhinaya-darpana)

Vīra (वीर) or the “sentiment (rasa) of heroism” belongs to the noblest men. It is generated from utsāha or energy, which is its sthāyibhāva or the permanent mood. It is said to be of the colour yellow and Indra, the king of the gods is its presiding divinity. Here, the ālambanavibhāvas are the persons to be vanquished and the uddīpanavіbhāvas are their heroic utterances, advances and appropriate situations. Again, taking up of the arms and the like by the rivals are the anubhāvas and the vyabhicāribhāvas are the firmness, resolution, pride, reminiscences, reasoning and horripilation. It may be mentioned here that utsāha is that mood, by which one is encouraged to perform a particular act.

Source: Shodhganga: Mankhaka a sanskrit literary genius (natya)
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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Shaivism (Shaiva philosophy)

Vīrā (वीरा):—One of the twelve guṇas associated with Kanda, the fifth seat of the Svādhiṣṭhāna-chakra. According to tantric sources such as the Śrīmatottara-tantra and the Gorakṣasaṃhitā (Kādiprakaraṇa), these twelve guṇas are represented as female deities. According to the Ṣaṭsāhasrasaṃhitā however, they are explained as particular syllables. They (eg. Vīrā) only seem to play an minor role with regard to the interpretation of the Devīcakra (first of five chakras, as taught in the Kubjikāmata-tantra).

Source: Wisdom Library: Ṣaṭsāhasra-saṃhitā

Vīra (वीर) or Vīrāgama refers to one of the twenty-eight Siddhāntāgama: a classification of the Śaiva division of Śaivāgamas. The Śaivāgamas represent the wisdom that has come down from lord Śiva, received by Pārvatī and accepted by Viṣṇu. The Śaivāgamas are divided into four groups viz. Śaiva, Pāśupata, Soma and Lākula. Śaiva is further divided in to Dakṣiṇa, Vāma and Siddhānta (eg., vīra).

Source: Shodhganga: Iconographical representations of Śiva
Shaivism book cover
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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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Rasashastra (chemistry and alchemy)

Vīra (वीर, “hero”) is a reference to the broader tantric tradition within which the Siddha theoreticians often situated themselves. The tantric “hero” is a practitioner who, through his initiation, practice, and gnoseological transformation, has transcended the bounded, duality-ridden world of lower creatures (paśus) of this world. The very same heterodox practices with which the tantric practitioner reaffirms his transcendence and absolute freedom—caste-free sexual intercourse, the consumption of forbidden power substances—are those which otherwise condemn the unwashed masses to hell. Intercourse with Siddha maidens, yogiṇīs, even goddesses, is a desideratum for the Siddha practitioner and a recurring theme in every tantric alchemical work.

Source: Google Books: The Alchemical Body
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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1) Vīra (वीर).—An asura born to Prajāpati Kaśyapa by his wife Danu. (Mahābhārata, Ādi Parva, Chapter 65, Stanza 33).

2) Vīra (वीर).—One of the hundred sons of Dhṛtarāṣṭra. (Mahābhārata Ādi Parva, Chapter 67, Stanza 103).

3) Vīra (वीर).—A fire. This Agni was the son born to the fire named Bharadvāja by his wife Vīrā. This fire has other names such as Rathaprabhu, Rathadhvāna, Kumbharetas etc. It is said that along with Somadevatā, this Agni also would get the second portion of Ājya (ghee offerings). It is mentioned in Mahābhārata, Vana Parva, Chapter 219, Stanza 9, that this mighty fire has a wife named Sarayū and a son named Siddhi.

4) Vīra (वीर).—Son of a fire called Pāñcajanya. This agni is considered one of the Vināyakas. (Mahābhārata Vana Parva, Chapter 220, Stanza 13).

5) Vīra (वीर).—A king in ancient India. Mention is made in Mahābhārata, Śānti Parva, Chapter 4, Stanza 7, that this king had attended the Svayaṃvara marriage of the daughter of King Citrāṅgada of Kalinga.

6) Vīra (वीर).—A king of the Pūru dynasty. Bṛhadratha, Kuśa, Yadu, Pratyagra, Bala and Matsyakāla were brothers of this king. Girikā was their mother. (Agni Purāṇa, Chapter 278).

7) Vīrā (वीरा).—The wife of the Agni (fire) named Bharadvāja, the son of Śaṃyu. The Agni Vīra was the son of this Vīrā. (Mahābhārata Vana Parva, Chapter 219, Stanza 9).

8) Vīrā (वीरा).—A river of India, very famous in the Purāṇas. (Mahābhārata, Bhīṣma Parva, Chapter 9, Stanza 22).

9) Vīrā (वीरा).—The wife of King Karandhama. She was the mother of Avikṣit. Once, when serpents began to do harm to all the living and non-living things in the world, Vīrā approached her grandson Marutta and advised him to conduct a serpent-sacrifice. Marutta began the sacrifice. The serpents were terrified and sought protection from the wife of Avikṣit. She being kind-hearted, made her husband intervene and stop the sacrifice. (Mārkaṇḍeya Purāṇa, Chapter 126).

