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By Swami Harshananda

Ariṣṭa literally means ‘unhurt’.

Though the word ‘ariṣṭa’ is used in several senses (as for instance - proof against injury, crow, soap-berry tree, garlic and so on), in a more technical sense it indicates the ill-omens foreboding misfortune or even death, especially in the case of a patient.

  • In the Āyurveda, the science of health, aristas are decoctions prepared out of grapes or certain roots used as tonics.
  • Ariṣṭa is the name of a demon, a servant of Kariisa, who assumed the form of a bull to attack and kill the child Kṛṣṇa, but was ultimately killed by him.
  • The Mahābhārata mentions about a sage Ariṣṭa who revived his son who had been killed by a prince.
  • Ariṣṭā was one of the wives of the sage Kaśyapa and was the mother of the gandharvas like Hāhā and Huhu.


  • The Concise Encyclopedia of Hinduism, Swami Harshananda, Ram Krishna Math, Bangalore

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