Vishvamitra, aka: Viśvāmitra, Viśvamitra, Visvāmitra, Viśvāmitrā, Vishva-mitra; 14 Definition(s)


Vishvamitra 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.

The Sanskrit terms Viśvāmitra and Viśvamitra and Viśvāmitrā can be transliterated into English as Visvamitra or Vishvamitra, using the IAST transliteration scheme (?).

In Hinduism

Dhanurveda (science of warfare)

Vishvamitra in Dhanurveda glossary... « previous · [V] · next »

Viśvāmitra (विश्वामित्र), a celebrated sage was originally a Kṣatriya, being the king of Kanyakubja and son of Gadhi. Once he tried to take away forcibly the great sage Vasiṣṭha’s cow of plenty, the Kāmadhenu, but could not succeed. Then he went to the Himalayas and devoted himself to the most rigorous austerities to gain spiritual parity with his rival sage Vasiṣṭha and got the titles Rajarṣi, Ṛṣi, Maharṣi and Brahmarṣi. Finally, a reconciliation wasbrought about and Viśvāmitra acknowledged Vasiṣṭha and paid him homage.

Source: Dhanurveda
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Dhanurveda (धनुर्वेद) refers to the “knowledge of warfare” and, as an upaveda, is associated with the Ṛgveda. It contains instructions on warfare, archery and ancient Indian martial arts, dating back to the 2nd-3rd millennium BCE.

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Purana and Itihasa (epic history)

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Viśvāmitra (विश्वामित्र):—Son of Gādhi (son of Kuśāmbu). He had had 101 sons. One of them was known as Madhucchandā. In relation to him, all the other sons were known as the Madhucchandās. He accepted the son of Ajīgarta known as Śunaḥśepha (also known as Devarāta) as one of his own sons. (see Bhāgavata Purāṇa 9.16.29)

Source: Wisdom Library: Bhagavata Purana

1) Viśvāmitra (विश्वामित्र).—A royal hermit of immense attainments. Genealogy. Descended from Brahmā in the following order Brahmā—Atri—Candra—Budha—Purūravas -Vijaya—Hotraka—Jahnu—Puru—Balāka—Ajaka—Kuśa—Kuśanābha—Gādhi—Viśvāmitra. (See full article at Story of Viśvāmitra from the Puranic encyclopaedia by Vettam Mani)

2) Viśvāmitra (विश्वामित्र).—A holy place situated on the boundary of Kurukṣetra. It is mentioned in Mahābhārata, Vana Parva, Chapter 83, Stanza 131, that those who bathe in this holy place will get the status of a Brāhmaṇa.

Source: Puranic Encyclopaedia

The son of Visvāmitra was Śunahśephas, the descendant of Bhrigu, given by the gods, and thence named Devarāta. Visvāmitra had other sons also, amongst whom the most celebrated were Madhuchhandas, Kritajaya, Devadeva, Aṣṭaka, Kachchapa, and Hārita; these founded many families, all of whom were known by the name of Kauśikas, and intermarried with the families of various Ṛṣis. (see the Legend of Paraśurāma)

Source: Sacred Texts: The Vishnu Purana

1a) Viśvāmitra (विश्वामित्र).—A sage of the Vaivasvata epoch;1 was invited for the Rājasūya of Yudhiṣṭhira;2 came to see Kṛṣṇa at Syamantapañcaka3 and Parikṣit practising prāyopaveśa.4 Acted as Purohita at Kṛṣṇa's sacrifice in Kurukṣetra, left Dvārakā for Piṇḍāraka;5 Purohita of Jamadagni; the 6th incarnation of Viṣṇu to do away with the Kṣatriyas; became a Brāhmaṇa by tapas.6

  • 1) Bhāgavata-purāṇa VIII. 13. 5. Matsya-purāṇa 9. 27.
  • 2) Bhāgavata-purāṇa X. 74. 8.
  • 3) Ib. X. 84. 3;
  • 4) Ib. I. 19. 9.
  • 5) Ib. XI. 1. 12; X. 90. 46 [2].
  • 6) Matsya-purāṇa 47. 244; 198. 2 and 3.

1b) (Viśvaratha, Vāyu-purāṇa): a son of Gādhi and Kuśika (Kucika gotra, Vāyu-purāṇa). Though born a Kṣatriya, by his tapas he obtained brahmanhood. He had 101 sons. The middle one was known Madhucchandas and hence all sons bore that common name. He asked his sons to regard Sunaḥśepa as their eldest brother. The first fifty refused and were cursed to become mlecchas. Madhucchandas and the younger fifty agreed to adopt Śunaḥśepa. Visvāmitra blessed them. He had eight other sons like Aṣṭaka. Owing to divisions among his sons, the Kauśika family became different from the Viśvāmitras. There was a change of pravara since adoption was introduced. Father of Śakuntalā through Ūrvaśī.1 Helped Triśanku to go to heaven with the mortal body and secured for him a place in the sky. Fought Vasiṣṭha in the guise of a bird concerning Hariścandra, son of Triśanku. Acted as hotri to Hariścandra and was pleased with the fervour of the king and his queen;2 when he performed a Yajña, Rāma, son of Daśaratha killed Rākṣasas who disturbed it;3 officiated as hota in Paraśurāma's aśvamedha;4 a Kṣatriyadvija—sons and family of.5 Performed tapas near the sea; his wife had her son bound to her neck and sold him for a hundred cows; Satyavrata released the son to earn the goodwill of Viśvāmitra: Helped by Satyavrata—Triśanku during the 12 years famine, he took him bodily to heaven for it;6 in Dāruvana;7 a Brahmiṣṭa.8