Source: Puranic Encyclopaedia

1a) Vīra (वीर).—A son of Pṛthu; pursued Indra at the instance of Atri when Indra walked away with Pṛthu's sacrificial horse.*

  • * Bhāgavata-purāṇa IV. 19. 17; 20. 21.

1b) A son of Kṛṣṇa and Satyā.*

  • * Bhāgavata-purāṇa X. 61. 13-14.

1c) A son of Satrajit.*

  • * Brahmāṇḍa-purāṇa III. 71. 55.

1d) A name. of Vighneśvara.*

  • * Brahmāṇḍa-purāṇa IV. 44. 68.

1e) The gods of Tāmasa epoch.*

  • * Bhāgavata-purāṇa VIII. 1. 28.

1f) A class of Piśācas.*

  • * Brahmāṇḍa-purāṇa III. 7. 378.
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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Itihasa (narrative history)

Vīrā (वीरा) refers to the name of a River mentioned in the Mahābhārata (cf. VI.10.21). Note: The Mahābhārata (mentioning Vīrā) is a Sanskrit epic poem consisting of 100,000 ślokas (metrical verses) and is over 2000 years old.

Vīra is also mentioned in the Mahābhārata (cf. I.108.12) and represents one of the many proper names used for people and places.

Source: JatLand: List of Mahabharata people and places
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Itihasa (इतिहास, itihāsa) refers to ‘epic history’ and represents a branch of Sanskrit literature which popularly includes 1) the eighteen major Puranas, 2) the Mahabharata and 3) the Ramayana. It is a branch of Vedic Hinduism categorised as smriti literature (‘that which is remembered’) as opposed to shruti literature (‘that which is transmitted verbally’).

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Katha (narrative stories)

Vīra (वीर) is the warder of king Camarabāla, according to the Kathāsaritsāgara, chapter 54. Accordingly, “... and his [king Camarabāla’s] warder, named Vīra, captured the third king, named Samarajita, and brought him to him”.

The story of Vīra was narrated to Naravāhanadatta by Gomukha in order to demonstrate that “a brave man, though unsupported, conquers in the front of battle even many enemies coming against him in fight, distracted with hate, and not considering the resources of themselves and their foe, and by his surpassing bravery puts a stop to the fever of their conceit and pride”.

The Kathāsaritsāgara (‘ocean of streams of story’), mentioning Vīra, 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: Wisdom Library: Kathāsaritsāgara
Katha book cover
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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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Ayurveda (science of life)

1) Vīrā (वीरा) is another name for Kākolī, a medicinal plant identified with Roscoea purpurea from the Zingiberaceae or “ginger family” of flowering plants, according to verse 3.25-27 of the 13th-century Raj Nighantu or Rājanighaṇṭu. The third chapter (guḍūcyādi-varga) of this book contains climbers and creepers (vīrudh). Together with the names Vīrā and Kākolī, there are a total of fifteen Sanskrit synonyms identified for this plant.

2) Vīrā is also mentioned as a synonym for Kṣīrakākolī, an unidentified plant, although similar to Kākolī (Roscoea purpurea), according to verse 3.28-29.

3) Vīra (वीर) is a Telugu name for Kośātakī, a medicinal plant identified with Luffa acutangula (angled luffa or ribbed sponge gourd) from the Cucurbitaceae or “gourd family” of flowering plants, according to verse 3.48-49.

Source: WorldCat: Rāj nighaṇṭu
Ayurveda book cover
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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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General definition (in Hinduism)

Vīra (वीर) in the Rigveda and later denotes ‘man’ as the strong and heroic. Collectively in the singular the word denotes ‘male offspring’, an object of great desire (cf. Putra) to the Vedic Indian. The Pañcaviṃśa-brāhmaṇa gives a list of eight Vīras of the king, constituting his supporters and entourage.

Source: Vedic index of Names and Subjects

In Buddhism

Theravada (major branch of Buddhism)

1. Vira Thera. He was born in Savatthi in the family of a minister of Pasenadi and became a great warrior. He married, and, on the birth of his son, left the world, attaining arahantship in due course. His former wife tried to win him back to household life, but he showed her in a verse (Thag. vs. 8) that her efforts were futile.

In the time of Vipassi Buddha he swept the Buddhas hermitage and offered him niggunthi flowers. Later, he was born as King Mahapatapa. In the time of Kassapa Buddha he was a very rich merchant and gave milk rice to the monks and alms to the poor (ThagA.i.50).

He is probably identical with Niggundipupphiya Thera of the Apadana. Ap.i.205.

2. Vira. A setthi whose daughter gave milk rice to Tissa Buddha immediately before his Enlightenment. BuA.189.

3. Vira. The village in which Vira setthi lived. BuA.189.

-- or --

See Dhira.

Source: Pali Kanon: Pali Proper Names
context information

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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Languages of India and abroad

Pali-English dictionary

vīra : (adj.) brave; heroic. (m.) a hero.

