Vishvakarman, Viśvakarman, Vishva-karman: 12 definitions


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)

[«previous next»] — Vishvakarman in Vastushastra glossary
Source: McGill: The architectural theory of the Mānasāra

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.

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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Purana and Itihasa (epic history)

[«previous next»] — Vishvakarman in Purana glossary
Source: Shiva Purana - English Translation

Viśvakarman (विश्वकर्मन्) refers to the “great architect”, according to the Śivapurāṇa 2.2.25. Accordingly as Rāma narrated to Satī:—“[...] O Goddess, formerly once, Śiva, the creator supreme, called Viśvakarman to His highest region. He made him erect a large hall of great beauty in His cowshed, and an exquisite throne there. Śiva, caused Viśvakarman to make an excellent, divine, wonderful umbrella for warding off obstacles. He invited Indra and other gods, the Siddhas, Gandharvas, Nāgas, Upadeśas and Āgamas, Brahmā with his sons, the sages and the celestial goddesses and nymphs who came there with various articles”.

Note: In the Purāṇas Viśvakarman is invested with the powers and offices of the Vedic Tvaṣṭṛ. He is the great architect, executor of handicrafts, the builder of great cities He is the son of Prabhāsa, the eighth Vasu, by his wife Yogasiddhā.

Source: Shodhganga: The saurapurana - a critical study

Viśvakarman (विश्वकर्मन्) refers to the son of Prabhāsa: one of the eight Vasus who are the sons of Vasu, according to one account of Vaṃśa (‘genealogical description’) of the 10th century Saurapurāṇa: one of the various Upapurāṇas depicting Śaivism.—Accordingly, the ten wives of Dharma are [viz., Vasu]. The Vasus were born from Vasu. The eight Vasus are Āpa, Nala, Soma, Dhruva, Anila, Anala, Pratyuṣa and Prabhāsa. Viśvakarman is the Son of Prabhāsa.

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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In Buddhism

Mahayana (major branch of Buddhism)

[«previous next»] — Vishvakarman in Mahayana glossary
Source: Wisdom Library: Maha Prajnaparamita Sastra

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.

Mahayana book cover
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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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India history and geography

Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: Indian Epigraphical Glossary

Viśvakarman.—(LL), an architect. Note: viśvakarman is defined in the “Indian epigraphical glossary” as it can be found on ancient inscriptions commonly written in Sanskrit, Prakrit or Dravidian languages.

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

Sanskrit dictionary

[«previous next»] — Vishvakarman in Sanskrit glossary
Source: DDSA: The practical Sanskrit-English dictionary

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: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: Benfey Sanskrit-English Dictionary

Viśvakarman (विश्वकर्मन्).—m. 1. the sun. 2. a son of Brahman, the artist of the gods. 3. a saint. Ṣaṭkº, i. e.

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

Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: Cappeller Sanskrit-English Dictionary

Viśvakarman (विश्वकर्मन्).—[adjective] all-doing, all-creating; [masculine] [Name] of a world-creating genius (similar to & often identified with Prajāpati), in [later language] the architect or artist of the gods.

Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: Aufrecht Catalogus Catalogorum

1) Viśvakarman (विश्वकर्मन्) as mentioned in Aufrecht’s Catalogus Catalogorum:—[+viśvakarman] Vāstuprakāśa, Vāstuvidhi, Vāstuśāstra, Vāstusamuccaya, Aparājitavāstuśāstra, Āyatattva. See Viśvakarmīya.

2) Viśvakarman (विश्वकर्मन्):—Mīmāṃsāsāra.

3) Viśvakarman (विश्वकर्मन्):—son of Dāmodara, grandson of Bhīma: Dharmaviveka.

4) Viśvakarman (विश्वकर्मन्):—Kṣīrārṇava śilpa.

5) Viśvakarman (विश्वकर्मन्):—Yativallabhā. Vidhānamālā.

6) Viśvakarman (विश्वकर्मन्):—Dharmaviveka.

Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: Monier-Williams Sanskrit-English Dictionary

1) Viśvakarman (विश्वकर्मन्):—[=viśva-karman] [from viśva] a See p. 994, col. 2.

2) [=viśva-karman] [from viśva] b n. (only [in the beginning of a compound]) every action, [Maitrī-upaniṣad; Vāsavadattā]

3) [v.s. ...] mfn. accomplishing or creating everything, [Ṛg-veda; Atharva-veda; Brāhmaṇa; Mahābhārata; Harivaṃśa]

4) [v.s. ...] m. ‘all-doer, all-creator, all-maker’, Name of the divine creative architect or artist (said to be son of Brahmā, and in the later mythology sometimes identified with Tvaṣṭṛ q.v., he is said to have revealed the Sthāpatyaveda q.v., or fourth Upa-veda, and to preside over all manual labours as well as the sixty-four mechanical arts [whence he is worshipped by Kārus or artisans]; in the Vedic mythology, however, the office of Indian Vulcan is assigned to Tvaṣṭṛ as a distinct deity, Viśva-karman being rather identified with Prajā-pati [Brahmā] himself as the creator of all things and architect of the universe; in the hymns, [Ṛg-veda x, 81; 82] he is represented as the universal Father and Generator, the one all-seeing God, who has on every side eyes, faces, arms, and feet; in [Nirukta, by Yāska x, 26] and elsewhere in the Brāhmaṇas he is called a son of Bhuvana, and Viśva-karman Bhauvana is described as the author of the two hymns mentioned above; in the [Mahābhārata] and, [Harivaṃśa] he is a son of the Vasu Prabhāsa and Yoga-siddhā; in the Purāṇas a son of Vāstu, and the father of Barhiṣmatī and Saṃjñā; [according to] to other authorities he is the husband of Ghṛtācī; moreover, a doubtful legend is told of his having offered up all beings, including himself, in sacrifice; the Rāmāyaṇa represents him as having built the city of Laṅkā for the Rākṣasas, and as having generated the ape Nala, who made Rāma’s bridge from the continent to the island; the name Viśva-karman, meaning ‘doing all acts’, appears to be sometimes applicable as an epithet to any great divinity), [Ṛg-veda] etc. etc.

5) [v.s. ...] Name of Sūrya or the Sun, [Vāsavadattā; Mārkaṇḍeya-purāṇa]

6) [v.s. ...] of one of the seven principal rays of the sun (supposed to supply heat to the planet Mercury), [Viṣṇu-purāṇa]

7) [v.s. ...] of the wind, [Vājasaneyi-saṃhitā xv, 16] ([Mahīdhara])

8) [v.s. ...] Name of a Muni, [cf. Lexicographers, esp. such as amarasiṃha, halāyudha, hemacandra, etc.]

9) [v.s. ...] (also with śāstrin) Name of various authors, [Catalogue(s)]

Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: Yates Sanskrit-English Dictionary

Viśvakarman (विश्वकर्मन्):—[viśva-karman] (rmmā) 5. m. The sun; son of Brahmā, artist of the gods; a sage.

[Sanskrit to German]

Vishvakarman in German

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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 (even English!). 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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