Damaru, Ḍamaru: 18 definitions

Introduction

Introduction:

Damaru means something in Buddhism, Pali, Hinduism, Sanskrit, the history of ancient India, Marathi, Hindi. If you want to know the exact meaning, history, etymology or English translation of this term then check out the descriptions on this page. Add your comment or reference to a book if you want to contribute to this summary article.

Alternative spellings of this word include Damru.

Images (photo gallery)

In Hinduism

Shilpashastra (iconography)

Source: Google Books: Elements of Hindu iconography

Ḍamaru (डमरु) is a small drum with a hollow body open at both ends. Over each of the open ends of this hollow body is stretched a membrane which is held in position firmly by means of a string passing to and fro over the length of the body of the drum. By pressing these strings, the tension of the membranes may be altered at will so as to produce different notes by striking thereon, or by rubbing one of the membranes with a resined stick. Sometimes there is a string attached to the middle of the body of the drum; and to the end of this string is attached a bead. By holding the drum in the middle and shaking it suitably, this string with the bead may be made to strike against the membranes alternately and produce the required sound.

Source: Red Zambala: Hindu Icons and Symbols | Trinity

Ḍamaru refers to the “hour-glass shaped drum”, held in the right upper hand of Naṭarāja—symbolises the act of creation. According to Tantric teachings the act of creation takes place through sonic vibration. This primary sound is symbolised by the drum, from which all the sounds of the Sanskrit alphabet originated at the beginning of time. The process of creating, cognising and naming are all symbolised by the drum.

The two sides of the drum represent the pairs of opposites and their merging in the centre. God and evil, male and female, day and night etc. are all merely two necessary ends of the same continuum.

Source: Red Zambala: Hindu Icons and Symbols | Introduction

Ḍamaru (“hour-glass drum”).—Union of the masculine and feminine and the projection of the universe through sound. When the two halves part the sound ceases and the universe dissolves.

Source: Shodhganga: The significance of the mūla-beras (śilpa)

1) Ḍamaru (डमरु) refers to a type of musical instrument, representing one of the several “attributes” (āyudha) or “accessories” of a detiy commonly seen depicted in Hindu iconography, defined according to texts dealing with śilpa (arts and crafs), known as śilpaśāstras.—The ḍamaru is an instrument generally found in the hands of the images of Śiva and of his manifestations such as Bhairava. Ḍamaru is a small drum with a hollow body open at both ends. Over each of the open ends of this hollow body is stretched a membrane which is held in position firmly by means of a string passing to and fro over the length of the body of the drum. By pressing these strings, the tension of the membranes may be altered at will so as to produce different notes by striking thereon, or by rubbing one of the membranes with a resined stick. Sometimes there is a string attached to the middle of the body of the [Ḍamaru] drum; and to the end of this string is attached a bead.

By holding the [Ḍamaru] drum in the middle and shaking it suitably, this string with the bead may be made to strike against the membranes alternately and produce the required sound.

2) Ḍamaru (डमरु) or Ḍamaruhasta refers to “holding drum” and represents one of the twenty-four gestures with a single hand, as defined according to texts dealing with śilpa (arts and crafs), known as śilpaśāstras.—Accordingly, pratimā-lakṣaṇa (body postures of the icons) is comprised of hand gestures (hasta, mudrā or kai-amaiti), stances/poses (āsanas) and inflexions of the body (bhaṅgas). There are thirty-two types of hands [viz., ḍamaru-hasta] classified into two major groups known as tolirkai (functional and expressive gestures) and elirkai (graceful posture of the hand).

Shilpashastra book cover
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Shilpashastra (शिल्पशास्त्र, śilpaśāstra) represents the ancient Indian science (shastra) of creative arts (shilpa) such as sculpture, iconography and painting. Closely related to Vastushastra (architecture), they often share the same literature.

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Kavya (poetry)

Source: archive.org: Naisadhacarita of Sriharsa

Ḍamaru (डमरु) refers to “a kind of drum generally used by the Kāpālikas”.—Cf. Lasaḍḍimba (“top”) which is mentioned in the Naiṣadha-carita 22.53.

context information

Kavya (काव्य, kavya) refers to Sanskrit poetry, a popular ancient Indian tradition of literature. There have been many Sanskrit poets over the ages, hailing from ancient India and beyond. This topic includes mahakavya, or ‘epic poetry’ and natya, or ‘dramatic poetry’.

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Shaktism (Shakta philosophy)

Source: Google Books: Manthanabhairavatantram

Ḍamaru (डमरु) refers to a “double-headed drum”, according to the Brahmayāmala verse 21.72-73ab.—The renouncer in Vedic times wore ochre coloured clothes. This practice continues amongst Śaiva renouncers who attribute the origin of their orders to Śaṅkarācārya. Vaiṣṇava renouncers, who in their outer appearance resemble in many respects their Śaiva counterparts, generally wear white. Modern Śākta renouncers wear red clothes. A similar practice is recorded in the Brahmayāmala, a text that may well belong to the seventh or eighth century. In one of a series of vows (vrata) described there, the initiate may chose to perform he should wear “black and red clothes and no upper garment”. Another prescribes that: “wearing red clothes, a red garland and (smeared with) unguent, he has red ornaments and holds an ascetic’s staff. In particular, he should always carry a skull and a double-headed drum [i.e., ḍamaru]”.

Shaktism book cover
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Shakta (शाक्त, śākta) or Shaktism (śāktism) represents a tradition of Hinduism where the Goddess (Devi) is revered and worshipped. Shakta literature includes a range of scriptures, including various Agamas and Tantras, although its roots may be traced back to the Vedas.

