Vrishabha, Vṛṣabha: 18 definitions

Introduction

Introduction:

Vrishabha means something in Buddhism, Pali, 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 term Vṛṣabha can be transliterated into English as Vrsabha or Vrishabha, using the IAST transliteration scheme (?).

Images (photo gallery)

In Hinduism

Vastushastra (architecture)

Source: Wisdom Library: Vāstu-śāstra

1) Vṛṣabha (वृषभ) refers to a type of temple (prāsāda) classified under the group named Sāndhāra, according to Samarāṅgaṇasūtradhāra chapter 56. The Sāndhāra group contains twenty-five out of a sixty-four total prāsādas (temples) classified under four groups in this chapter. The Samarāṅgaṇasūtradhāra is an 11th-century encyclopedia dealing with various topics from the Vāstuśāstra.

Vṛṣabha is also listed in the Agnipurāṇa which features a list of 45 temple types. It is listed under the group named Maṇika, featuring oval-shaped temples. This list represents a classification of temples in Nort-India.

2) Vṛṣabhā (वृषभा, “cow”) refers to the fifth of eight yoni (womb), according to the Mānasāra. Yoni is the fourth of the āyādiṣaḍvarga, or “six principles” that constitute the “horoscope” of an architectural or iconographic object. Their application is intended to “verify” the measurements of the architectural and iconographic object against the dictates of astrology that lay out the conditions of auspiciousness.

Vṛṣabhā also refers to the second of twelve rāśi (zodiacal sign), corresponding with the “Taurus” zodiac sign. Rāśi is one of the three alternative principles, besides the six āyādiṣaḍvarga.

The particular yoni (eg., vṛṣabhā) and rāśi (eg., vṛṣabha) of all architectural and iconographic objects (settlement, building, image) must be calculated and ascertained. This process is based on the principle of the remainder. An arithmetical formula to be used in each case is stipulated, which engages one of the basic dimensions of the object (breadth, length, or perimeter/circumference).

The first, third, fifth and seventh yonis are considered auspicious and therefore to be preferred, and the rest, inauspicious and to be avoided. All twelve rāśis, except the eighth (vṛścika) are auspicious.

Vastushastra book cover
context information

Vastushastra (वास्तुशास्त्र, vāstuśāstra) refers to the ancient Indian science (shastra) of architecture (vastu), dealing with topics such architecture, sculpture, town-building, fort building and various other constructions. Vastu also deals with the philosophy of the architectural relation with the cosmic universe.

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Purana and Itihasa (epic history)

[«previous (V) next»] — Vrishabha in Purana glossary
Source: archive.org: Puranic Encyclopedia

1) Vṛṣabha (वृषभ).—Son of Subala, the King of Gāndhāra. He was the brother of Śakuni. In the battle of Bhārata, this Vṛṣabha, with his five brothers, attacked Irāvān, who killed the five brothers. Vṛṣabha alone escaped death. (Mahābhārata Bhīṣma Parva, Chapter 90, Stanza 33).

2) Vṛṣabha (वृषभ).—An asura. Ariṣṭa was another name of this asura (See under Ariṣṭa).

3) Vṛṣabha (वृषभ).—A Yādava King who was the son of Anamitra. This Vṛṣabha married Jayantī, the daughter of the King of Kāśī. (Matsya Purāṇa, 45, 25-26).

4) Vṛṣabha (वृषभ).—A mountain near Girivraja, the capital city of Magadha. (Mahābhārata, Sabhā Parva, Chapter 21, Stanza 2).

Source: archive.org: Shiva Purana - English Translation

Vṛṣabha (वृषभ) is the name of a leader of Gaṇas (Gaṇapa or Gaṇeśvara or Gaṇādhipa) who came to Kailāsa, according to the Śivapurāṇa 2.1.20. Accordingly, after Śiva decided to become the friend of Kubera:—“[...] The leaders of Gaṇas revered by the whole world and of high fortune arrived there. [...] Kāṣṭhāgūḍha, Sukeśa and Vṛṣabha each with sixty-four crores. Caitra, Nakulīśa and Svayamprabhu each with seven crores. [...]”.

These [viz., Vṛṣabha] and other leaders of Gaṇas [viz., Gaṇapas] were all powerful (mahābala) and innumerable (asaṃkhyāta). [...] The Gaṇa chiefs and other noble souls of spotless splendour eagerly reached there desirous of seeing Śiva. Reaching the spot they saw Śiva, bowed to and eulogised him.

