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Bhagavan Krishna with Radharani

Bhagavan, also written Bhagwan or Bhagawan, from the Sanskrit nt-stem bhaga-vant- (nominative भगवान् Bhagavān) literally means "possessing fortune, blessed, prosperous" (from the noun bhaga, meaning "fortune, wealth", cognate to Slavic bog "god", Russian богач (boga'ch) "wealthy"), and hence "illustrious, divine, venerable, holy", etc.[1]

In some traditions of Hinduism it is used to indicate the Supreme Being or Absolute Truth, but with specific reference to that Supreme Being as possessing a personality (a personal God).[2] This personal feature indicated in Bhagavan differentiates its usage from other similar terms[3] such as Brahman, the "Supreme Spirit" or "spirit", and thus, in this usage, Bhagavan is in many ways analogous to the general Christian conception of God.

Bhagavan used as a title of veneration is often translated as "Lord", as in "Bhagavan Krishna", "Bhagavan Shiva", "Bhagavan Swaminarayan", etc. In Buddhism and Jainism, Gautama Buddha, Mahavira and other Tirthankaras, Buddhas and bodhisattvas are also venerated with this title. The feminine of Bhagavat is Bhagawatī and is an epithet of Durga and other goddesses.

The title is also used by a number of contemporary spiritual teachers in India who claim to be Bhagavan or have realized impersonal Brahman.



The Bhagavata Purana (1.2.11) states the definition of Bhagavan to mean the supreme most being:

vadanti tat tattva-vidas
tattvam yaj jnanam advayam
brahmeti paramatmeti
bhagavan iti sabdyate
The Learned Know the Absolute Truth call this nondual substance Brahman, Paramatma or Bhagavan.

The Sanskrit word bhagavan is explained in the Vishnu Purana (6.5.79) by the great authority, Parashara Muni, the father of Vyasa Deva, defines Bhagavan as one who possesses six opulences completely, as follows:

aiśvaryasya samagrasya vīryasya yaśasaḥ śriyaḥ
jñāna-vairāgyayoś caiva ṣannāḥ bhaga itīṇganā

The Supreme Personality who possesses all riches, all strength, all fame, all beauty, all knowledge and all renunciation is called Bhagavan. There are many persons who are very rich, very powerful, very beautiful, very famous, very learned, and very much detached, but no one can claim that he possesses all riches, all strength, etc., entirely.

Early epigraphical evidence


The Bhāgavat religion of early Hinduism is documented epigraphically from around 100 BCE, such as in the inscriptions of the Heliodorus pillar, in which Heliodorus, an Indo-Greek ambassador from Taxila to the court of a Sunga king, describes himself as a Bhagavata ("Heliodorena bhagavatena"):

"Devadevasa Va [sude]vasa Garudadhvajo ayam
karito i[a] Heliodorena bhaga-
vatena Diyasa putrena Takhasilakena
Yonadatena agatena maharajasa
Amtalikitasa upa[m]ta samkasam-rano
Kasiput[r]asa [Bh]agabhadrasa tratarasa
vasena [chatu]dasena rajena vadhamanasa"
"This Garuda-standard of Vasudeva (Vishnu), the God of Gods
was erected here by the Bhagavata Heliodoros,
the son of Dion, a man of Taxila,
sent by the Great Greek (Yona) King
Antialcidas, as ambassador to
King Kasiputra Bhagabhadra, the Savior
son of the princess from Benares, in the fourteenth year of his reign."
(Archaeological Survey of India, Annual Report (1908-1909))
 As we all know that the word "Bhagwan" is the creator of (5 elements) of the universe as below : 

1) Bha - Bhoomi ( Earth ) 2) Gha - Gagan ( Sky )Lord of Sky 3) Waa - Vaayu ( Air )Lord of Air 4) Aa - Agni ( Fire )Lord of Fire 5) Na - Neeru, Neer ( Water )and lord of water

The name which create the universe

In Buddhism

The word "Bhagava" has also been used to describe the Buddha in the earliest Pali texts. The term "Bhagava" has been used in Pali Anussati or recollections as one of the terms that describes the "Tathagatha".

In the Buddha anussati, Bhagavan is defined the following way:

Iti pi so Bhagava

Thus is Buddha,

1) Araham - deserving homage.
2) Samma-sambuddho - perfectly awakened.
3) Vijja-carana sampanno - perfect in true knowledge and conduct.
4) Sugato - well gone (to Nibbana)
5) Lokavidu - knower of the worlds
6) Anuttaro purisa damma sarathi - incomparable leader (lit. charioteer) of persons to be tamed.
7) Satta deva manusanam - teacher of gods and humans.
8) Buddho - awakened one.
9) Bhagavan - Blessed One.

(Sakamunisa bhagavato), is recorded in the kharoshthi dedication of a vase placed in a Buddhist stupa by the Greek meridarch (civil governor of a province) named Theodorus (Tarn, p391):

"Theudorena meridarkhena pratithavida ime sarira sakamunisa bhagavato bahu-jana-stitiye":
"The meridarch Theodorus has enshrined relics of Lord Shakyamuni, for the welfare of the mass of the people"
(Swāt relic vase inscription of the Meridarkh Theodoros [1])

See also


  1. ^ Macdonell Sanskrit-English dictionary
  2. ^ Who is Krishna? "God the person, or Bhagavan"
  3. ^ Bhag-P 1.2.11 "Learned transcendentalists who know the Absolute Truth call this nondual substance Brahman, Paramatma or Bhagavan"