Vyantara: 9 definitions

Introduction

Introduction:

Vyantara means something in Jainism, Prakrit, Hinduism, Sanskrit. 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 Jainism

General definition (in Jainism)

Source: Wisdom Library: Jainism

Vyantara (व्यन्तर).—The vyantaras represent a class of Gods (devas) comprising eight groups of deities that wander about the three worlds (adhaloka, madhyaloka and ūrdhvaloka).

The following are the eight groups of vyantaras:

  1. Piśāca,
  2. Bhūta,
  3. Yakṣa,
  4. Rākṣasa,
  5. Kiṃnara,
  6. Kiṃpuruṣa,
  7. Mahoraga,
  8. Gandharva.

Each group of deities is made up of different members and ruled over by two kings (indras), idintified by a colour, a symbol and a species of tree.

Source: Google Books: Jaina Iconography

Vyantara (व्यन्तर).—The Vyantaras or Vāṇamantaras living in the Ratnaprabhā earth are divided into eight chief classes by both the sects (Digambara and Śvetāmbara). They are:

  1. Piśācas,
  2. Bhūtas,
  3. Yakṣas,
  4. Rākṣasas,
  5. Kinnaras,
  6. Kimpuruṣas,
  7. Mahoragas,
  8. Gandharvas.

The Tiloyapannatti further says that vyantara cities of the jambūdvīpa have various types of gṛhas namely sāmānyagṛha, caityagṛha, kadalīgṛha, garbhagṛha, latāgṛha, nādagṛha and āsanagṛha. In the beautiful palaces of the city are various types of seats, of the shape of elephants, lions, parrots, peacocks, crocodiles, eagles, swans etc.

The Prajñāpanā describes the general appearance of all the Vānamantaras or Vyantaras. They are of an unsteady nature attached to dance and music, adorned with vanamālās of various flowers, wearing garments of different colours, and used to taking different shapes and forms, smiling or laughing. They like love-quarrels and adorn their bodies with various ornaments such as the aṅgada, kuṇḍala, karṇapīṭha etc., and with marks of sandal pastes. they carry sword, mudgara (club), śakti (dark) and kunta (spear) in their hands.

Source: archive.org: Trisastisalakapurusacaritra

Vyantara (व्यन्तर) refers to a group of deities living above the Ratnaprabhā-earth in the “lower world” (adhaloka), according to chapter 2.2 [ajitanātha-caritra] of Hemacandra’s 11th century Triṣaṣṭiśalākāpuruṣacaritra (“lives of the 63 illustrious persons”): a Sanskrit epic poem narrating the history and legends of sixty-three important persons in Jainism.—Accordingly: “[...] One thousand yojanas above Ratnaprabhā, with the exception of 100 yojanas above and below, live the eight classes of the Vyantaras in northern and southern rows within the 800 yojanas. [...]”.

In these are:

  1. the Piśācas with the kadamba tree as lāñchana;
  2. the Bhūtas with the sulasa tree as lāñchana;
  3. the Yakṣas with the vaṭa tree as lāñchana;
  4. the Rākṣasas with the khaṭvāṅga tree as lāñchana;
  5. the Kinnaras with the aśoka tree as lāñchana;
  6. the Kimpuruṣas with the campaka tree as lāñchana;
  7. the Mahoragas with the nāgadru tree as lāñchana;
  8. the Gandharvas with the beautiful tumburu tree as lāñchana.

[Among these:] Kāla and Mahākāla are overlords of the Piśācas; Surūpa and Apratirūpa are lords of the Bhutas; Pūrṇabhadra and Māṇibhadra of the Yakṣas; Bhīma and Mahābhīma of the Rākṣasas; Kinnara and Kimpuruṣa of the Kinnaras; Satpuruṣa and Mahāpuruṣa of the Kimpuruṣas; Atikāya and Mahākāya of the Mahoragas; Gītarati and Gītayaśas of the Gandharvas. These are the 16 Indras of the Vyantaras

In the first 100 yojanas of Ratnaprabhā, with the exception of 10 above and 10 below, i.e., in 80 yojanas, there are 8 classes of Vyantaras:

  1. Aprajñaptikas,
  2. Pañcaprajñaptis,
  3. Ṛṣivāditas,
  4. Bhūtavāditas,
  5. Kranditas,
  6. Mahākranditas,
  7. Kūṣmāṇḍas,
  8. Pacakas.

