Yamuna, aka: Yamunā, Yāmuna, Yāmunā; 14 Definition(s)


Yamuna 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.

In Hinduism


Yamunā (यमुना).—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.

The Varāhapurāṇa is categorised as a Mahāpurāṇa, and was originally composed of 24,000 metrical verses, possibly originating from before the 10th century. It is composed of two parts and Sūta is the main narrator.

(Source): Wisdom Library: Varāha-purāṇa

1a) Yamunā (यमुना).—(kālindī) (R.) in Bhāratavarṣa from the Himālayas; a divine stream.1 A mahānadī.2 Here Vidura met Uddhava;3 the co-wives who administered poison to Citraketu's son, had a purificatory bath in; Citraketu, who was initiated into the vidyā by Nārada had his preliminary bath in this river.4 On its banks Vaivasvata Manu performed tapas for progeny, and Bharata celebrated his horse sacrifice. On its banks stands Madhuvana near Bṛṇdāvana. Kṛṣṇa, his brother, and others played there and once defeated the Asura Vatsa. Gopi girls bathed there as part of the kātyayanī vrata. Nanda used to bathe here.5 Immersed in its waters Saubhari performed penance. Poisoned by the Kālīya; Kṛṣṇa sent away the reptile to the sea and made its waters drinkable; unapproachable to Garuḍa by a curse of Saubhari.6 Akrūra who took Kṛṣṇa and Rāma to Mathurā, had his bath on the way in this river. Inside the waters he saw both Kṛṣṇa and Rāma; also saw Hari on the Śeṣa. Here Kṛṣṇa killed Haṃsa.7 On its bank Jarāsandha encamped to besiege Mathurā. Here Kṛṣṇa had his avabhṛta after the horse sacrifice. Here again Kṛṣṇa and Arjuṇa met Kālindī.8 During his pilgrimage Balarāma visited this.9 Was in floods when Vasudeva crossed it for Gokula with the new born babe, Kṛṣṇa.10 Sacred for śrāddha; sometimes too hot and sometimes too cold; daughter of Mārtāṇḍa and Samjñā and sister of Yama; got changed into a sacred river. On its northern bank is Prayāgā (Pratiṣṭhāna).11 Sacred to Mṛgāvatī; sacred to the Pitṛs;12 a boundary of the kingdom of Pitṛs;13 in the chariot of Tripurāri;14 one of the 16 wives of Havyavāhana (fire)15 forms the left side of the Veda;16 daughter of Sureṇu and Sūrya;17 a sacred river.18

  • 1) Bhāgavata-purāṇa V. 19. 18; Vāyu-purāṇa 45. 95.
  • 2) Ib. 104. 50.
  • 3) Bhāgavata-purāṇa III. 1. 24; 2. 27; IV. 2. 35.
  • 4) Ib. VI. 16. 14 and 16.
  • 5) Ib. IX, 2. 1; 4. 30; 20. 25; X. 11. 36-43; 22. 2, 6, 36; 28. 1.
  • 6) Ib. IX. 6. 39; X. 15. 47-8; 16. 4, 60-7; 17. 8-11.
  • 7) Ib. X. 39. 38-46; 76. 2 [8]; 78. [1).
  • 8) Ib. X. [50 (v) 6 and 14]; 89. 63 [4]; 58. 16-7.
  • 9) Ib. X. 78. 20.
  • 10) Ib. X. 3. 50.
  • 11) Brahmāṇḍa-purāṇa II. 16. 25; III. 13. 71-2; 59. 23 and 83; 66. 21; 73. 117; IV. 15. 23; Matsya-purāṇa 11. 4, 39; 104. 19; 108. 22; Vāyu-purāṇa 77. 69-70.
  • 12) Matsya-purāṇa 13. 40.
  • 13) Ib. 22. 20.
  • 14) Ib. 110. 5; 114. 21; 133. 23; 163. 61; 239. 18.
  • 15) Ib. 51. 13; Vāyu-purāṇa 29. 13.
  • 16) Ib. 104. 77; 108. 79.
  • 17) Ib. 58. 88; 84. 22.
  • 18) Brahmāṇḍa-purāṇa II. 12. 14; Vāyu-purāṇa 98. 117; Viṣṇu-purāṇa III. 14. 18; V. 3. 18; 7. 7ff; 18. 33.