Vṛṣabha participated in Vīrabhadra’s campaign against Dakṣa, according to the Śivapurāṇa 2.2.33. Accordingly, as Brahmā narrated to Nārada:—“O Nārada, listen to the numerical strength of the most important and courageous of those groups. [...] Kāṣṭhāgūḍha, Sukeśī, Vṛṣabha, and Sumantraka the chief of Gaṇas, O dear, each went with sixty-four crores. [...] Thus at the bidding of Śiva, the heroic Vīrabhadra went ahead followed by crores and crores, thousands and thousands, hundreds and hundreds of Gaṇas [viz., Vṛṣabha]”.

Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: The Purana Index

1a) Vṛṣabha (वृषभ).—A son of Kārtavīryārjuna.*

  • * Bhāgavata-purāṇa IX. 23. 27.

1b) A playmate of Kṛṣṇa. Being a victor in a game was carried on his back by Bhadrasena.*

  • * Bhāgavata-purāṇa X. 18. 23-24.

1c) A son of Sṛṣṭi and Chāyā.*

  • * Brahmāṇḍa-purāṇa II. 36. 98.

1d) The Asura vanquished by Kṛṣṇa.*

  • * Brahmāṇḍa-purāṇa III. 36. 37; 73. 100; Vāyu-purāṇa 98. 100.

1e) A god of the Sukarmāṇa group.*

  • * Brahmāṇḍa-purāṇa IV. 1. 88; Vāyu-purāṇa 100. 92.

1f) A son of Anamitra, married Jayanti the daughter of the Kāśirāja.*

  • * Matsya-purāṇa 45. 25-6.

1g) A son of Kuśāgra and father of Punyavān (Puspavān, Viṣṇu-purāṇa).*

  • * Matsya-purāṇa 50. 29; Viṣṇu-purāṇa IV. 19. 82.

1h) The Lord of cattle: dedication of a dark Vṛṣa is equal to going to Gayā for Śrāddha.*

  • * Matsya-purāṇa 8. 8; 22. 6.

1i) The mountain Sumana in Plakṣa; to the east of Aruṇoda;1 north of the Mahābhadra lake.2

  • 1) Vāyu-purāṇa 36. 18.
  • 2) Ib. 36. 20.
Source: JatLand: List of Mahabharata people and places

Vṛṣabhā (वृषभा) refers to the name of a River mentioned in the Mahābhārata (cf. VI.10.31). Note: The Mahābhārata (mentioning Vṛṣabhā) 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»] — Vrishabha in Kavya glossary
Source: Wisdom Library: Kathāsaritsāgara

Vṛṣabha (वृषभ) or Vṛṣabhaparvata is the name of a mountain situated on the island Nārikela, as mentioned in the Kathāsaritsāgara, chapter 54. Accordingly, as four heavenly figures said to Naravāhanadatta: “... there is in the midst of the great sea a great, prosperous and splendid island, which is called the island of Nārikela, and is renowned in the world for its beauty. And in it there are four mountains with splendid expanses of land, named Maināka, Vṛṣabha, Cakra and Balāhaka; in those four we four live”.

The Kathāsaritsāgara (‘ocean of streams of story’), mentioning Vṛṣabha, 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.

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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Shaivism (Shaiva philosophy)

[«previous (V) next»] — Vrishabha in Shaivism glossary
Source: Shodhganga: Temple management in the Āgamas

Vṛṣabha (वृषभ) refers to one of the eight aṣṭamaṅgala and represents a type of “temple implement (instrument)” as described in the Karaṇalakṣaṇavidhi-paṭala section of the Uttara-Kāmikāgama.—The instruments should be according to the particular śāstra followed at the temple. Some of the instruments mentioned are Śaiva aṣṭamaṅgala including [viz., vṛṣabha].

Shaivism book cover
context information

Shaiva (शैव, śaiva) or Shaivism (śaivism) represents a tradition of Hinduism worshiping Shiva as the supreme being. Closely related to Shaktism, Shaiva literature includes a range of scriptures, including Tantras, while the root of this tradition may be traced back to the ancient Vedas.

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Vaishnavism (Vaishava dharma)

Source: Pure Bhakti: Arcana-dipika - 3rd Edition

Vṛṣabha (वृषभ) corresponds to “taurus” (mid May to mid June) and refers to one of the zodiac signs (rāśī) in the Vedic calendar.—Rāśī refers to the different signs of the zodiac through which the sun travels. For precise dates, please refer to a Vedic calendar. In accordance with the zodiac sign the sun is situated in, one would utter [for example, vṛṣabha-rāśī sthite bhāskare]

Vaishnavism book cover
context information

Vaishnava (वैष्णव, vaiṣṇava) or vaishnavism (vaiṣṇavism) represents a tradition of Hinduism worshipping Vishnu as the supreme Lord. Similar to the Shaktism and Shaivism traditions, Vaishnavism also developed as an individual movement, famous for its exposition of the dashavatara (‘ten avatars of Vishnu’).

