Virabhadra, aka: Vīrabhadra, Vira-bhadra; 13 Definition(s)

Introduction

Virabhadra means something in 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

Shaktism (Shakta philosophy)

[Virabhadra in Shaktism glossaries]

Vīrabhadra (वीरभद्र):—One of the persons joining Śiva during the preparations of the war between Śankhacūḍa and the Devas, according to the Devī-bhāgavata-purāṇa (9.20.22-53). All persons attending were remained seated on beautiful aerial cars, built of jewels and gems. The war was initiated by Puṣpadanta (messenger of Śiva) who was ordered to restore the rights of the Devas. .

(Source): Wisdom Library: Śrīmad Devī Bhāgavatam
Shaktism book cover
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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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Purana

[Virabhadra in Purana glossaries]

Vīrabhadra (वीरभद्र) is the name of a gaṇa (attendant of Śiva), mentioned in the Skandapurāṇa 4.2.53. In this chapter, Śiva (Giriśa) summons his attendants (gaṇas) and ask them to venture towards the city Vārāṇasī (Kāśī) in order to find out what the yoginīs, the sun-god, Vidhi (Brahmā) were doing there.

While the gaṇas such as Vīrabhadra were staying at Kāśī, they were desirous but unable of finding a weakness in king Divodaśa who was ruling there. Kāśī is described as a fascinating place beyond the range of Giriśa’s vision, and as a place where yoginīs become ayoginīs, after having come in contact with it. Kāśī is described as having both the power to destroy great delusion, as well as creating it.

The Skandapurāṇa narrates the details and legends surrounding numerous holy pilgrimages (tīrtha-māhātmya) throughout India. It is the largest Mahāpurāṇa composed of over 81,000 metrical verses, with the core text dating from the before the 4th-century CE.

(Source): Wisdom Library: Skanda-purāṇa

Vīrabhadra (वीरभद्र).—One of the guards of Śiva. Origin. There are two different opinions in the Purāṇas, regarding the origin of Vīrabhadra. There is no doubt that his birth was due to the anger of Śiva. When Śiva knew that his wife Pārvatī jumped into the fire and died at the sacrifice of Dakṣa, he struck his matted hair on the ground and from that, Vīrabhadra and Bhadrakālī came into being. This is the version given in Devī Bhāgavata, Skandha 7. According to Mahābhārata, Śānti Parva, Chapter 284, Vīrabhadra was born from the mouth of Śiva. From each of the hairpores of Vīrabhadra, who was born from the mouth of Śiva to destroy the sacrifice of Dakṣa a fearful monster was born, all of whom, formed a group of ghosts called the Raumyas. (See full article at Story of Vīrabhadra from the Puranic encyclopaedia by Vettam Mani)

(Source): archive.org: Puranic Encyclopaedia

1a) Vīrabhadra (वीरभद्र).—Created out of anger of Śiva on his hearing of Satī's self-sacrifice to destroy Dakṣa's yajña; seized Dakṣa, cut off his head and offered it to Dakṣiṇāgni, and then set out for Kailāsa. After reconciliation with Śiva, Viṣṇu was propitiated with Puroḍāśa to get rid of pollution due to Vīrabhadra's interference in the Yajña;1 after destroying the sacrifice was about to destroy the world; Śiva stopped him and blessed him to be the first of all grahas by name Aṅgāraka;2 hearing that he came out of the wrath of Paśupati Dakṣa appeased him by prayers. Śiva rose from the fire altar and granted him his request that his sacrifice be fruitful when Dakṣa praised him with 1008 names.3

  • 1) Bhāgavata-purāṇa IV. ch. 5 (whole); 7. 17; Vāyu-purāṇa 30. 130-160; 101. 299.
  • 2) Matsya-purāṇa 72. 13-6; 192. 6.
  • 3) Vāyu-purāṇa 30. 161-180.

1b) One of the Śiva's attendants; the head of a Śiva gaṇa.*

  • * Brahmāṇḍa-purāṇa III. 32. 23; 41. 28; IV. 14. 8.
(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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Vastushastra (architecture)

[Virabhadra in Vastushastra glossaries]

Vīrabhadra (वीरभद्र).—Though Vīrabhadra is known since the Purāṇic period, the cult of Vīrabhadra became popular only during the Vijayanagara period. Therefore Vīrabhadra is adopted into worship in later temples. Iconographically, Vīrabhadra is supposed to hold bow and arrow and khadga and kheṭaka. But in the example from Thiruchengodu temple, Vīrabhadra holds, in his upper right hand, an unidentified lump-like object.

Vīrabhadra, in his ferocious fighting, is killing Dakṣa lying on ground. He is trampling him with his right foot and has pierced his chest with his sword. The ornaments of the god are the jaṭāmukuta, fillet, necklace, udarabandha, keyūra, kaṅkaṇa, upavītamāla, etc. The high-soled sandals Vīrabhadra wears are a regular feature of all the Vīrabhadra sculptures.

