Yayati, Yāyati, Yayāti: 18 definitions


Yayati means something in Hinduism, Sanskrit, Buddhism, Pali, Tamil. 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

Natyashastra (theatrics and dramaturgy)

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

One of the Hands of Famous Emperors.—Yayāti: the Tāmracūda hand.

Natyashastra book cover
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Natyashastra (नाट्यशास्त्र, nāṭyaśāstra) refers to both the ancient Indian tradition (shastra) of performing arts, (natya—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), construction and performance of Theater, and Poetic works (kavya).

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Purana and Itihasa (epic history)

Source: Wisdom Library: Bhagavata Purana

Yayāti (ययाति):—One of the six sons of Nahuṣa (son of Āyu). Yayāti became the king because his father Nahuṣa degraded to the status of a python, due to him harming Indra’s wife Śacī. He had two wifes, namely Devayānī (daughter of Śukrācārya) and Śarmiṣṭhā (daughter of Vṛṣaparvā). (see Bhāgavata Purāṇa 9.18.3)

Devayānī gave birth to Yadu and Turvasu, while Śarmiṣṭhā gave birth to Druhyu, Anu and Pūru. (see Bhāgavata Purāṇa 9.18.33)

Source: archive.org: Puranic Encyclopedia

Yayāti (ययाति).—An eminent king of the Lunar dynasty.

. Genealogy and Birth. From Viṣṇu were descended in the following order—Brahmā—Atri—Candra—Budha -Purūravas—Āyus—Nahuṣa—Yayāti. (See full article at Story of Yayāti from the Puranic encyclopaedia by Vettam Mani)

Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: The Purana Index

1a) Yayāti (ययाति).—The middle son of Nahuṣa and Virajā, the mindborn daughter of Ajyapas: married Śarmiṣṭhā, daughter of Vṛṣaparvan,1 and had three sons by her; pleased with him Indra gave him a golden chariot yoked with swift horses and which became the ratha of the Paurava kings.2 Became king after his father: desire for more territory; placed his younger brothers in charge of the four quarters of the kingdom; nature of his good rule described; in the course of a hunting expedition, he heard the cry of a girl coming out of a well and going near it found a girl inside standing helpless and naked; he gave her his upper cloth to wear and lifted her up. She was Devayānī, the daughter of Śukra and she became his wife and bore him two sons, Yadu and Turvasu. Śukra in offering his daughter to the king asked him not to share his bed with Śarmiṣṭhā. In a weak moment, forgetting his promise, he yielded to the entreaties of Śarmiṣṭhā and on this Devayānī departed to Śukra's place. Yayāti followed her and was cursed by Śukra to become old; but Śukra said that he could take the youth of somebody by exchanging it for his old age. He enquired of all his sons and all except Pūru refused to comply with his request. With Pūru's youth he enjoyed for long the company of Devayānī; narrated to her an old story of an ewe found in a well, loving a ram, who was not faithful at first but who spent ultimately a long time of enjoyment with her. He compared himself to that ram and said that he should thereafter bestow his thought on Hari. So he returned his youth to Pūru and led a life of penance at Bhṛgutunga after anointing Pūru on the throne and appointing his other sons in different parts of the kingdom; discourses of, to Pūru on gentleness and friendliness to all; was devoted to Hari. Parīkṣit compared to Yayāti for his dharma.3 Cursed that Yadu and his line be debarred from succeeding to the throne, though five dynasties of his sons are distinguished like the sun's rays.4 Tenth in generation from Prajāpati.5 Went to heaven but Indra sent him back; one version is that he stands in the antarikṣa and the other is that he went back to heaven; met Indra and narrated Pūru's coronation: Indra told him of the completion of his righteousness and hence birth on the earth.6 Falling down, met Aṣṭaka and the other grandsons, who cleared him of his doubts regarding the course of fate and man's helplessress, the fruits of karma, the worlds enjoyed by him, the bhauma naraka, the means to get samjñā, and the duties of four āśramas and munis.7 These with Pratardana, Vasuman and Śibi offered a part of their punyam to make Yayāti enjoy heaven. Śibi leading Yayāti to heaven in a golden chariot as a result of their good deeds and truthfulness.8

  • 1) Bhāgavata-purāṇa VI. 6. 32; Brahmāṇḍa-purāṇa III. 10. 95; 68. 12-4; Matsya-purāṇa 15. 23; Vāyu-purāṇa 1. 143; 73. 46.
  • 2) Ib. 93. 16-20.
  • 3) Bhāgavata-purāṇa IX. ch. 18 (whole); 19. 1-25; XII. 3. 10; X. 60. 41; I. 12. 24; Brahmāṇḍa-purāṇa III. 68. 14-105; Matsya-purāṇa 24. 50, 66; 27. 14-22; chh. 30-35; 34. 4-7; 36. 6-13; Vāyu-purāṇa 93. 13-16 and 20-76.
  • 4) Bhāgavata-purāṇa X. 45. 13; 74. 36; Brahmāṇḍa-purāṇa III. 71. 202; 74. 275; Vāyu-purāṇa 93. 76-102.
  • 5) Matsya-purāṇa 25. 4.
  • 6) Ib. 35. 4-5; chh. 36-37.
  • 7) Ib. chh. 38-40.
  • 8) Ib. 42. 13-28; 273. 80.

1b) A Yāma deva.*

  • * Brahmāṇḍa-purāṇa II. 13. 92.
Source: JatLand: List of Mahabharata people and places

Yayāti (ययाति) is a name mentioned in the Mahābhārata (cf. I.70.28) and represents one of the many proper names used for people and places. Note: The Mahābhārata (mentioning Yayāti) is a Sanskrit epic poem consisting of 100,000 ślokas (metrical verses) and is over 2000 years old.