1b) (personified) sister of Yama. Once Balarāma invited her for watersports, and got enraged at her delay. Hence he dragged her by means of his plough through Bṛṇdāvan. This changed her course; then she prayed for mercy which was granted. She presented Rāma with clothes and jewels. Even now the change in the course is noticeable.*

  • * Bhāgavata-purāṇa X. 3. 50; Ib. ch. 65 (whole); Viṣṇu-purāṇa V. 25. 8-11, VI. 8. 31.

2) Yāmuna (यामुन).—A tribe.*

  • * Bhāgavata-purāṇa I. 10. 34.

3) Yāmunā (यामुना).—On its north bank was situated Pratiṣṭhāna*

  • * Vāyu-purāṇa 91. 50.
(Source): Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: The Purana Index
Purāṇa 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.

Nāṭyaśāstra (theatrics and dramaturgy)

One of the Hands of the Famous Rivers.—Yamunā, the Rekhā hand. Also see: Vyāvṛttacāpaveṣṭitau.

(Source): archive.org: The mirror of gesture (abhinaya-darpana)
Nāṭyaśāstra 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).

Kathā (narrative stories)

Yamunā (यमुना).—One of the four rivers if India mentioned by Soḍḍhala.—Yamunā takes its rise from Kalindagiri, a portion of the Bandarapuccha mountain, whence it is called Kalindakanyā. It falls into the Ganges at Allahabad and a bath at the confluence is considered very meritorious. The waters of the river had been purified by the contact of the body of Kṛṣṇa, who used to have water sports along with the multitude of Gopīs in love. It throws off foams on its bank as it were the worn and torn pieces of the slough of Kalīyabhujaṅgama. Mathurā is situated on the bank of the river Yamunā.

(Source): Shodhganga: A critical appreciation of soddhalas udayasundarikatha
Kathā book cover
context information

Kathās (कथा) are special kind of Sanskrit literature: they are a kind of a mix between Itihāsa (historical legends) and Mahākāvya (epic poetry). Some Kathās reflect socio-political instructions for the King while others remind the reader of the historical deeds of the Gods, sages and heroes.

Kāvya (poetry)

Yamunā (यमुना) is the name a locality mentioned in Rājaśekhara’s 10th-century Kāvyamīmāṃsā.—The River Jumnā.

(Source): Shodhganga: The Kavyamimamsa of Rajasekhara
context information

Kāvya (काव्य) 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 mahākāvya, or ‘epic poetry’ and nāṭya, or ‘dramatic poetry’.

General definition (in Hinduism)

Yamunā (यमुना) is a Sanskrit word referring to a dwelling place or resort of the celestial nymphs (apsaras). They live chiefly on earth around rivers or on mountains, as in the courts of all the gods.

(Source): Wisdom Library: Hinduism

Yamunā (यमुना, ‘twin’) the name of a river, so called as running parallel with the Ganges, is mentioned thrice in the Rigveda, and not rarely later. According to the Rigveda, the Tṛtsus and Sudās won a great victory against their foes on the Yamunā; there is no reason whatever to accept Hopkins’ view that the Yamunā here was another name of the Paruṣṇī (Ravi). In the Atharvaveda the salve (Āñjana) of the Yamunā (Yāmuna) is mentioned along with that of Trikakud (Traikakuda) as of value. In the Aitareya and the Śatapatha-brāhmaṇas the Bharatas are famed as victorious on the Yamunā. Other Brāhmaṇas also mention this river. In the Mantrapāṭha the Sālvas are spoken of as dwelling on its banks.