(Source): Shodhganga: Temples of Salem region Up to 1336 AD
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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Shaivism (Shaiva philosophy)

[Virabhadra in Shaivism glossaries]

Vīrabhadra (वीरभद्र) is the name of a deity who received the Vimalāgama from Sarvātmaka through the mahānsambandha relation, according to the pratisaṃhitā theory of Āgama origin and relationship (sambandha). The vimala-āgama, being part of the eighteen Rudrabhedāgamas, refers to one of the twenty-eight Siddhāntāgamas: 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.

Vīrabhadra obtained the Vimalāgama from Sarvātmaka who in turn obtained it from Sadāśiva through parasambandha. Vīrabhadra in turn, transmitted it to through divya-sambandha to the Devas who, through divyādivya-sambandha, transmitted it to the Ṛṣis who finally, through adivya-sambandha, revealed the Vimalāgama to human beings (Manuṣya). (also see Anantaśambhu’s commentary on the Siddhāntasārāvali of Trilocanaśivācārya)

(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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Shilpashastra (iconography)

[Virabhadra in Shilpashastra glossaries]

Vīrabhadra (वीरभद्र) or Vīrabhadramūrti refers to one of the twenty-eighth forms (mūrti) of Śiva mentioned in the Vātulāgama: twenty-eighth among the Siddhāntaśaivāgama. The forms of Śiva (eg., Vīrabhadra) are established through a process known as Sādākhya, described as a five-fold process of creation.

(Source): Shodhganga: Iconographical representations of Śiva (shilpa)
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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Katha (narrative stories)

[Virabhadra in Katha glossaries]

Vīrabhadra (वीरभद्र) is the name of a Gaṇa (attendant of Śiva), who intervened as the Devas and the Asuras were about to join the war between Śrutaśarman and Sūryaprabha, according to the Kathāsaritsāgara, chapter 50. Accordingly: “... then a Gaṇa named Vīrabhadra, sent by Śiva, came and delivered this order of his to Indra and the other gods: ‘You came to look on, so what right have you to fight here? Moreover, your overstepping the bounds of propriety will produce other bad results’.”.

The story of Vīrabhadra was narrated by the Vidyādhara king Vajraprabha to prince Naravāhanadatta in order to relate how “Sūryaprabha, being a man, obtain of old time the sovereignty over the Vidyādharas”.

The Kathāsaritsāgara (‘ocean of streams of story’), mentioning Vīrabhadra, 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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General definition (in Hinduism)

[Virabhadra in Hinduism glossaries]

Vīrabhadra (वीरभद्र): Vīrabhadra was a demon that sprang from Shiva's lock of hair. Shiva burnt with anger when not invited in a sacrifice by Daksha and his wife Sati released the inward consuming fire and fell dead at Daksha's feet. Shiva burned with anger, and tore from his head a lock of hair, glowing with energy, and cast upon the earth. The terrible demon Vīrabhadra sprang from it. On the direction of Shiva, Virabhadra appeared with Shiva's ganas in the midst of Daksha's assembly like a storm wind and broke the sacrificial vessels, polluted the offerings, insulted the priests and finally cut off Daksha's head.

(Source): WikiPedia: Hinduism

Vīrabhadra (वीरभद्र) is a terrific manifestation of Śiva. He was created from the matted locks of the Lord to destroy the sacrilegious sacrifice of Dakṣa. The Śrītattvanidhi presents this iconographical features under the heads Aghoramūrti and Vīrabhadra. The temples in the region around Śrīvilliputtūr accommodate a number of images in their sculptural-pillars and intere stingly many of these are in dancing mode.

(Source): Shodhganga: Historical setting of the vaisnava divyaksetras in the southern pandya country

India history and geogprahy

[Virabhadra in India history glossaries]

Virabhadra temple (at Lepakshi) is an archaeologically important site containing ancient Indian mural paintings, from the Vijayanagara period.

(Source): Knowledge Traditions & Practices of India: Painting: A Survey (h)
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

Marathi-English dictionary

[Virabhadra in Marathi glossaries]

vīrabhadra (वीरभद्र).—m S One of a class of attendants upon Shiva. 2 A particular dīkṣā of the Lingait-people. 3 Applied angrily to an obstinate and incorrigible boy.

(Source): DDSA: The Molesworth Marathi and English Dictionary
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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

[Virabhadra in Sanskrit glossaries]

Vīrabhadra (वीरभद्र).—

1) Name of a powerful hero created by Śiva from his matted hair; see दक्ष (dakṣa); महावीरोऽपि रे भद्र मम सर्वगणेष्विह । वीरभद्राख्यया हि त्वं प्रथितिं परमं व्रज । कुरु मे सत्वरं कर्म दक्षयज्ञं क्षयं नय (mahāvīro'pi re bhadra mama sarvagaṇeṣviha | vīrabhadrākhyayā hi tvaṃ prathitiṃ paramaṃ vraja | kuru me satvaraṃ karma dakṣayajñaṃ kṣayaṃ naya) || Kāśīkhaṇḍa.

2) a distinguished hero.

3) a horse fit for the Aśvamedha sacrifice.

4) a kind of fragrant grass.

Derivable forms: vīrabhadraḥ (वीरभद्रः).

Vīrabhadra is a Sanskrit compound consisting of the terms vīra and bhadra (भद्र).

(Source): DDSA: The practical Sanskrit-English 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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