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The stem hiraṇ- is from Proto-Indo-European *ǵʰl̥h₃-en-, from *ǵʰel- (to shine). Cognate to Avestan [script needed] (zarańiia-) and Old Persian [script needed] (daraniya-).


हिरण्य (híraṇyan

  1. gold (originally 'uncoined gold or other precious metal', in later language 'coined gold' or 'money')
  2. any vessel or ornament made of gold (as 'a golden spoon')
  3. a gold piece or coin
  4. cowry
  5. semen virile
  6. substance, imperishable matter
  7. a particular measure
  8. the Datura or thorn apple



  • Sir Monier Monier-Williams, A Sanskrit-English dictionary etymologically and philologically arranged with special reference to cognate Indo-European languages, Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1898, page 1299
  • Manfred Mayrhofer (1986–2001) Etymologisches Wörterbuch des Altindoarischen, in 3 vols, Heidelberg: Carl Winter Universitätsverlag, volume 2, page 816