(Source): archive.org: Vedic index of Names and Subjects

Yamuna (जमुना): A river (also spelled Jamuna), joining with the Ganges. Literally meaning "twins" in Sanskrit, as it runs parallel to the Ganges, its name is mentioned at many places in the Rig Veda, written during the Vedic period ca between 1700–1100 BC, and also in the later Atharvaveda, and the Brahmanas including Aitareya Brahmana and Shatapatha Brahmana.

(Source): WikiPedia: Hinduism

May Śrī Yamunā, who is the daughter of Sūryadeva, who saves one from having to enter the city of her brother Yamarāja, the sight of whom enables the most sinful persons to cross the ocean of sin, and the sweetness of whose water charms the hearts of everyone, always purify me.

May Śrī Yamunā, who is the daughter of Sūryadeva, who decorates the great Khāṇḍava forest with a stream of pleasant waters, who is filled with lotus flowers and dancing birds, and who blinds the terrible sins of they who desire to bathe in her, always purify me.

May Śrī Yamunā, who is the daughter of Sūryadeva, who is filled with the warblings of thousands of joyful mallikākṣa swans, who is worshiped by the Vaiṣṇavas, devas, siddhas, and kinnaras, and the slightest scent of the fragrant breeze moving on whose shores stops the cycle of repeated birth and death, always purify me.

May Śrī Yamunā, who is the daughter of Sūryadeva, who is the famous, splendid, spiritual river flowing through the Bhuḥ, Bhuvaḥ, and Svaḥ planets, who burns away the greatest sins, and who is fragrant with scented ointments from Lord Kṛṣṇa's transcendental body, always purify me.

(Source): ISKCON: Śrī Stavamālā

In Buddhism

Theravada (major branch of Buddhism)

1. Yamuna. The second of the five great rivers of Jambudipa, which are often used in similes. Vin.ii.237; A.iv.101, 198, 202; v.22; S.ii.135; v.401, etc.; Ud.v.5; Mil.114 (where ten rivers are mentioned); Mtu.iii.203, 363.

On its banks were Kosambi and Madhura. For its origin see Ganga. It is stated in the story of Bakkula (ThagA.i.344) that newly born children were bathed in the waters of the Yamuna for their health. The river was evidently the special resort of the Nagas (See, e.g., D.ii.259; J.vi.158, 161ff., 164, 197).

It is said that the fish of the Yamuna considered themselves more beautiful than those of the Ganga. J.ii.151ff. under the river was the realm of the Naga king, Dhatarattha (J.vi.200). The waters of the Ganga mix very easily with those of the Yamuna (J.v.496; vi. 412, 415).

2. Yamuna. A channel branching off westward from the Punnavaddhana Tank. Cv.lxxix.47.

(Source): Pali Kanon: Pali Proper Names
context information

Theravāda is a major branch of Buddhism having the the Pali canon (tipitaka) as their canonical literature, which includes the vinaya-pitaka (monastic rules), the sutta-pitaka (Buddhist sermons) and the abhidhamma-pitaka (philosophy and psychology).

India history and geogprahy

Yamunā (यमुना) is the name of a river found in India.—The river Is mentioned also by the name Kālindī in Eran Stone inscription of Budhagupta. The river is identical with modern Jumna or Yamunā, joining the Gaṅgā near Allahabad, the Triveṇī Saṃgama.

(Source): archive.org: Geography in Ancient Indian inscriptions

Yamunā (यमुना) is the same as the river Kālindī . The Yamunā has got its source from the Kalindadeśa, a mountainous country situated in the Bāndarapuccha range or the Himālaya and hence the river is called Kālindī. In the Purāṇas we get the earlier mention of Kālindī by both the names, Kālindī as well as Yamunā. The Kālindī is also mentioned in the Śiśupālavadha of Māga.

(Source): archive.org: Personal and geographical names in the Gupta inscriptions
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.

Languages of India and abroad

Marathi-English dictionary

yamunā (यमुना).—f (S) The Yamuna or Jumna river.

(Source): DDSA: The Molesworth Marathi and English Dictionary

yamunā (यमुना).—f The Jumna river.

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