  • 1) Bhāgavata-purāṇa IX. 16. 28-37; Brahmāṇḍa-purāṇa I. 2. 11; II. 32. 117; 38. 26. III. 66. 58; Vāyu-purāṇa 1. 177; 64. 25; 91. 87, 93, 95-6.
  • 2) Bhāgavata-purāṇa IX. 7. 5-26.
  • 3) Ib. IX. 10. 5.
  • 4) Brahmāṇḍa-purāṇa III. 47. 46; 73. 91.
  • 5) Ib. III. 66. 86; 63. 85-90.
  • 6) Vāyu-purāṇa 88. 86-8; Brahmāṇḍa-purāṇa III. 63. 112.
  • 7) Ib. I. 1. 149; II. 27. 103.
  • 8) Matsya-purāṇa 145. 111.

1c) The sage presiding over the month of Ūrja;1 with the Śiśira Sun;2 with the sun in Phālguna.3

  • 1) Bhāgavata-purāṇa XII. 11. 44.
  • 2) Brahmāṇḍa-purāṇa II. 23-20.
  • 3) Viṣṇu-purāṇa II. 10. 18.

1d) (also Kauśikas): Brahmarākṣasas; one of the four clans moving about in the night;1 against Vedas and Yajñas.2

  • 1) Brahmāṇḍa-purāṇa III. 8. 59-61; Vāyu-purāṇa 69. 195.
  • 2) Ib. 70. 53.
Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: The Purana Index

Viśvāmitra (विश्वामित्र) is a name mentioned in the Mahābhārata (cf. I.90.30) and represents one of the many proper names used for people and places. Note: The Mahābhārata (mentioning Viśvāmitra) is a Sanskrit epic poem consisting of 100,000 ślokas (metrical verses) and is over 2000 years old.

Viśvāmitrā also refers to the name of a River mentioned in the Mahābhārata (cf. VI.10.25, III.87.7).

Viśvāmitra also refers to the name of a Ṛṣi (sage) mentioned in the Mahābhārata (cf. III.85.9).

Source: JatLand: List of Mahabharata people and places
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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Natyashastra (theatrics and dramaturgy)

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Viśvāmitra (विश्वामित्र) is the name of a sage who was in the company of Bharata when he recited the Nāṭyaveda them, according to the Nāṭyaśāstra chapter 35. Accordingly, they asked the following questions, “O the best Brahmin (lit. the bull of the twice-born), tell us about the character of the god who appears in the Preliminaries (pūrvaraṅga). Why is the sound [of musical instruments] applied there? What purpose does it serve when applied? What god is pleased with this, and what does he do on being pleased? Why does the Director being himself clean, perform ablution again on the stage? How, O sir, the drama has come (lit. dropped) down to the earth from heaven? Why have your descendants come to be known as Śūdras?”.

Source: Wisdom Library: Nāṭya-śāstra
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Natyashastra (नाट्यशास्त्र, nāṭyaśāstra) refers to both the ancient Indian tradition (śāstra) of performing arts, (nāṭya, e.g., theatrics, drama, dance, music), as well as the name of a Sanskrit work dealing with these subjects. It also teaches the rules for composing dramatic plays (nataka) and poetic works (kavya).

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Pancaratra (worship of Nārāyaṇa)

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Viśvāmitra (विश्वामित्र) or Viśvāmitrasaṃhitā is the name of a Vaiṣṇava Āgama scripture, classified as a sāttvika type of the Muniprokta group of Pāñcarātra Āgamas. The vaiṣṇavāgamas represent one of the three classes of āgamas (traditionally communicated wisdom).—Texts of the Pāñcara Āgamas are divided in to two sects. It is believed that Lord Vāsudeva revealed the first group of texts which are called Divya and the next group is called Muniprokta which are further divided in to three viz. a. Sāttvika (eg., Viśvāmitra-saṃhitā). b. Rājasa. c. Tāmasa.

Source: Shodhganga: Iconographical representations of Śiva (pancaratra)
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Pancaratra (पाञ्चरात्र, pāñcarātra) represents a tradition of Hinduism where Narayana is revered and worshipped. Closeley related to Vaishnavism, the Pancaratra literature includes various Agamas and tantras incorporating many Vaishnava philosophies.

