Vishvakarman, aka: Viśvakarman, Vishva-karman; 3 Definition(s)


Vishvakarman means something in Buddhism, Pali, 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 term Viśvakarman can be transliterated into English as Visvakarman or Vishvakarman, using the IAST transliteration scheme (?).

In Hinduism

Vastushastra (architecture)

Vishvakarman in Vastushastra glossary... « previous · [V] · next »

Viśvakarman (विश्वकर्मन्).—According to the Mānasāra II.2-4, the proper name of the deity is Viśvakarman (which means “forger of the universe”), of which lokakṛt, meaning “world-maker,” is a synonym. There is great respect reserved in the text for this deity, evident from the adjective mahat, “great,” that is prefixed to this name.

References to the deity Viśvakarman are found from the Ṛgveda onwards, usually in connection with cosmogony. He was the “patron” of manual labor and the mechanical arts and, therefore, worshipped with great reverence by guilds of artisans. Next, the text mentions that Viśvakarman is also known as Īśvara, “Lord”. The notion of “lordship” of the deity belongs ta a devotional religiosity that implies a personal relationship between deity and devotee. Thus, Viśvakarman is not only maker of the world, but a1so personal lord of devotees.

Viśvakarman is said to he born with four faces. Each face has a name that signifies a particular role which seems to be an attempt ta further delineate the different aspects of the grand process of cosmic generation. Thus, the eastern face is called viśvabhū, literally, “the world-born one”, here to mean the one who grants the world its existence; the southern face, viśvavid, “the world-knowing one”; the northern face, viśvastha, “the world-establishing one”; and the western face, viśvasraṣṭā, “the one who is maker of the world”.

From the eastern face of Viśvakarman was born (also) Viśvakarman; from the southern face, Maya; from the northern face, Tvaṣṭṛ; and from the western face, Manu. The four members of the builder’s guild, namely sthapati, “master-builder”, sūtragrāhin, “cord-bearer”, vardhaki, “stone-cutter”, and takṣaka, “carpenter”, are said to he sons of Viśvakarman, Maya, Tvaṣṭṛr and Manu respectively.

Source: McGill: The architectural theory of the Mānasāra
Vastushastra book cover
context information

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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In Buddhism

Mahayana (major branch of Buddhism)

Vishvakarman in Mahayana glossary... « previous · [V] · next »

Viśvakarman (विश्वकर्मन्) is the name of a yakṣa of olden times subdued by the Buddha mentioned in order to demonstrate the fearlessness of the Buddha according to the 2nd century Mahāprajñāpāramitāśāstra chapter XL.1.4. Accordingly, “Great yakṣas such as Pi-cho-kia (Viśvakarman?), etc., submitted and took refuge in him”.

If this transcription is correct, this would be Viśvakarman, in Pāli Vissakamma, the architect apponted by the Devas: cf. Akanuma, p. 774.

Source: Wisdom Library: Maha Prajnaparamita Sastra
Mahayana book cover
context information

Mahayana (महायान, mahāyāna) is a major branch of Buddhism focusing on the path of a Bodhisattva (spiritual aspirants/ enlightened beings). Extant literature is vast and primarely composed in the Sanskrit language. There are many sūtras of which some of the earliest are the various Prajñāpāramitā sūtras.

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Languages of India and abroad

Sanskrit-English dictionary

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

Viśvakarman (विश्वकर्मन्).—m.

1) Name of the architect of gods; cf. त्वष्टृ (tvaṣṭṛ).

2) an epithet of the sun.

3) one of the seven principal rays of the sun.

4) a great saint.

5) the Supreme Being. °जा, °सुता (jā, °sutā) an epithet of संज्ञा (saṃjñā), one of the wives of the sun.

Viśvakarman is a Sanskrit compound consisting of the terms viśva and karman (कर्मन्).

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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