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Vishvavasu, aka: Viśvāvasu; 5 Definition(s)


Vishvavasu means something in Hinduism, Sanskrit, Jainism, Prakrit. 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 Viśvāvasu can be transliterated into English as Visvavasu or Vishvavasu, using the IAST transliteration scheme (?).

In Hinduism

Nāṭyaśāstra (theatrics and dramaturgy)

Viśvāvasu (विश्वावसु) refers to three ancient masters of music. They are to be worshipped in the gandharvamantra, during the ceremony called the ‘consecration of the mattavāraṇī’. According to the Nāṭyaśāstra 3.40-44 gods and demigods should be worshipped with offerings (eg. different kinds of foodstuff ) and mantras.

Source: Wisdom Library: Nāṭya-śāstraNāṭyaśāstra book cover
context information

Nāṭyaśāstra (नाट्यशास्त्र, natya-shastra) refers to both the ancient Indian tradition of performing arts, (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 (nāṭya) and poetic works (kāvya).


1a) Viśvāvasu (विश्वावसु).—A Gandharva got infatuated at the sight of Devahūti playing on the terrace of her house: served as calf for Gandharvas and Apsarasas to milk GandharvaMadhu from earth;1 praised Hīraṇyakaśipu, the over lord of all worlds: sang the glory of Indra defeating Namuci.2

  • 1) Bhāgavata-purāṇa III. 20. 39; 22. 17; IV. 18. 17. Brahmāṇḍa-purāṇa III. 7. 12. IV. 14. 4.
  • 2) Bhāgavata-purāṇa VII. 4. 14; VIII. 11. 41; XI. 16. 33.

1b) The Gandharva presiding over the month of Nabha;1 in the sun's chariot, with the sun in Āvaṇi and Puraṭṭāśi, (śarat season);2 in the sun's chariot during the month of Kārtika.3

  • 1) Bhāgavata-purāṇa XII. 11. 37; Brahmāṇḍa-purāṇa II. 23. 10; Viṣṇu-purāṇa II. 10. 9.
  • 2) Vāyu-purāṇa 52. 10, 13; 62. 188.
  • 3) Viṣṇu-purāṇa II. 10. 12.

1c) A son of Krodhā and a Devagandharva.*

  • * Brahmāṇḍa-purāṇa III. 6. 39.

1d) A son of Purūravas and Ūrvaśī;1 the Gandharva who brought back Ūrvaśī to heaven from earth.2

  • 1) Brahmāṇḍa-purāṇa III. 66. 23; IV. 20. 48 and 101; Viṣṇu-purāṇa IV. 7. 1.
  • 2) Brahmāṇḍa-purāṇa III. 66. 16.

1e) A Sādhya.*

  • * Matsya-purāṇa 171. 43.

1f) A Vasu, a son of Dharma and Sudevī.*

  • * Matsya-purāṇa 171. 46.

1g) A Gandharva and the best of speakers; deprived Ūrvaśī and Purūravas of the two sheep.*

  • * Vāyu-purāṇa 91. 16-22; Viṣṇu-purāṇa I. 9. 102; IV. 6. 51.

1h) A Gandharva;1 an expert in divine music.2

  • 1) Vāyu-purāṇa 30. 86.
  • 2) Ib. 69. 47.

1i) A class of musicians who sang the Sāma Veda.*

  • * Brahmāṇḍa-purāṇa III. 1. 25.
Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: The Purana IndexPurāṇa book cover
context information

The Purāṇas (पुराण, purana) refers to Sanskrit literature preserving ancient India’s vast cultural history, including historical legends, religious ceremonies, various arts and sciences. The eighteen mahāpurāṇas total over 400,000 ślokas (metrical couplets) and date to at least several centuries BCE.

General definition (in Hinduism)

Viśvāvasu (विश्वावसु).—A leader of the Gandharvas, singers in the heavenly planets.

Source: ISKCON Press: Glossary

Vishvavasu is one of the prominent Gandharvas. Sometimes, he is referred to as their King (which is somewhat confusing, as Chitrasena, Tumburu and some others are also said to be their kings). He enjoyed close relations with many Apsaras, particularly Menaka, upon whom he begat the maiden Primadvara. Both parents took no interest in the child and abandoned her as an infant. She was found by a Rishi named Sthulakesa, who brought her up as his own daughter and married her to Ruru, the grandson of the sage Chyavana.

He is said to have mastered the art of illusions, the science called Chakshushi, which was communicated to him by Chandra, who obtained it from Manu. Vishvavasu in turn communicated this science to his friend Angaraparana, who taught it to Arjuna.

Source: Apam Napat: Indian Mythology

In Jainism

General definition (in Jainism)

Viśvāvasu (विश्वावसु) is the name of a gandharva god according to the Śvetāmbara tradition, while the Digambara does not recognize this. The gandharvas refer to a category of vyantaras gods which represents one of the four classes of celestial beings (devas). The gandharvas have a golden appearance according to the Digambaras and the Tumbaru tree is their caitya-vṛkṣa (sacred-tree). They have a blackish complexion and are beautiful in appearance, have excellent physiognomy, sweet voices and are adorned with crowns and neckalces according to the Śvetāmbaras.

The deities such as Viśvāvasu are defined in ancient Jain cosmological texts such as the Saṃgrahaṇīratna in the Śvetāmbara tradition or the Tiloyapaṇṇati by Yativṛṣabha (5th century) in the Digambara tradition.

Source: Wisdom Library: Jainism

Relevant definitions

Search found 11 related definition(s) that might help you understand this better. Below you will find the 15 most relevant articles:

Gāndharva (गान्धर्व, “classical music”).—That which master musicians (gandharva) have been perf...
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Viśvaguṇādarśa (विश्वगुणादर्श) or Viśvaguṇadarśana belongs to Veṅkaṭādhvarin or Veṅkaṭācarya, t...
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Relevant text

Search found 31 books containing Vishvavasu or Viśvāvasu. You can also click to the full overview containing English textual excerpts. Below are direct links for the 20 most relevant articles:

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