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, ariṣṭas are decoctions prepared out of grapes or certain roots and used as tonics.

Ariṣṭa is the name of a demon, a servant of Kaṁsa, 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 Hūhū.