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Virabhadra, aka: Vīrabhadra; 6 Definition(s)


Virabhadra means something in Hinduism, Sanskrit. Check out some of the following descriptions and leave a comment if you want to add your own contribution to this article.

In Hinduism

Vāstuśāstra (architecture)

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

about this context:

Vāstuśāstra (वास्तुशास्त्र, vastu-shastra) refers to the knowledge of architecture. It is a branch of ancient Indian science dealing with topics such architecture, construction, sculpture and their relation with the cosmic universe.


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

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

about this context:

The Purāṇas (पुराण, purana) refers to Sanskrit literature preserving ancient India’s vast cultural history, including historical legends, religious ceremonies, various arts and sciences. The eighteen mahāpurāṇas total over 400,000 ślokas (metrical couplets) and date to at least several centuries BCE.

Śāktism (Śākta philosophy)

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

about this context:

Śākta (शाक्त, shakta) or Śāktism (shaktism) represents a tradition of Hinduism where the Goddess (Devī) is revered and worshipped. Śāka literature includes a range of scriptures, including various tantras, although its roots may be traced back to the Vedas.

General definition (in 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

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

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