The two Indras in these classes are respectively: Sannihita and Samāna; Dhātṛ and Vidhātṛka; Ṛṣi and Ṛṣipāla; Īśvara and Maheśvara; Suvatsaka and Viśāla; Hāsa and Hāsarati; Śveta and Mahāśveta; Pacaka and Pacakādhipa.

Source: Encyclopedia of Jainism: Tattvartha Sutra 4: The celestial beings (deva)

Vyantara (व्यन्तर) refers to “peripatetic (forest) celestial beings” and represents one of the four classes of Devas, according to the 2nd-century Tattvārthasūtra 4.3. These celestial beings have transformable bodies. They generally live in the deserted places of the middle world. They normally intrude the bodies of human and subhuman beings to make them enjoy or suffer. They have large families and wealth.

The peripatetic gods (vyantara) have eight subclasses namely:

  1. Kinnara (music-obsessed),
  2. Kimpuruṣa, (sex-obsessed)
  3. Mahoraga (great serpent),
  4. Gandharva (musician),
  5. Yakṣa (treasure keeper),
  6. Rākṣasa (demon),
  7. Bhūta (devil),
  8. Piśāca (goblin).

Where do peripatetic celestial beings live? The dwelling places of the seven subclasses are in the upper hard khara part and demons reside in Paṅkabahula part of the first infernal region.

General definition book cover
context information

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 dictionary

Source: DDSA: The practical Sanskrit-English dictionary

Vyantara (व्यन्तर).—A spirit, a kind of supernatural being; अस्माकं कश्चिद् व्यन्तरः सिद्धः (asmākaṃ kaścid vyantaraḥ siddhaḥ) Pt.5.

Derivable forms: vyantaraḥ (व्यन्तरः).

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

Vyantara (व्यन्तर).—i. e. vi-antara, m. A deity (haunting in a tree), [Pañcatantra] 250, 2.

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

Vyantara (व्यन्तर).—1. [neuter] interval, indistinctness.

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Vyantara (व्यन्तर).—2. [masculine] a class of supernatural beings.

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

1) Vyantara (व्यन्तर):—[=vy-antara] [from vy] n. (ifc. f(ā). )

2) [v.s. ...] absence of distinction, [Harivaṃśa]

3) [v.s. ...] an interval, [Gobhila-śrāddha-kalpa]

4) [v.s. ...] m. ‘occupying an intermediate position’, (with Jainas) Name of a class of gods (including Piśācas, Bhūtas, Yakṣas, Rākṣasas, Kiṃ-naras, Kim-puruṣas, Mahôragas and Gandharvas), [Śatruṃjaya-māhātmya; Hemacandra’s Pariśiṣṭaparvan; Pañcatantra] etc.

[Sanskrit to German] (Deutsch Wörterbuch)

Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: Böhtlingk and Roth Grosses Petersburger Wörterbuch

Vyantara (व्यन्तर):—1. (2. vi + a) n.

1) Zwischenraum: sa [GOBH. 4, 2, 21.] —

2) Ununterschiedenheit: niḥsāre kṣubhite loke niṣkriye vyantare (= sarvavarṇasāmyena [Nīlakaṇṭha]) sthite [Harivaṃśa 11194.]

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Vyantara (व्यन्तर):—2. (wie eben)

1) adj. in der Mitte stehend: rām mittelmässig: upāṃśu, vya, uccaiḥ [The Śatapathabrāhmaṇa 6, 5, 3, 4.] —

2) m. Bez. einer Gruppe von Göttern bei den Jaina, welche die Piśāca, Bhūta, Yakṣa, Rākṣasa, Kiṃnara, Kiṃpuruṣa, Mahoraga und Gandharva umfasst, [Hemacandra’s Abhidhānacintāmaṇi 91.] [Weber’s Indische Studien 10, 312.] vyantarāmara [Śatruṃjayamāhātmya 14, 24. 275.] dvātriṃśadvyantarādhipāḥ [1, 28.] tatra vṛkṣe kaścidvyantara āsīt [Pañcatantra 250, 2. 7.] vividheṣu śailakandarāntaravanavivarādiṣu prativasantīti vyantarāḥ [Hemacandra’s Abhidhānacintāmaṇi 91, Scholiast]

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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