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Does the Sanskrit word Indrajāla (Indra's net) have any connection to Indra or Arjuna? Has this word been used in any Hindu scripture? If so in what context?

This Sanskrit dictionary suggests the following meanings for the word.

magic

art of magic

illusion

hallucination

delusion

net of indra

sorcery

weapon employed by arjuna

juggle

sham


PS. Please don't answer citing blogs or Wikipedia.

  • Is the dictionary reliable? coz I bookmarked it. I think they gave a literal meaning. – Sarvabhouma Nov 22 '16 at 17:21
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Indrajala has been used in various scriptures. It has various meanings as given by OP in question. It is also a name of weapon used by Arjuna as given in Mahabharata:

Mahabharata, Book 3, SECTION CCXLIII

sthūṇākarṇendrajālaṃ ca sauraṃ cāpi tathārjunaḥ / (17.1)

āgneyaṃ cāpi saumyaṃ ca sasarja kurunandanaḥ // (17.2)

Then Arjuna of the Kuru race shot his well-known weapons called Sthunakarna, Indrajala, Saura, Agneya and Saumya.

In Mahabharata, it is also used in the sense of magic as below:

Mahabharata, Book 5, SECTION CLXI

na māyā hīndrajālaṃ vā kuhakā vā vibhīṣaṇī / (35.1)

āttaśastrasya me yuddhe vahanti pratigarjanāḥ // (35.2)

Neither deception, nor conjuror's tricks, nor jugglery, can terrify the armed man addressed for fight. On the other hand, these provoke only his wrath.

Matsya Purana, Chapter 150 also mention Indrajala weapon for magic.

द्वितीयमिन्द्रजालेन योजितं प्रमुमोच ह। सच्चारास्त्रेण रूपाणां क्षणाच्चके विपर्ययम्। १५६॥

second Indrajala-astra having the properties of magic. By the influence of the sancara-astra the faces of the demons and the Devas were changed into those of the Devas and Danavas.

Atharva Veda also mention the word Indrajala as:

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Another translation of the above Atharva Veda verse is as follows:

  1. This world so mighty was the net of Sakra, of the Mighty One:

    With this, the net of Indra, I envelop all those men with gloom.

Please note that Atharva Veda verses should be recited only by the proper guidance of Guru

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Has this word been used in any Hindu scripture? If so in what context?

There were seven techniques that kings were suppsed to use in ruling their kingdoms. These were known as sama, dana, danda, bedha, maya, upeksha and indrajala. Of these, the first four are the most famous. Sama means the art of gentle persuasion. Dana means the usage of donations or money to achieve one’s purpose. Danda is punishment. And bheda is the art of aggravating dissension amongst parties opposed to each other. Maya means to use illusions or deceit and upeksha is to deliberately ignore people so as to achieve one’s purpose. Indrajala literally means jugglery. In this context, it would mean to perform a balancing act amongst opposing pulls and opposing parties.

Source-This chapter of an abridged Agni Purana .

And, as per this page the beeja Prim is used in Tantrik rituals for Indrajala(magic).

The mantra Prim is the crow bija, used in works of Indrajala (magic).

  • What does prim mean in this context? – Vineet Menon Dec 1 '16 at 5:09
  • @VineetMenon Prim as such has no relevance in this context..Its a beejam(seed) used for magic and magic is Indrajala.. – Rickross Dec 1 '16 at 5:58
  • In standard English, prim means 'being perfect and tidy'. I cannot see how that meaning could be relevant here, hence asked. So, according to you, 'beeja' and 'prim' are words with the same meaning? – Vineet Menon Dec 1 '16 at 6:33
  • Vineet,this has nothing to do with standard english....Do u know about beejas used in mantras in general like the Kama beejam(or Kali beejam) KLIM, or the maya beejam HREEM etc? – Rickross Dec 1 '16 at 8:05
  • aah.. now I get it. It's not an English word at all. It's Sanskrit. (प्रिम्) – Vineet Menon Dec 1 '16 at 9:06
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The word indrajAla philosophically mean the cosmic interconnection between every other entity. First mention of which is found in Atharva. Physically it may also mean other things like maya, magic and deceptive weapon(s).

  • Atharva veda's verse has been quoted by an earlier answer.

  • Bhagavata Gita (7.7),

mattaḥ parataraḿ nānyat

kiñcid asti dhanañ-jaya

mayi sarvam idaḿ protaḿ

sūtre maṇi-gaṇā iva

Shankara's commentary of the above verse states,

... I [Krishna] Myself am the source of the world. Since this is so, therefore, all; this, all things, the Universe; is strung, woven, connected on Me; like cloth in the warp, and like peals on a string.

indra-jAlam idaM dvaitam achintya-rachanAtvataH

ityavismarato hAniH kA vA prArabdha-bhogataH

Never forgetting that the world is unreal and its cause unascertainable, the wise man stands secure from harm in the midst of the enjoyment of his fructifying karma.

This meaning of indrajAlam is repeated in Agyana Bodhini and Avadhuta Gita.

  • Yoga Vashishta (104.1), Vashista tells RAma,

atra te shR^iNu vakShyAmi vR^ittAntaM imam uttamaM |

jAgatI hendrajAla shrIsh chittAyattA yathA sthitA || 104.1

Now you hear me narrate this excellent story which shows the world to be like an indrajAla, i.e, illusory wonder resting on the consciousness.

... King should always endeavour to achieve success through all possible means, i.e., sama (the use of friendly measures), danam (the payment of money), bheda (creating dissensions among the alles of an adversary), danda (war), maya (stratagem or treachery), upeksha (indifference) and indrajalam (deceit).

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