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kiṃnara (P. kinnara; T. mi 'am ci; C. jinnaluo 緊那羅) is a mythical half-human half-animal being. It is one of the eight classes of non-human beings (aṣṭasenā) that attended the Buddha's teaching.[1]

Along with gandharvas, the kiṃnara are celebrated as celestial musicians.[2]

The 84000 glossary states:

A class of semidivine beings that resemble humans to the degree that their very name‍—which means “Is that a man?”‍—suggests some confusion as to their divine status. Kinnaras are mythological beings found in both Buddhist and Hindu literature, where they are portrayed as creatures half human, half animal (horse or bird). They are also usually depicted as highly skilled celestial musicians.[3]

In The Questions of the Kinnara King Druma (Drumakinnararājaparipṛcchā), the kinnara king Druma is praised by the Buddha as being a great bodhisattva.[4]

King Druma appears in such a role in the Saddharmapuṇḍarīkasūtra (Toh 113) where he is one of four kinnara kings (the other three are Mahādharma, Sudharma, and Dharmadhara) attending the Buddha’s teaching. He is also included in the Samādhirājasūtra (Toh 127) where he arrives with his queens to make an offering of his music to the Buddha.[4]


  1. Robert E. Buswell Jr., Donald S. Lopez Jr., The Princeton Dictionary of Buddhism (Princeton: 2014), s.v. kiṃnara
  2. Rangjung a-circle30px.jpg mi_'am_ci, Rangjung Yeshe Wiki
  3. Internet-icon.svg mi 'am ci, Christian-Steinert Dictionary
  4. 4.0 4.1 84000.png Dharmachakra Translation Committee (2023), The Questions of the Kinnara King Druma, "Introduction", 84000 Reading Room