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In Buddhism

Tibetan Buddhism (Vajrayana or tantric Buddhism)

Source: academia.edu: The Structure and Meanings of the Heruka Maṇḍala

Ḍamaru (डमरु) refers to a “small drum” and represents one of the items held in the right hand of Heruka: one of the main deities of the Herukamaṇḍala described in the 10th century Ḍākārṇava chapter 15. Heruka is positioned in the Lotus (padma) at the center; He is the origin of all heroes; He has 17 faces (with three eyes on each) and 76 arms [holding, for example, ḍamaru]; He is half black and half green in color; He is dancing on a flaming sun placed on Bhairava and Kālarātrī.

Tibetan Buddhism book cover
context information

Tibetan Buddhism includes schools such as Nyingma, Kadampa, Kagyu and Gelug. Their primary canon of literature is divided in two broad categories: The Kangyur, which consists of Buddha’s words, and the Tengyur, which includes commentaries from various sources. Esotericism and tantra techniques (vajrayāna) are collected indepently.

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India history and geography

Source: Mandala Texts: Parzo: Wood Carving

Damaru (ཌ་མ་རུ་) refers to certain traditional Bhutanese religious instruments, made in wood-carving (patra).—Bhutan has a vibrant culture of patra (པ་ཏྲ་) or wood carving. The patra carving is seen the production of books, images, artchitectual designs, furniture and many other wooden artefacts. [...] Bhutanese carvers also carve designs and motifs on furniture. Traditional tables known as chogdrom (ཅོག་སྒྲོམ་) have carved decorative designs on three sides. High thrones and seats are also adorned with intricate carvings. The altar piece, which is kept in the family shrine in the shape and design of a miniature temple and called choesham (མཆོག་གཤམ་), is often made with many detailed and intricate carvings. Religious instruments such as stupas, phurpa (ཕུར་པ) dagger and damaru (ཌ་མ་རུ་) handheld drums are also carved from wood. Musical instruments such as large drums and dramnyen (སྒྲ་སྙན་) lute are also carved out of wood.

India history book cover
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The history of India traces the identification of countries, villages, towns and other regions of India, as well as royal dynasties, rulers, tribes, local festivities and traditions and regional languages. Ancient India enjoyed religious freedom and encourages the path of Dharma, a concept common to Buddhism, Hinduism, and Jainism.

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Languages of India and abroad

Marathi-English dictionary

Source: DDSA: The Molesworth Marathi and English Dictionary

ḍamaru (डमरु).—m (S) A sort of tabor shaped like an hourglass. 2 A little rattle, a windlass &c. of this shape.

Source: DDSA: The Aryabhusan school dictionary, Marathi-English

ḍamaru (डमरु).—m A sort of tabor shaped like an hour–glass. A little rattle.

context information

Marathi is an Indo-European language having over 70 million native speakers people in (predominantly) Maharashtra India. Marathi, like many other Indo-Aryan languages, evolved from early forms of Prakrit, which itself is a subset of Sanskrit, one of the most ancient languages of the world.

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Sanskrit dictionary

Source: DDSA: The practical Sanskrit-English dictionary

Ḍamaru (डमरु).—A sort of small drum shaped like an hourglass and generally used by Kāpālikas; (sometime regarded as n. also); चण्डैर्डमरुनिर्घोषैर्घर्घरं श्रुतवान् ध्वनिम् (caṇḍairḍamarunirghoṣairghargharaṃ śrutavān dhvanim) Rāj. T.2.99.

Derivable forms: ḍamaruḥ (डमरुः).

Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: Shabda-Sagara Sanskrit-English Dictionary

Ḍamaru (डमरु).—m.

(-ruḥ) 1. A musical instrument, a sort of small drum, shaped like an hour-glass, and held in one hand usually carried by Kapalikas. 2. Any thing surprising, any strange occurence, &c. E. ḍama imitative sound, to go or get uṇ affix and the vowel changed.

Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: Monier-Williams Sanskrit-English Dictionary

1) Ḍamaru (डमरु):—[from ḍamara] m. ([cf. Lexicographers, esp. such as amarasiṃha, halāyudha, hemacandra, etc.]) a sacred drum, shaped like an hourglass, used by the god Śiva and by Buddhist mendicant monks for a musical accompaniment in chanting, cf. [Monier-Williams’ Buddhism ]384, 385 [Rājataraṅgiṇī ii, 99; Prabodha-candrodaya iii, 14]

2) [v.s. ...] surprise, [cf. Lexicographers, esp. such as amarasiṃha, halāyudha, hemacandra, etc.]

Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: Yates Sanskrit-English Dictionary

Ḍamaru (डमरु):—(ruḥ) 2. m. Musical instrument, small drum; strange event.

[Sanskrit to German]

Damaru in German

context information

Sanskrit, also spelled संस्कृतम् (saṃskṛtam), is an ancient language of India commonly seen as the grandmother of the Indo-European language family (even English!). Closely allied with Prakrit and Pali, Sanskrit is more exhaustive in both grammar and terms and has the most extensive collection of literature in the world, greatly surpassing its sister-languages Greek and Latin.

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Hindi dictionary

Source: DDSA: A practical Hindi-English dictionary

Ḍamarū (डमरू) [Also spelled damru]:—(nm) a leather-covered musical percussion instrument, narrow in the middle and wider at the ends; ~[madhya] a narrow strip of land or water connecting two expanses of water or two tracts of land respectively.

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