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General definition (in Hinduism)

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Brahmarshi Vishvamitra is one of the most venerated rishis or sages of ancient times in India. He is also credited as the author of most of Mandala 3 of the Rigveda, including the Gayatri Mantra. The Puranas mention that only 24 rishis since antiquity have understood the whole meaning of—and thus wielded the whole power of—the Gayatri Mantra. Vishvamitra is supposed to be the first, and Yajnavalkya the last.

Vishvamitra was a king in ancient India, also called Kaushika ("descendant of Kusha"). He was a valiant warrior and the great-grandson of a great king named Kusha. His story also appears in various Puranas; however, with variations from the Ramayana. The Vishnu Purana and Harivamsha chapter 27 (dynasty of Amaavasu) of Mahabharatha narrates the birth of Vishvamitra.

Source: WikiPedia: Hinduism

India history and geogprahy

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Viśvāmitra (विश्वामित्र) is the name of a river mentioned in the Nīlamatapurāṇa that remains unidentified. Viśvāmitra may be near Udda.

Source: Nilamata Purana: a cultural and literary study (history)
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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

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viśvāmitra (विश्वामित्र).—m (S) A famous saint, the early preceptor and counselor of Rama. 2 Applied to a great tormentor or teaser.

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

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Viśvāmitra (विश्वामित्र).—[viśvaṃ mitraṃ yasya, viśvasya mitraṃ vā pūrvapadadīrghaḥ; P.VI.3.13] Name of a celebrated sage. [He was originally a Kṣatriya, being the king of Kānyakubja and son of Gādhi. One day while out hunting, he went to the hermitage of the great sage Vasiṣṭha, and seeing there the cow of plenty, offered him untold treasures in exchange for it, but being refused he tried to take it by force. A long contest thereupon ensued, in which king Viśvāmitra was signally defeated; and so great was his vexation, and withal so greatly was he impressed with the power inherent in Brāhmanism that he devoted himself to the most rigorous austerities till he successively got the titles Rājarṣi, Riṣi, Maharṣi, and Brahmarṣi, but he was not contented till Vasiṣṭha himself called him by the name Brahmarṣi, which, however, took place after several thousands of years. Viśvāmitra several times tried to excite Vasiṣṭha -for example by killing his one hund red sons--but the great sage was not in the least perturbed. His power, even before he finally became a Brahmarśi, was very great, as was seen in his transporting Triśaṅku to the skies, in saving Sunah- śepa from the hands of Indra, in creating things after the style of Brahman &c. &c. He was the companion and counsellor of young Rāma to whom he gave several miraculous missiles.]

Derivable forms: viśvāmitraḥ (विश्वामित्रः).

Source: DDSA: The practical Sanskrit-English dictionary

Viśvāmitra (विश्वामित्र).—m.

(-traḥ) A Muni, the son of Gad'Hi, originally of the military order, but who became by long and painful austerities a Brahmarshi, in which character he appears in the Ramayana, as the early preceptor and counsellor of Rama. E. viśva all, mitra the friend, and the vowel of the prefix made long in this sense; if attributively used, the compound is viśvamitra .

Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: Shabda-Sagara 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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Relevant definitions

Search found 1123 related definition(s) that might help you understand this better. Below you will find the 15 most relevant articles:

Mitra (मित्र).—n. (-traṃ) 1. A friend. 2. An ally; in this form it is always neuter; but it is ...
Viśva (विश्व).—mfn. (-śvaḥ-śvā-śvaṃ) All, entire, whole, universal. n. (-śvaṃ) The world, the u...
Sumitra (सुमित्र).—m. (-traḥ) The father of the twentieth Jina of the present era. f. (-trā) On...
Viśvarūpa (विश्वरूप) refers to one of the various Vibhava manifestations according to the Īśvar...
Viśveśvara (विश्वेश्वर).—m. (-raḥ) Siva, under a form or appellation in which especially he is ...
Viśvanātha (विश्वनाथ) is the author of the Muktāvalī-ullāsa: a commentary on the Bhāṣāparicched...
Balamitra (बलमित्र).—A king. Śatrughna who led the yāga horse of Śrī Rāma fought with Vīramaṇi ...
Mi (मि).—5 U. (minoti, minute; rarely used in classical literature)1) To throw, cast, scatter.2...
Viśveśa (विश्वेश).—m. (-śaḥ) Siva. E. viśva all, īśa lord: see the next.
Viśvajit (विश्वजित्).—mfn. (-jit) All-subduing. m. (-jit) 1. A particular ceremony or sacrifice...
Agnimitra (अग्निमित्र).—The hero of Kālidāsa’s play, Mālavikāgnimitra. He was a King of the Śuṅ...
Viśvakarman.—(LL), an architect. Note: viśvakarman is defined in the “Indian epigraphical gloss...
Mitrāmitra (मित्रामित्र).—friend and foe; मित्राऽमित्रस्य चार्जनम् (mitrā'mitrasya cārjanam) Ms...
Viśvakṛt (विश्वकृत्).—mfn. (-kṛt) Who or what makes all. m. (-kṛt) 1. The creator, the maker of...
Viśvadeva (विश्वदेव) is a name mentioned in the Mahābhārata (cf. I.60.37) and represents one o...

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