Vitasta, Vitastā, Vitashta: 10 definitions


Vitasta means something in 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.

In Hinduism

Purana and Itihasa (epic history)

Source: Wisdom Library: Varāha-purāṇa

Vitastā (वितस्ता).—Name of a river originating from Himālaya, a holy mountain (kulaparvata) in Bhārata, according to the Varāhapurāṇa chapter 85. There are settlements (janapada) where Āryas and Mlecchas dwell who drink water from these rivers.

Bhārata is a region south of Hemādri, once ruled over by Bharata (son of Ṛṣabha), whose ancestral lineage can be traced back to Svāyambhuva Manu, who was created by Brahmā, who was in turn created by Nārāyaṇa, the unknowable all-pervasive primordial being.

Source: Puranic Encyclopedia

Vitastā (वितस्ता).—A river famous in the Purāṇas. Mention is made about this river in Ṛgveda. Important rivers mentioned in Ṛgveda are, Kubhā, Sindhu, Suvāstu Vitastā, Asiknī, Paruṣṇī, Śatadrū, Sarasvatī and Yamunā. These rivers were more important than the Ganges in those days. Mention is made about the Ganges only once in Ṛgveda. Perhaps the Āryans were not acquainted with the Gangetic basin in those days. The region from the rivers Kubhā to Yamunā was Āryadeśa (the country of the Āryans). The information about this river Vitastā given in Mahābhārata is given below:—

(i) The river Vitastā is the same river as Jhelum in Kashmir. The deity (goddess) of this river stays in the palace of Varuṇa and praises him. (Mahābhārata Sabhā Parva, Chapter 9, Stanza 19).

(ii) By worshipping the Devatās and the Manes after taking bath in this river, one could obtain the fruits of performing the sacrifice Vājapeya. In Kashmir, Takṣaka the King of the Nāgas has a famous palace known as Vitasta. (Mahābhārata Vana Parva, Chapter 82, Stanza 39).

(iii) Once four hundred horses with black ears, owned by Brahmins were caught in the current of this river and carried away. (Mahābhārata Udyoga Parva, Chapter 119, Stanza 8).

(iv) If anybody bathes in the waves of the river Vitastā, with vow and fasts, for seven days he would become as pure as a hermit. (Mahābhārata Anuśāsana Parva, Chapter 25, Stanza 7).

(v) Once Pārvatī made a speech before Śiva on the duties of women, after receiving advice from rivers. The river Vitastā was one of the rivers which advised Pārvatī. (Mahābhārata Anuśāsana Parva, Chapter 146, Stanza 18).

Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: The Purana Index

1a) Vitastā (वितस्ता).—A river in Bhārata varṣa from the Himālayas;1 sacred to the pitṛs.2

  • 1) Bhāgavata-purāṇa V. 19. 18; Brahmāṇḍa-purāṇa II. 12. 15; 16. 25; Vāyu-purāṇa 45. 90; Matsya-purāṇa 114. 21.
  • 2) Ib. 22. 36.

1b) One of the sixteen wives of Havyavāhana;1 in the chariot of Tripurāri.2

  • 1) Matsya-purāṇa 51. 13; Vāyu-purāṇa 29. 13.
  • 2) Matsya-purāṇa 133. 23.
Source: JatLand: List of Mahabharata people and places

Vitastā (वितस्ता) refers to the name of a River mentioned in the Mahābhārata (cf. II.9.19, II.9, III.80, VI.10.15, VIII.30.35). Note: The Mahābhārata (mentioning Vitastā) is a Sanskrit epic poem consisting of 100,000 ślokas (metrical verses) and is over 2000 years old.

Purana book cover
context information

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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Kavya (poetry)

[«previous (V) next»] — Vitasta in Kavya glossary
Source: Wisdom Library: Kathāsaritsāgara

Vitastā (वितस्ता) is the name of a river on whose banks was the famous city of Vitastā according to the Kathāsaritsāgara, chapter 27. Accordingly, “there was once a city named Takṣaśilā on the banks of the Vitastā, the reflection of whose long line of palaces gleamed in the waters of the river, as if it were the capital of the lower regions come to gaze at its splendour.”

The Kathāsaritsāgara (‘ocean of streams of story’), mentioning Vitastā, is a famous Sanskrit epic story revolving around prince Naravāhanadatta and his quest to become the emperor of the vidyādharas (celestial beings). The work is said to have been an adaptation of Guṇāḍhya’s Bṛhatkathā consisting of 100,000 verses, which in turn is part of a larger work containing 700,000 verses.

Source: Shodhganga: The Kavyamimamsa of Rajasekhara

Vitastā (वितस्ता) is the name a locality mentioned in Rājaśekhara’s 10th-century Kāvyamīmāṃsā.—The River Jhelum.

context information

Kavya (काव्य, kavya) refers to Sanskrit poetry, a popular ancient Indian tradition of literature. There have been many Sanskrit poets over the ages, hailing from ancient India and beyond. This topic includes mahakavya, or ‘epic poetry’ and natya, or ‘dramatic poetry’.

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Natyashastra (theatrics and dramaturgy)

Source: Wisdom Library: Nāṭya-śāstra

Vitasta (वितस्त) or Vitastamārga  refers to one of the four mārgas, comprising a set of rules used in the playing of drums (puṣkara) [with reference to Mṛdaṅga, Paṇava and Dardura] according to the Nāṭyaśāstra chapter 33. Accordingly, “The vitasta-mārga relates to a combination of strokes of ūrdhvaka, and the right face of āṅkika. Examples of the vitasta-mārga strokes are takitān takitān sentāṃ kinnānāṃ ghisaṃketā idu hudu ketāṃ. In the vitasta-mārga [the groups of akṣaras] are ghāga geṃdrā taki ta ghṛ ghṛṅ ghro kiṭi gheṇṭān gān dhi kiṭi ketthā tha kutā kitā kiri dām”.

Also, “in connexion with the Heroic, the Marvellous and the Furious Sentiments, they should be played in the vitasta-mārga”.

Natyashastra book cover
context information

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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India history and geogprahy

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

Vitastā (वितस्ता) is the name of a river mentioned in the Nīlamatapurāṇa that is now known as Vyatha to the Kaśmīrīs.—The Vitastā is the most important river of Kaśmīra to give the country the appellation ‘Vaitastika’. The Nīlamata regards it as an incarnation of Umā who, at the request of Kaśyapa, came bubbling forth as a river from a hole as big as a Vitasti made by Śiva with his spear. Its traditional source is the Nīlakuṇḍa called also Śūlaghāṭa and Vitastātra, but it is actually formed by the streams Sandran, Bring, Ārapath and Lidar meeting in the plain close to Anantanāga near the village Khanabal. Below Khanabal, Vitasti receives several branches of the Ledari and passes the ancient tīrthas of Vijayeśvara and Cakradhara. About three miles further down it receives the united waters of the Veśau and the Rembyāra and is thereafter united with the stream draining the ancient district of Holaḍā.

Just before reaching Śrīnagar, the Vitastā is joined by the Mahāsarit identified by me with the Māhurī of the Nīlamata. After flowing over three miles within the city, the river flows at first to the north and then turning to the southwest, it receives the river Dugdhagaṅgā.

India history book cover
context information

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-English dictionary

Source: DDSA: The practical Sanskrit-English dictionary

Vitastā (वितस्ता).—Name of a river in the Punjab called Hydaspes by the Greeks and now called Jhelum or Betustā.

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

Vitastā (वितस्ता).—f.

(-stā) Name of a river in the Punjab, known to the Greeks as the Hydaspes and now called the Jhelum.

context information

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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