Vishnudatta, aka: Viṣṇudattā, Viṣṇudatta, Vishnu-datta; 5 Definition(s)

Introduction

Vishnudatta means something in Hinduism, Sanskrit, the history of ancient India. 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 Viṣṇudattā and Viṣṇudatta can be transliterated into English as Visnudatta or Vishnudatta, using the IAST transliteration scheme (?).

In Hinduism

Purana and Itihasa (epic history)

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

Viṣṇudatta (विष्णुदत्त).—Son of the Brahmin named Vasudatta. The story of Viṣṇudatta is quoted to prove that bad omens at the beginning of a journey is a warning that the journey would not be fruitful and that it would be rather dangerous.

When Viṣṇudatta became sixteen years old he decided to go to the city of Valabhī for his education. Seven Brahmin boys of his age gathered together and joined him. Deciding not to separate from each other, they started for Valabhī, without the knowledge of their parents. When they proceeded a little further they saw a bad omen. Viṣṇudatta stood undecided, but the others pressed him on and they continued their journey. Next day by evening they reached a village of forest tribes. After walking through the village they reached the house of a woman. They got her permission to stay there for the night. They all lay in a corner. Immediately all slept. Viṣṇudatta alone lay awake. When the night advanced, a man entered the house. The woman and the man talked for a while and carried on sexual sports, and they lay together and slept. A light was burning in the room. Viṣṇudatta saw everything through the cleavage of the shutters, and thought. "I am sorry that we have come to this house. He is not her husband. Sure! she is a harlot." As he was thinking thus, foot-steps were heard in the courtyard. A young man fixed his servants in their places. Then he entered the house and saw Viṣṇudatta and his friends. The new-comer was also a forest-man. He had a sword in his hand. He was the owner of the house. Viṣṇudatta said that they were travellers. When he heard it, without saying anything he got inside and saw his wife sleeping with her lover. With the sword in his hand, he cut off the head of the lover. He did not kill the woman, who did not know that her lover was killed. The forester laid the sword down and lay in the same bed and slept. The light was burning. (See full article at Story of Viṣṇudatta from the Puranic encyclopaedia by Vettam Mani)

Source: archive.org: Puranic Encyclopaedia
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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Katha (narrative stories)

Vishnudatta in Katha glossary... « previous · [V] · next »

1) Viṣṇudatta (विष्णुदत्त) was a Brahmān living in a monastery on the island of Utsthala according to the “story of the golden city”, according to the Kathāsaritsāgara, chapter 25. Accordingly, “the Brāhman [Śaktideva] was thus consoled by the king [Satyavrata], and sent off to a monastery of Brāhmans, where guests were readily entertained. There Śaktideva was supplied with food by a Brāhman named Viṣṇudatta, an inmate of the monastery, and entered into conversation with him. And in the course of that conversation, being questioned by him, he told him in a few words his country, his family and his whole history”.

2) Viṣṇudatta (विष्णुदत्त), son of Vasudatta, is the name of a Brāhman from Antarvedi according to the “story of the Brahman’s son Viṣṇudatta and his seven foolish companions”, as mentioned in the Kathāsaritsāgara, chapter 32. Accordingly, “long ago there lived in Antarvedi a Brāhman named Vasudatta, and he had a son born to him named Viṣṇudatta. That Viṣṇudatta, after he reached the age of sixteen years, set out for the city of Valabhī in order to acquire learning. And there joined him seven other young Brāhmans his fellows; but those seven were fools, while he was wise and sprung from a good family”.

The story of Viṣṇudatta and Vasudatta was narrated by Somaprabhā to Kaliṅgasenā in order to demonstrate that “any business which is undertaken without first counteracting the evil omen will end in calamity”; in other words, “an evil omen presenting itself to people engaged in any undertaking, if not counteracted by delay and other methods, produces misfortune”.

The Kathāsaritsāgara (‘ocean of streams of story’), mentioning Viṣṇudatta, 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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India history and geogprahy

Vishnudatta in India history glossary... « previous · [V] · next »

Viṣṇudatta (विष्णुदत्त) is an example of a Vaiṣṇavite name mentioned in the Gupta inscriptions. Classification of personal names according to deities (eg., from Vaiṣṇavism) were sometimes used by more than one person and somehow seem to have been popular. The Gupta empire (r. 3rd-century CE), founded by Śrī Gupta, covered much of ancient India and embraced the Dharmic religions such as Hinduism, Buddhism and Jainism. Derivation of personal names (eg., Viṣṇudatta) during the rule of the Guptas followed patterns such as tribes, places, rivers and mountains.

Source: archive.org: Personal and geographical names in the Gupta inscriptions

Viṣṇudattā (विष्णुदत्ता) refers to an upāsikā or lay devotee of the Śaka race, recorded in the Nasik cave inscriptions of Īśvarasena.—The inscription records the foundation of her perpetual endowment to provide medicines for the sick among the community of Buddhist monks from the four quarters, dwelling in the monastery on the Triraśmi mountain. Viṣṇudattā belonged to the Śaka race. She was the daughter of the Śaka Agnivarman, wife of the Ganapaka (Accountant) Rēbhila and mother of the Ganapaka Viśvavarman.

Source: What is India: Inscriptions of the Kalachuri-chedi era
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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

Sanskrit-English dictionary

Vishnudatta in Sanskrit glossary... « previous · [V] · next »

Viṣṇudatta (विष्णुदत्त).—Name of परीक्षित (parīkṣita).

Derivable forms: viṣṇudattaḥ (विष्णुदत्तः).

Viṣṇudatta is a Sanskrit compound consisting of the terms viṣṇu and datta (दत्त).

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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