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Dharmashastra (religious law)

Source: Prācyā: Animals and animal products as reflected in Smṛti texts

Vṛṣabha (वृषभ) (or Vṛṣa, Balīvarda) refers to the animal “Bullock” (Bos tauras).—The Smṛtis mention several domestic as well as wild animals that are enumerated in context of specifying expiation for killing them, the flesh being used as a dietary article to give satisfaction to the Manes (Pitṛs) in Śrāddha rites, the law of transmigration due to various sins committed as well as in the context of specifying gifts to be given on various occasions. These animals [viz., Vṛṣabha] are chiefly mentioned in the Manusmṛti, Parāśarasmṛti [Chap.6], Gautamasmṛti [17.2 and 15.1], Śātātapasmṛti [II.45-54], Uśānasmṛti [IX.7-9; IX.12-13], Yājñavalkyasmṛti [I.170-171; I.175; I.258- 260], Viṣṇusmṛti [51.3;51.6;51.26;51.33;80.3-14], Uttarāṅgirasasmṛti [X.15-17], Prajāpatismṛti [Śrāddhatyājyavastuvarṇanam. 138-143], 9 Kāśyapasmṛti [Section on Prāyaścittavarṇanam], Vṛddha Hārītasmṛti [6.253-255] and Kātyāyanasmṛti [27.11].

Dharmashastra book cover
context information

Dharmashastra (धर्मशास्त्र, dharmaśāstra) contains the instructions (shastra) regarding religious conduct of livelihood (dharma), ceremonies, jurisprudence (study of law) and more. It is categorized as smriti, an important and authoritative selection of books dealing with the Hindu lifestyle.

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General definition (in Hinduism)

[«previous (V) next»] — Vrishabha in Hinduism glossary
Source: archive.org: Vedic index of Names and Subjects

Vṛṣabha (वृषभ) regularly denotes a ‘bull’ in the Rigveda, but usually in a metaphorical sense.

In Buddhism

Tibetan Buddhism (Vajrayana or tantric Buddhism)

Source: Wisdom Library: Tibetan Buddhism

Vṛṣabha (वृषभ) is the name of a Rāśi (zodiac sign) mentioned as attending the teachings in the 6th century Mañjuśrīmūlakalpa: one of the largest Kriyā Tantras devoted to Mañjuśrī (the Bodhisattva of wisdom) representing an encyclopedia of knowledge primarily concerned with ritualistic elements in Buddhism. The teachings in this text originate from Mañjuśrī and were taught to and by Buddha Śākyamuni in the presence of a large audience (including Vṛṣabha).

Tibetan Buddhism book cover
context information

Tibetan Buddhism includes schools such as Nyingma, Kadampa, Kagyu and Gelug. Their primary canon of literature is divided in two broad categories: The Kangyur, which consists of Buddha’s words, and the Tengyur, which includes commentaries from various sources. Esotericism and tantra techniques (vajrayāna) are collected indepently.

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India history and geogprahy

Source: Ancient Buddhist Texts: Geography of Early Buddhism

Vṛṣabha (वृषभ) is another name for Girivraja or Giribbaja: an ancient capital of Magadha, one of the sixteen Mahājanapadas of the Majjhimadesa (Middle Country) of ancient India, according to the Mahābhārata.—Early Pāli literature abounds in information about the Magadha country, its people, and its ancient capital Giribbaja. Magadha roughly corresponds to the modern Patna and Gayā districts of Bihar. The Mahābhārata seems to record that Girivraja was also called Bārhadrathapura as well as Māgadhapura and that Māgadhapura was a well-fortified city being protected by five hills. Other names recorded in the Mahābhārata are Varāha, Vrishabha, Rishigiri, and Caityaka. The statement of the Mahābhārata that Girivraja was protected by five hills is strikingly confirmed by the Vimānavatthu Commentary in which we read that the city of Giribbaja was encircled by the mountains Isigili, Vepulla, Vebhara, Paṇḍava and Gijjhakūṭa.

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 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 (V) next»] — Vrishabha in Marathi glossary
Source: DDSA: The Molesworth Marathi and English Dictionary

vṛṣabha (वृषभ).—m (S) A bull. 2 The sign Taurus.

