Vishvavasu, aka: Viśvāvasu, Viśvavasu; 11 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 terms Viśvāvasu and Viśvavasu can be transliterated into English as Visvavasu or Vishvavasu, using the IAST transliteration scheme (?).

In Hinduism

Natyashastra (theatrics and dramaturgy)

Vishvavasu in Natyashastra glossary... « previous · [V] · next »

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-śāstra
Natyashastra book cover
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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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Purana and Itihasa (epic history)

Vishvavasu in Purana glossary... « previous · [V] · next »

1) Viśvavasu (विश्ववसु).—A brother of Paraśurāma, who had four brothers named Rumaṇvān, Suhotra, Vasu and Viśvavasu. (Brahmāṇḍa Purāṇa, Chapter 58).

2) Viśvāvasu (विश्वावसु).—A Gandharva King. The following information about this King is taken from the Purāṇas.

2) (i) The father of this Devagandharva was Prajāpati Kaśyapa and his mother was Pradhā. (Mahābhārata Ādi Parva, Chapter 25, Stanza 47).

2) (ii) Pramadvarā was born to Viśvāvasu by the celestial maid Menakā. (See under Pramadvarā).

2) (iii) Viśvāvasu was present at the Birth-festival of Arjuna. (Mahābhārata Ādi Parva, Chapter 122, Stanza 22).

2) (iv) This Viśvāvasu learned from Soma, Cākṣuṣīvidyā (the art of seeing all) and taught Citraratha, a Gandharva the same art. (Mahābhārata Ādi Parva, Chapter 169, Stanza 43).

2) (v) He was present at the Svayaṃvara (marriage) of Draupadī. (Mahābhārata Ādi Parva, Chapter 186, Stanza 7).

2) (vi) Viśvāvasu stays in the palace of Indra glorifying him. (Mahābhārata Sabhā Parva, Chapter 7, Stanza 22).

2) (vii) It is mentioned in Mahābhārata, Sabhā Parva, Chapter 10, Stanza 25, that he stays in the palace of Kubera praising him.

2) (viii) This Gandharva recited a poem at the sacrifice performed by Jamadagni. (Mahābhārata Vana Parva, Chapter 90, Stanza 18).

2) (ix) Kabandha, the asura, who stopped Rāma and Lakṣmaṇa, was the changed form of Viśvāvasu by a curse (See under Kabandha).

2) (x) It was this Viśvāvasu who played the lute in the sacrifice performed by emperor Dilīpa. (Mahābhārata Droṇa Parva, Chapter 61, Stanza 7).

2) (xi) Once Viśvāvasu asked hermit Yājñavalkya twentyfour questions. When he got satisfactory answers, the Gandharva returned to heaven. (Mahābhārata Śānti Parva, Chapter 318, Stanza 26).

2) (xii) It was Viśvāvasu and some other Gandharvas who took away Urvaśī from Purūravas. (See under Purūravas).

2) (xiii) At the time of emperor Pṛthu, when the earth was milked, the thing the Gandharvas got were those befitting them, In the course of the milking Viśvāvasu stood as the calf. (Bhāgavata, Skandha 4).

Source: Puranic Encyclopaedia

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 Index

Viśvāvasu (विश्वावसु) is a name mentioned in the Mahābhārata (cf. I.59.46, I.65) and represents one of the many proper names used for people and places. Note: The Mahābhārata (mentioning Viśvāvasu) is a Sanskrit epic poem consisting of 100,000 ślokas (metrical verses) and is over 2000 years old.

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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Jyotisha (astronomy and astrology)

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Viśvāvasu (विश्वावसु) refers to the thirty-ninth saṃvatsara (“jovian year)” in Vedic astrology.—The native whose birth has occurred in the ‘samvatsara’ of ‘vishvavasu’ is blessed with a virtuous wife and son, is excessively generous, has excellent conduct, excessive patience and endurance, likes sweet foods and is endowed with all the virtues.

According with Jataka Parijata, the person born in the year vishvavasu (2025-2026 AD) will have a high sense of honour, will be fond of the comic and will evince admiration for those who are rich in moral worth.

Source: The effect of Samvatsaras: Satvargas
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Jyotisha (ज्योतिष, jyotiṣa or jyotish) refers to ‘astronomy’ or “Vedic astrology” and represents the fifth of the six Vedangas (additional sciences to be studied along with the Vedas). Jyotisha concerns itself with the study and prediction of the movements of celestial bodies, in order to calculate the auspicious time for rituals and ceremonies.

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Katha (narrative stories)

Vishvavasu in Katha glossary... « previous · [V] · next »

Viśvāvasu (विश्वावसु) is the name of a king of the Siddhas (siddharāja) dwelling at the Malaya mountain (malayādri), according to the sixteenth story of the Vetālapañcaviṃśati in the Kathāsaritsāgara, chapter 90. Accordingly, “... there he [Jīmūtavāhana] made him a retreat in the valley of a brook, the stream of which was hidden by sandalwood-trees, and spent his time in waiting on his parents. And there he made a friend of the name of Mitrāvasu, the son of Viśvāvasu, the King of the Siddhas, who dwelt on that mountain (Malaya)”.

The story of Viśvāvasu is mentioned in the Vetālapañcaviṃśati (twenty-five tales of a vetāla) which is embedded in the twelfth book of the Kathāsaritsāgara (‘ocean of streams of story’). The main book is a famous Sanskrit epic detailing the exploits of prince Naravāhanadatta in his quest to become the emperor of the vidyādharas (celestial beings). The Kathā-sarit-sāgara is is explained to be an adaptation of Guṇāḍhya’s Bṛhatkathā which consisted of 100,000 verses and in turn forms part of an even larger work containing 700,000 verses.

Source: Wisdom Library: Kathāsaritsāgara
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Katha (कथा, kathā) refers to narrative Sanskrit literature often inspired from epic legendry (itihasa) and poetry (mahākāvya). Some Kathas reflect socio-political instructions for the King while others remind the reader of important historical event and exploits of the Gods, Heroes and Sages.

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General definition (in Hinduism)

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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

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

Source: ISKCON Press: Glossary

In Jainism

General definition (in Jainism)

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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
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Jainism is an Indian religion of Dharma whose doctrine revolves around harmlessness (ahimsa) towards every living being. The two major branches (Digambara and Svetambara) of Jainism stimulate self-control (or, shramana, ‘self-reliance’) and spiritual development through a path of peace for the soul to progess to the ultimate goal.

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Languages of India and abroad

Sanskrit-English dictionary

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

Viśvāvasu (विश्वावसु).—Name of a Gandharva; Bhāg.7.4.14.

Derivable forms: viśvāvasuḥ (विश्वावसुः).

Source: DDSA: The practical 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

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