Darpaṇa, Darpana, Darpaṇā: 20 definitions



Darpaṇa means something in Buddhism, Pali, Hinduism, Sanskrit, Jainism, Prakrit, Marathi. 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.

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In Hinduism

Shilpashastra (iconography)

Source: Google Books: Elements of Hindu iconography

Darpaṇa (दर्पण) means a mirror. In ancient times, when glass was either unknown or was not employed for making mirrors, highly polished metal plates of various designs were utilised to serve as mirrors. It may be remarked by the way that this old speculum industry has not yet died out in India. In a place called Āramuḷa in Travancore, such mirrors are still manufactured; and the mirrors made by the workmen of this place are so true that they do not show distortion in reflection. Glass mirrors are not allowed to be used in temple service in Malabar, and it is not rare to find in wealthy temples in this part of the country speculum mirrors even as large as three feet by two feet. In sculptures the darpaṇa is either circular or oval in form, and is mounted on a well-wrought handle.

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

Darpaṇa (दर्पण, “mirror”) refers to 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 śilpa texts have classified the various accessories under the broad heading of āyudha or karuvi (implement), including even flowers, animals, and musical instruments. Certain utensils and other objects that are commonly found in the hands of the images are, for example Darpaṇa.

Darpaṇa means a mirror. In ancient times, highly polished metal plates of various designs were utilized to serve as mirrors. The darpaṇa is either circular or oval in form, and is mounted on a well-wrought handle.

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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Purana and Itihasa (epic history)

[«previous (D) next»] — Darpaṇa in Purana glossary
Source: archive.org: Shiva Purana - English Translation

Darpaṇa (दर्पण) refers to a “mirror”, according to the Śivapurāṇa 2.2.21. Accordingly as Brahmā narrated to Nārada:—“[...] When they [viz., Śiva’s Gaṇas (attendants)] went away and He was left alone with Satī, Śiva rejoiced much and sported with her. [...] While Satī was admiring at the reflection of her face in the mirror (darpaṇa), Śiva came behind and peeped into the reflection of His own face”.

Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: The Purana Index

Darpaṇa (दर्पण).—A looking-glass to be installed by the side of a deity.*

  • * Matsya-purāṇa 57. 18; 265. 19; 289. 10.
Purana book cover
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The Purana (पुराण, purāṇas) refers to Sanskrit literature preserving ancient India’s vast cultural history, including historical legends, religious ceremonies, various arts and sciences. The eighteen mahapuranas total over 400,000 shlokas (metrical couplets) and date to at least several centuries BCE.

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Vyakarana (Sanskrit grammar)

Source: Wikisource: A dictionary of Sanskrit grammar

Darpaṇa (दर्पण).—Name of a commentary on Kondabhatta's Vaiyakaranabhusanasara, written by a grammarian named Harivallabha.

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Darpaṇā (दर्पणा).—Name of a commentary on the Sabdakaustubha, written by Mannudeva or Mantudeva of the nineteenth century.

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Vyakarana (व्याकरण, vyākaraṇa) refers to Sanskrit grammar and represents one of the six additional sciences (vedanga) to be studied along with the Vedas. Vyakarana concerns itself with the rules of Sanskrit grammar and linguistic analysis in order to establish the correct context of words and sentences.

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Shaivism (Shaiva philosophy)

[«previous (D) next»] — Darpaṇa in Shaivism glossary
Source: Shodhganga: Temple management in the Āgamas

Darpaṇa (दर्पण) refers to one of the eight aṣṭamaṅgala and represents a type of “temple implement (instrument)” as described in the Karaṇalakṣaṇavidhi-paṭala section of the Uttara-Kāmikāgama.—The instruments should be according to the particular śāstra followed at the temple. Some of the instruments mentioned are Śaiva aṣṭamaṅgala including [viz., darpaṇa].

Shaivism book cover
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Shaiva (शैव, śaiva) or Shaivism (śaivism) represents a tradition of Hinduism worshiping Shiva as the supreme being. Closely related to Shaktism, Shaiva literature includes a range of scriptures, including Tantras, while the root of this tradition may be traced back to the ancient Vedas.

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In Buddhism

Tibetan Buddhism (Vajrayana or tantric Buddhism)

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

Darpaṇa (दर्पण) refers to a “mirror” 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, darpaṇa]; 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
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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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In Jainism

General definition (in Jainism)

[«previous (D) next»] — Darpaṇa in Jainism glossary
Source: archive.org: Trisastisalakapurusacaritra

Darpaṇa (दर्पण) refers to the “mirror” and represents one of the “eight auspicious thins” in Jainism, according to chapter 1.2 [ādīśvara-caritra] of Hemacandra’s 11th century Triṣaṣṭiśalākāpuruṣacaritra (“lives of the 63 illustrious persons”): a Sanskrit epic poem narrating the history and legends of sixty-three important persons in Jainism.


