Vishvamitra, Vishva-mitra, Viśvāmitra, Viśvamitra, Viśvāmitrā, Visvāmitra: 24 definitions


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 (?).

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In Hinduism

Purana and Itihasa (epic history)

[«previous next»] — Vishvamitra in Purana glossary
Source: Wisdom Library: Bhagavata Purana

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: Puranic Encyclopedia

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: Shiva Purana - English Translation

Viśvāmitra (विश्वामित्र), the son of Gādhi or Gāthin, was a born Kṣatriya who by intense austerities attained Brāhmaṇa-hood. Śiva-purāṇa attributes this change to the favour of Kumāra who raised him to Brāhmaṇa-hood in order to enable him to perform his purificatory rites.

Source: Sacred Texts: The Vishnu Purana

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: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: The Purana Index

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: JatLand: List of Mahabharata people and places

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).

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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Dhanurveda (science of warfare)

[«previous next»] — Vishvamitra in Dhanurveda glossary
Source: Dhanurveda

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.

Dhanurveda book cover
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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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Natyashastra (theatrics and dramaturgy)

Source: Wisdom Library: Nāṭya-śāstra

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?”.

Natyashastra book cover
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Natyashastra (नाट्यशास्त्र, nāṭyaśāstra) refers to both the ancient Indian tradition (shastra) of performing arts, (natya—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), construction and performance of Theater, and Poetic works (kavya).

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Pancaratra (worship of Nārāyaṇa)

[«previous next»] — Vishvamitra in Pancaratra glossary
Source: Shodhganga: Iconographical representations of Śiva (pancaratra)

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 (e.g., Viśvāmitra-saṃhitā). b. Rājasa. c. Tāmasa.

Pancaratra book cover
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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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Yoga (school of philosophy)

[«previous next»] — Vishvamitra in Yoga glossary
Source: Brill: Śaivism and the Tantric Traditions (yoga)

Viśvāmitra (विश्वामित्र) refers to one of the seven Sages, according to the 17th-century Haṭhayogasaṃhitā: a compilation on Haṭhayoga that borrows extensively from the Haṭhapradīpikā. The opening verses (1.2–3) acknowledge the seven sages, namely Mārkaṇḍeya, Bharadvāja, Marīci, Jaimini, Parāśara, Bhṛgu and Viśvāmitra, for spreading Haṭhayoga in the world. [...] The Haṭhayogasaṃhitā appears to have been the basis of the Gheraṇḍasaṃhitā (eighteenth century), [...]

Yoga book cover
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Yoga is originally considered a branch of Hindu philosophy (astika), but both ancient and modern Yoga combine the physical, mental and spiritual. Yoga teaches various physical techniques also known as āsanas (postures), used for various purposes (eg., meditation, contemplation, relaxation).

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General definition (in Hinduism)

[«previous next»] — Vishvamitra in Hinduism glossary
Source: Apam Napat: Indian Mythology

Vishwamitra is one of the most well known of the great sages. His epic tussle with Vasishta for the position of the greatest sage of all time, makes a very interesting story. He was not a Brahmana by birth, but a Kshatriya (warrior). He was a King named Kaushika, and was a valiant warrior. He is the great-grandson of a great sage named Kusha. One of the four sons of Kusha was named Kushanabar, who performed the Puthrakameshti sacrifice and obtained a son named Kadhi as the result. Kaushika was the son of this king Kadhi.

Source: WikiPedia: Hinduism

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.

India history and geography

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

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

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 mythology, zoology, 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

[«previous next»] — Vishvamitra in Marathi glossary
Source: DDSA: The Molesworth Marathi and English Dictionary

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

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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 dictionary

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

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: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: Edgerton Buddhist Hybrid Sanskrit Dictionary

Viśvamitra (विश्वमित्र).—(the Pali parallel, Dīghanikāya (Pali) ii.257.1 has pl. Vessāmittā pañcasatā yakkhā…; the sg. Vessāmitto is a yakkha-leader Dīghanikāya (Pali) iii.205.2), name of a yakṣa: °traḥ pañca- śato viśvadevo (are these two epithets of V°, or other names ?) maharddhikaḥ Mahāsamājasūtra Waldschmidt, Kl. Sanskrit Texte 4, 167.32. Cf. Viśvāmitra, the usual Sanskrit form.

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Viśvāmitra (विश्वामित्र).—(1) name of a teacher of writing in the school attended by the Bodhisattva: Lalitavistara 124.9; 145.21; 146.2; Gaṇḍavyūha 447.20; 448.2, 9; (2) name of a Bodhisattva: Gaṇḍavyūha 442.23; (3) name of a ṛṣi (= Sanskrit id. ?): Divyāvadāna 321.4. Cf. Viśvamitra.

Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: Shabda-Sagara 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: Benfey Sanskrit-English Dictionary

Viśvāmitra (विश्वामित्र).—i. e. viśva -mitra, m. The name of a Muni, [Johnson's Selections from the Mahābhārata.] 23, 118.

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

Viśvāmitra (विश्वामित्र).—[masculine] [Name] of a celebrated Ṛṣi, [plural] his race.

Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: Aufrecht Catalogus Catalogorum

1) Viśvāmitra (विश्वामित्र) as mentioned in Aufrecht’s Catalogus Catalogorum:—[+viśvāmitra] Rāhucāra jy. As a medical authority he is quoted in Bhāvaprakāśa Oxf. 311^b.

2) Viśvāmitra (विश्वामित्र):—father of Raghunātha (Kārtavīryārjunadīpadānapaddhati).

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

1) Viśvamitra (विश्वमित्र):—[=viśva-mitra] [from viśva] m. [plural] ([probably]) = viśvā-mitra [plural] the family of Viśvāmitra, [Atharva-veda]

2) Viśvāmitra (विश्वामित्र):—[=viśvā-mitra] [from viśvā > viśva] a See below.

3) [=viśvā-mitra] [from viśva] b m. ([probably]) ‘friend of all’, Name of a celebrated Ṛṣi or Sage (having the [patronymic] Gāthina, Gādheya, and Jāhnava; he was at first a functionary, together with Vasiṣṭha, of Su-dās, king of the Tṛtsus; seeing V° preferred by the king, he went over to the Bharatas, but could not prevent their being defeated by Su-dās, although he caused the waters of the rivers Vipāś and Śutudrī to retire and so give the Bharatas free passage, [Ṛg-veda iii, 33]; he was born as a Kṣatriya, deriving his lineage from an ancestor of Kuśika, named Purū-ravas, of the lunar race of kings, and himself sovereign of Kanyā-kubja or Kanoj; his fame rests chiefly on his contests with the great Brāhman Vasiṣṭha, and his success in elevating himself. though a Kṣatriya, to the rank of a Brāhman See, [Manu vii, 42] : the Rāmāyaṇa, which makes him a companion and counsellor of the young Rāma-candra, records [i, 51-65] how Viśvāmitra, on his accession to the throne, visited Vasiṣṭha’s hermitage, and seeing there the cow of plenty [probably typical of go, ‘the earth’], offered him untold treasures in exchange for it, but being refused, prepared to take it by force; a long contest ensued between the king and the saint [symbolical of the struggles between the Kṣatriya and Brāhmanical classes], which ended in the defeat of Viśvāmitra, whose vexation was such that, in order to become a Brāhman and thus conquer his rival, he devoted himself to intense austerities [during which he was seduced by the nymph Menakā and had by her a daughter, Śakuntalā], gradually increasing the rigour of his mortification through thousands of years, till he successively earned the titles of Rājarṣi, Ṛṣi, Maharṣi, and finally Brahmarṣi ; he is supposed to be the author of nearly the whole of [Ṛg-veda iii, and of ix, 67, 1315; x, 137, 5; 167]; moreover, a law-book, a Dhanurveda, and a medical [work] are attributed to him), [Ṛg-veda] etc. etc.

4) [v.s. ...] a [particular] Catur-aha (= viśvāmitrasya saṃjayaḥ), [Pañcaviṃśa-brāhmaṇa; Kātyāyana-śrauta-sūtra]

5) [v.s. ...] a [particular] Anuvāka (= viśvāmitrasyānuvākaḥ), [Patañjali]

6) [v.s. ...] [plural] the family of Viśvāmitra, [Ṛg-veda; Atharva-veda]

7) Viśvāmitrā (विश्वामित्रा):—[=viśvā-mitrā] [from viśvā-mitra > viśva] f. Name of a river, [Mahābhārata]

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

Viśvāmitra (विश्वामित्र):—[viśvā-mitra] (traḥ) 1. m. A sage so named.

[Sanskrit to German]

Vishvamitra 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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Kannada-English dictionary

[«previous next»] — Vishvamitra in Kannada glossary
Source: Alar: Kannada-English corpus

Viśvāmitra (ವಿಶ್ವಾಮಿತ್ರ):—[noun] name of a Vedic sage, who was the author of famous Gāyatri hymn.

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Kannada is a Dravidian language (as opposed to the Indo-European language family) mainly spoken in the southwestern region of India.

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