Source: DDSA: The Aryabhusan school dictionary, Marathi-English

vṛṣabha (वृषभ).—m A bull. The sign Taurus.

context information

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 (V) next»] — Vrishabha in Sanskrit glossary
Source: DDSA: The practical Sanskrit-English dictionary

Vṛṣabha (वृषभ).—[vṛṣ-abhac kicca Uṇ.3.112]

1) A bull.

2) Any male animal.

3) Anything best or eminent of its class (at the end of comp.); द्विजवृषभः (dvijavṛṣabhaḥ) Ratn.1.5; किं नास्ति त्वयि सत्यमात्यवृषभे यस्मिन् करोमि स्पृहाम् (kiṃ nāsti tvayi satyamātyavṛṣabhe yasmin karomi spṛhām) 4.2.

4) The sign Taurus of the zodiac.

5) A kind of drug; cf. ऋषभ (ṛṣabha).

6) An elephant's ear.

7) The orifice or hollow of the ear.

8) Justice (dharma personified); Mb.12.43.8.

-bhā Name of the three lunar mansions (viz. of maghā, pūrva-phalgunī, and uttara-phalgunī).

Derivable forms: vṛṣabhaḥ (वृषभः).

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

Vṛṣabha (वृषभ).—m.

(-bhaḥ) 1. A bull. 2. (In composition,) Pre-eminent, excellent. 3. The orifice of the ear. 4. An elephant’s ear. 5. A drug; also Rishabha, decribed as a root resembling the horn of a bull, brought from the Himalaya mountains, of cooling and tonic properties, and serviceable in catarrh and consumption. 6. The first of the Jaina pontiffs of the present era. 7. Any male animal. f. (-bhī) 1. A widow. 2. Cowach. E. vṛṣ to sprinkle, Unadi aff. abhac .

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

Vṛṣabha (वृषभ).—[vṛṣa-bha] (vb. bhā), I. m. 1. A bull, [Hitopadeśa] i. [distich] 135, M.M. (duṣṭa-, A malicious bull). 2. The orifice of the ear. 3. An elephant’s ear. 4. As latter part of comp. words, Preeminent, excellent. Ii. f. bhī, A widow.

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

Vṛṣabha (वृषभ).—[adjective] manly, potent, strong; [masculine] bull, first or best of ([genetive] or —°), chief, lord etc.

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

1) Vṛṣabha (वृषभ):—[from vṛṣ] mfn. (cf. ṛṣabha) manly, mighty, vigorous, strong (applied like vṛṣan to animate and inanimate objects), [Ṛg-veda; Atharva-veda]

2) [v.s. ...] m. (ifc. f(ā). ) a bull (in Veda epithet of various gods, as of Indra, Bṛhas-pati, Parjanya etc.; according to, [Sāyaṇa] = varṣayitṛ, ‘a showerer of bounties, benefactor’), [Ṛg-veda] etc.

3) [v.s. ...] m. the chief, most excellent or eminent, lord or best among (in later language mostly ifc., or with [genitive case]), [ib.]

4) [v.s. ...] the zodiacal sign Taurus, [Varāha-mihira’s Bṛhat-saṃhitā]

5) [v.s. ...] a [particular] drug (described as a root brought from the Himālaya mountains, resembling the horn of a bull, of cooling and tonic properties, and serviceable in catarrh and consumption), [Bhāvaprakāśa]

6) [v.s. ...] the hollow or orifice of the ear, [cf. Lexicographers, esp. such as amarasiṃha, halāyudha, hemacandra, etc.]

7) [v.s. ...] Name of Daśad-yu, [Ṛg-veda]

8) [v.s. ...] of an Asura slain by Viṣṇu, [Harivaṃśa] ([varia lectio] ṛṣ)

9) [v.s. ...] of one of the sons of the 10th Manu, [Mārkaṇḍeya-purāṇa]

10) [v.s. ...] of a warrior, [Mahābhārata]

11) [v.s. ...] of a son of Kuśāgra, [Harivaṃśa] ([varia lectio] ṛṣ)

12) [v.s. ...] of a son of Kārtavīrya, [Bhāgavata-purāṇa]

13) [v.s. ...] (with Jainas) of the first Arhat of the present Avasarpiṇī, [Colebrooke]

14) [v.s. ...] of a mountain in Giri-vraja, [Mahābhārata; Harivaṃśa] etc.

15) [v.s. ...] (in [astronomy]) of the 28th Muhūrta

16) Vṛṣabhā (वृषभा):—[from vṛṣabha > vṛṣ] f. Name of the three lunar mansions (viz. of Maghā, Pūrva-phalgunī, and Uttaraphalgunī), [Viṣṇu-purāṇa] (cf. vīthi)

17) [v.s. ...] of a river, [Mahābhārata]

context information

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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