“[...] Then, after circumambulating it, he ascended his aerial car, like his own lofty pride, by the east steps. [...] Then Śakra’s Śāmānikas, like other forms of Śakra, ascended by the north steps and took their proper seats. [...] In front of the Lord of Paulomī (Śakra) seated on the lion-throne shone eight groups of the eight auspicious things, [viz., darpaṇa], etc. [...]”.

Source: Shodhganga: A cultural study on the jain western Indian illustrated manuscripts

Darpaṇa (दर्पण, “mirror”).—One of the eight providential symbols, or, aṣṭamaṅgala.—One is able to see one’s own self in it. A human being in order to be able to realize knowledge of oneself goes through austerities of ascetic meditation, charitable acts and observance of celibacy, which are a man’s embellishments.

General definition book cover
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Jainism is an Indian religion of Dharma whose doctrine revolves around harmlessness (ahimsa) towards every living being. The two major branches (Digambara and Svetambara) of Jainism stimulate self-control (or, shramana, ‘self-reliance’) and spiritual development through a path of peace for the soul to progess to the ultimate goal.

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Languages of India and abroad

Marathi-English dictionary

[«previous (D) next»] — Darpaṇa in Marathi glossary
Source: DDSA: The Molesworth Marathi and English Dictionary

darpaṇa (दर्पण).—n (S & m) A mirror. Pr. andhaḷyāsa da0 kāya.

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

darpaṇa (दर्पण).—n A mirror.

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

[«previous (D) next»] — Darpaṇa in Sanskrit glossary
Source: DDSA: The practical Sanskrit-English dictionary

Darpaṇa (दर्पण).—&c. See under दृप् (dṛp).

See also (synonyms): darpa, darpita.

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Darpaṇa (दर्पण).—[dṛp-lyu]

1) A looking-glass, mirror; लोचनाभ्यां विहीनस्य दर्पणः किं करिष्यति (locanābhyāṃ vihīnasya darpaṇaḥ kiṃ kariṣyati) Chāṇ.19; Ku.7.26; R.1. 1;14.37.

2) Name of a mountain inhabited by Kubera.

-ṇam 1 The eye.

2) Kindling, inflaming, making proud.

Derivable forms: darpaṇaḥ (दर्पणः).

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

Darpaṇa (दर्पण).—m.

(-ṇaḥ) A mirror. n.

(-ṇaṃ) 1. The eye. 2. Kindling, inflaming. E. dṛp to excite, to shine, affix lyu .

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

Darpaṇa (दर्पण).—i. e. dṛp + ana, m. A mirror, [Meghadūta, (ed. Gildemeister.)] 59.

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

Darpaṇa (दर्पण).—[masculine] looking-glass, mirror; often —° in titles of books.

Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: Aufrecht Catalogus Catalogorum

1) Darpaṇa (दर्पण) as mentioned in Aufrecht’s Catalogus Catalogorum:—in dharma. See Dānadarpaṇa, Pratiṣṭhādarpaṇa, Pravaradarpaṇa, Māsadarpaṇa.

2) Darpaṇa (दर्पण):—[dharma] B. 3, 90. Oppert. 273. 2512. Quoted by Raghunandana Oxf. 292^a.
—by Śrīnivāsācārya. Rice. 200.

3) Darpaṇa (दर्पण):—prayoga, by Vīrarāghavācārya. Oppert. Ii, 935. 2784.

4) Darpaṇa (दर्पण):—a
—[commentary] on Bṛhadvaiyākaraṇabhūṣaṇa and Laghuvaiyākaraṇabhūṣaṇa, by Harivallabha.

5) Darpaṇa (दर्पण):—an abbreviation of Sāhityadarpaṇa.

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

1) Darpaṇa (दर्पण):—[from darpa] a m. ([gana] nandy-ādi) ‘causing vanity’, a mirror, [Harivaṃśa 8317; Rāmāyaṇa ii; Śakuntalā] etc.

2) [v.s. ...] ifc. ‘Mirror’ (in names of works) e.g. ātaṅka-, dāna-, sāhitya-

3) [v.s. ...] = dāna-, [Smṛtitattva iv]

4) [v.s. ...] Name of a measure (in music)

5) [v.s. ...] of a mountain (seat of Kubera), [Kālikā-purāṇa]

6) [v.s. ...] of Śiva, [Mahābhārata xiii, 1194]

7) [v.s. ...] n. the eye, [cf. Lexicographers, esp. such as amarasiṃha, halāyudha, hemacandra, etc.]

8) [v.s. ...] repetition, [Varāha-mihira’s Bṛhat-saṃhitā iii, 11 [Scholiast or Commentator]]

9) [v.s. ...] kindling, [Horace H. Wilson]

10) [v.s. ...] b [Nominal verb] [Parasmaipada] ṇati to represent a mirror.

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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