Source: Shodhganga: The saurapurana - a critical study

Yayāti (ययाति) is the son of Virajā and Nahuṣa: the eldest of the five sons of Āyu (Āyus), according to the Vaṃśānucarita section of the 10th century Saurapurāṇa: one of the various Upapurāṇas depicting Śaivism.—Accordingly, [...] Nahuṣa married Virajā the daughter of Pitṛ and was blessed with five sons of whom Yayāti was the most famous. Yayāti had two wives—Devayānī (the daughter of Śukra) and Śarmiṣṭhā (the daughter of Vṛṣaparvan). Devayānī gave birth to Yadu and Turvasu while Śarmiṣṭhā gave birth to Duhya, Cāru and Puru. Being disinterested in enjoying kingdom king Yayāti consecrated Puru as the king and went to the forest.

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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Vaishnavism (Vaishava dharma)

Source: ISKCON Press: Glossary

Yayāti (ययाति).—The king who, because of his lust, was cursed by Śukrācārya to prematurely accept old age.

Vaishnavism book cover
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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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General definition (in Hinduism)

Source: Apam Napat: Indian Mythology

1) Yayati was a Kuru prince, of the Chandra dynasty. He once happened to rescue Devayani from a well in the forest. Later, with her father's consent he married her. He broke a promise to his father-in-law, that of remaining faithful to his wife, by marrying Sharmishta, the daughter of the King Vrishaparva of the Asuras. For this he was cursed with premature old age, which could be alliveated if one of his sons would agree to bear it instead. Only Puru, his youngest son (by Sharmishta) would agree.

2) Yayati was a king of the solar dynasty, the son of Nahusha, and an ancestor of Rama. Nabhaga is his son.

Source: WikiPedia: Hinduism

Yayati (ययाति): Emperor of the Bharata race who rescued Devayani from the well into which she had been thrown by Sarmishtha. He later married both Devayani and Sarmishtha. One of the ancestors of the Pandavas who became prematurely old due to Sukracharya's curse.

Languages of India and abroad

Pali-English dictionary

Source: Sutta: The Pali Text Society's Pali-English Dictionary

Yāyati, see yāti. (Page 554)

Pali book cover
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Pali is the language of the Tipiṭaka, which is the sacred canon of Theravāda Buddhism and contains much of the Buddha’s speech. Closeley related to Sanskrit, both languages are used interchangeably between religions.

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Sanskrit dictionary

Source: DDSA: The practical Sanskrit-English dictionary

Yayāti (ययाति).—[yasya vāyoriva yātiḥ sarvatra rathagatiryasya Tv.] Name of a celebrated king of the lunar race, son of Nahuṣa; ययातेरिव शर्मिष्ठा भर्तुर्बहुमता भव (yayāteriva śarmiṣṭhā bharturbahumatā bhava) Ś.4.7. [He married Devayānī, daughter of Śukra, and Śarmiṣṭhā, daughter of the king of Asuras, was told by her father to be her servant as a sort of recompense for her insulting conduct towards her on a previous occasion. (See Devayānī.) But Yayāti fell in love with this servant and privately married her. Aggrieved at this, Devayānī went to her father and complained of the conduct of her husband, on whom, therefore, Śukra inflicted premature infirmity and old age. Yayāti, however, propitiated him and obtained from him permission to transfer his decrepitude to any one who would consent to take it. He asked his five sons, but all refused except Puru, the youngest. Yayāti accordingly transferred his infirmity to Puru, and being once more in the prime of youth, passed his time in the enjoyment of sensual pleasures. This he did for 1 years, and yet his desire was not satisfied. At last, however, with a vigorous effort he renounced his sensual life, restored his youth to Puru, and having made him successor to the throne, repaired to the woods to lead a pious life and meditate upon the Supreme Spirit.]

Derivable forms: yayātiḥ (ययातिः).

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

Yayāti (ययाति).—m.

(-tiḥ) A monarch of India the fifth of the lunar race and son of Nahusa. At first he married Devajani, the only child of Sukra, the preceptor of the demons and subsequently Sarmist'Ha the daughter of Vrishaparvan, who was ordered by her father to attend on Devajani as a servant, as a punishment for her throwing her in a well. For his marrying and making love to Sharmist'Ha Yajati became old and infirm before his time through the curse of Sukra, but having appeased his father-in-law obtained permission to transfer his decrepitude to any one who would consent to take it. Out of his five sons Puru complied with his father’s wishes. The King being endowed with renovated youth, passed his time in the enjoyment of pleasures for a full thousand years, and after which he restored his youth to Puru and resuming his own decrepitude departed to the wood of penance. E. yasya vāyoriva yātisarvatra rathagatirasya .

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

Yayāti (ययाति).—m. The name of a king, [Śākuntala, (ed. Böhtlingk.)] [distich] 82.

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

Yayāti (ययाति).—[masculine] [Name] of an ancient patriarch.

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

Yayāti (ययाति):—m. ([probably] [from] √yat) Name of a celebrated monarch of the lunar race (son of king Nahuṣa whom he succeeded ; from his two wives came the two lines of the lunar race, Yadu being the son of Devayānī, daughter of Uśanas or Śukra, and Puru of Śarmiṣṭhā, daughter of Vṛṣa-parvan; Yayāti Nāhuṣa is also represented as the author of [Ṛg-veda ix, 101, 4-6]), [Ṛg-veda; Maitrī-upaniṣad; Mahābhārata; Kāvya literature etc.]

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

Yayāti (ययाति):—(tiḥ) 2. m. A monarch, the fifth of the lunar race.

[Sanskrit to German]

Yayati in German

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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 (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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