Source: BuddhaSasana: Concise Pali-English Dictionary

Vīra, (Vedic vīra; cp. Av. vīra, Lat. vir, virtus “virtue”; Gotu. wair, Ohg, Ags wer; to vayas strength etc.; cp. viriya) manly, mighty, heroic; a hero S. I, 137; Sn. 44, 165 (not dhīra), 642, 1096, 1102; Th. 1, 736 (nara° hero); Nd2 609; DhA. IV, 225.—mahā° a hero S. I, 110, 193; III, 83 (of the Arahant).—vīra is often an Ep. of the Buddha.

—aṅgarūpa built like a hero, heroic, divine D. I, 89; II, 16; III, 59, 142, 145; S. I, 89; Sn. p. 106; expld as “devaputta-sadisa-kāya” at DA. I, 250 & SnA 450. ‹-› The BSk. equivalent is var-aṅga-rūpin (distorted fr. vīr°), e.g. MVastu I. 49; II, 158; III, 197. (Page 644)

Source: Sutta: The Pali Text Society's 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

vīra (वीर).—m (S) A hero, a warrior, a champion. 2 One of the rasa or sentiments,--the heroic rasa or passion, heroism, valor. 3 A person of whom some ancestor died in battle, and who on the first of phālgunavadya proceeds, habited as a warrior and with warlike pomp and state, to make obeisance to an idol, is at such time so called. 4 As attached to proper names, to designations generally, or to descriptive epithets, vīra conveys the sense of Chief, leading, eminent; as raghuvīra, yaduvīra, kuruvīra, daityavīra, kapivīra, bhaktavīra, vadānyavīra &c. and as per ex. taisā tukā vaiṣṇavavīra || avīṭa āvaḍī tyācī thōra ||; also mōjuni dēta vaiṣṇavīra || svahastēṃ cauguṇēṃ ghētī vara ||. Applied also to any person prominent or conspicuous for daring or intrepidity, vigor or energy, enterprise, munificence, philanthropy &c.

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vīra (वीर).—f (Contracted from vīrya) Strength, vigor, virility, virtue, potency, excellence. 2 A term at chess. The reach or range of a piece.

Source: DDSA: The Molesworth Marathi and English Dictionary

vīra (वीर).—m A hero. The heroic passion. f Strength.

Source: DDSA: The Aryabhusan school dictionary, Marathi-English
context information

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

Vira (विर).—1 P.

1) To end, terminate, come to an end; अविदितगतयामा रात्रिरेव व्यरंसीत् (aviditagatayāmā rātrireva vyaraṃsīt) U.1.27;6.33.

2) To cease, desist, stop, leave off (speaking &c); एतावदुक्त्वा विरते मृगेन्द्रे (etāvaduktvā virate mṛgendre) R.2.51; Śi.2.13; oft. with abl.; हा हन्त किमिति चित्तं विरमति नाद्यापि विषयेभ्यः (hā hanta kimiti cittaṃ viramati nādyāpi viṣayebhyaḥ) Bv.4.25; न स्थिरकर्मा विरराम कर्मणः (na sthirakarmā virarāma karmaṇaḥ) R.8.22; वत्सैतस्माद्विरम विरमातःपरं न क्षमोऽस्मि (vatsaitasmādvirama viramātaḥparaṃ na kṣamo'smi) U.1. 33; Bh.2.8.

Derivable forms: viram (विरम्).

--- OR ---

Vīra (वीर).—[ajeḥ rak vībhāvaśca Uṇ.2.13] a.

1) Heroic, brave.

2) Mighty, powerful.

3) Excellent, eminent.

-raḥ 1 A hero, warrior, champion; कोऽप्येष संप्रति नवः पुरुषावतारो वीरो न यस्य भगवान् भृगुनन्दनोऽपि (ko'pyeṣa saṃprati navaḥ puruṣāvatāro vīro na yasya bhagavān bhṛgunandano'pi) U.5.33.

2) The sentiment of heroism (in rhetoric); अस्तोक- वीरगुरुसाहसमद्भुतं च (astoka- vīragurusāhasamadbhutaṃ ca) Mv.1.6; it is distinguished under four heads; दानवीर, धर्मवीर, दयावीर (dānavīra, dharmavīra, dayāvīra) and युद्धवीर (yuddhavīra); for explanation see these words s. v.).

3) An actor.

4) Fire.

5) The sacrificial fire.

6) A son; अस्य कुले वीरो जायते (asya kule vīro jāyate) Ch. Up.3.13.6; वीरं मे दत्त पितरः (vīraṃ me datta pitaraḥ) Śrādhamantras.

7) A husband.

8) The Arjuna tree.

9) A Jaina.

1) The Karavīra tree.

11) Name of Viṣṇu.

-ram 1 A reed.

2) Pepper.

3) Rice-gruel.

4) The root of Uśīra q. v.

5) Iron; Gīrvāṇa.

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Vīrā (वीरा).—

1) The wife of a hero.

2) A wife.

3) A mother, matron.

4) A kind of perfume (called Murā).

5) Spirituous liquor.

6) An aloe.

7) The plantain tree.

8) A woman with a husband and a son living; L. D. B.

Source: DDSA: The practical Sanskrit-English dictionary
context information

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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