Dikpala, aka: Dik-pala, Dikpāla, Dish-pala; 8 Definition(s)


Dikpala means something in Hinduism, Sanskrit, the history of ancient India, 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.

In Hinduism

Shilpashastra (iconography)

Dikpāla (दिक्पाल) is another name for Aṣṭadikpālaka: the “eight guardians of the directions”, as defined according to texts dealing with śilpa (arts and crafs), known as śilpaśāstras.—The hand poses for the eight dikpālas (guardians of directions) are described in the Abhinayadarpaṇa and they are followed in the dance performance. But the hastas prescribed to depict the [Aṣṭadikpālaka] Gods in Abhinayadarpaṇa do not exactly look like the images of Gods found in the temples.

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

Dikpala in Purana glossary... « previous · [D] · next »

Dikpāla (माल्यवान्) refers to the “the guardians of the directions”, according to the Varāhapurāṇa chapter 76.

There are eight deities mentioned along with their respective cities:

  1. east: Indra, abiding in Amarāvatī,
  2. south-east: Agni, abiding in Tejovatī,
  3. south: Yama (Vaivasvata), abiding in Saṃyaminī,
  4. south-western: Nirṛti, abiding in Kṛṣṇavatī,
  5. western: Varuṇa, abiding in Śuddhavatī,
  6. north-western: Vāyu, abiding in Gandhavatī,
  7. northern: Kubera, abiding in Mahodaya,
  8. north-eastern: Īśāna, abiding in Manoharā.
Source: Wisdom Library: Varāha-purāṇa

Dikpāla (दिक्पाल).—The guardians of the quarters; Sudharman, Śankhapāda, Ketumān, and Hīraṇyaroman; destroy the enemies and protect the earth. Invoked in the grahabali;1 worship of.2

  • 1) Matsya-purāṇa 8. 9-11; 93. 52.
  • 2) Matsya-purāṇa 67. 9-16; 69. 38.
Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: The Purana Index
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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General definition (in Hinduism)

The Guardians of the Directions (dikpāla) are the deities who rule the specific directions of space according to Hinduism and Vajrayāna Buddhism—especially Kālacakra. As a group of eight deities, they are called Aṣṭa-dikpāla (अष्ट-दिक्पाल), literally meaning guardians of eight directions. They are often augmented with two extra deities for the ten directions (the two extra directions being zenith and nadir), when they are known as the Daśa-dikpāla. In Hinduism it is traditional to represent their images on the walls and ceilings of Hindu temples.

The names of the Dikpālas vary slightly, but generally include the following:

  1. Kubera (north), matra: oṃ śaṃ kuberāya namaḥ,
  2. Yama (south), mantra: oṃ maṃ yamāya namaḥ,
  3. Indra (east), mantra: oṃ laṃ indrāya namaḥ,
  4. Varuṇa (west), mantra: oṃ vaṃ varuṇāya namaḥ,
  5. Īśāna (northeast), mantra: oṃ haṃ īśānāya namaḥ,
  6. Agni (southeast), mantra: oṃ raṃ agnaye namaḥ,
  7. Vāyu (northwest), mantra: oṃ yaṃ vāyuve namaḥ,
  8. Nirṛti or Rakṣasa (southwest), mantra: oṃ kṣaṃ rakṣasāya namaḥ,
  9. Brahmā (zenith), mantra: oṃ hriṃ brahmaṇe namaḥ,
  10. Viṣṇu (nadir), mantra: oṃ kliṃ viṣṇave namaḥ.
Source: WikiPedia: Hinduism

India history and geogprahy

Dikpāla.—(HD), probably, officers in charge of the borders of a kingdom. See Nārada, Jolly's ed., Pariśiṣṭa, verse 17; Mitākṣarā on Yājñavalkyasmṛti, II. 271; Kātyāyana (v. 813) quoted by Aparārka. (IE 7-1-2), ‘eight’. Note: dikpāla is defined in the “Indian epigraphical glossary” as it can be found on ancient inscriptions commonly written in Sanskrit, Prakrit or Dravidian languages.

Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: Indian Epigraphical Glossary
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

Dikpala in Marathi glossary... « previous · [D] · next »

dikpāla (दिक्पाल).—m A regent of a quarter. There are eight.

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

Dikpāla (दिक्पाल).—the regent or guardian of a quarter; Rāj. T.4.225 (for the names of the several regents, see aṣṭadikpālaḥ cf. Ms.5.96;7.33 also); सूर्यः शुक्रः क्षमापुत्रः सैंहिकेयः शनिः शशी । सौम्यस्त्रिदशमन्त्री च प्राच्यादिदिगधीश्वराः (sūryaḥ śukraḥ kṣamāputraḥ saiṃhikeyaḥ śaniḥ śaśī | saumyastridaśamantrī ca prācyādidigadhīśvarāḥ) || -Jyotistattvam.

Derivable forms: dikpālaḥ (दिक्पालः).

Dikpāla is a Sanskrit compound consisting of the terms diś and pāla (पाल). See also (synonyms): dikpati.

Source: DDSA: The practical Sanskrit-English dictionary

Dikpāla (दिक्पाल).—m.

(-laḥ) A regent of a quarter of the universe, Indra of the east; Agni of the south-east; Yama of the south; Nairrit of the south-west; Varuna of the west; Maruta of the north-west; Kuvera of the north; Isana of the south-east. E. diś, and pāla who protects: this word applicable to the Dikpatis, (see the last,) as that term is to these also.

Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: Shabda-Sagara Sanskrit-English Dictionary
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Sanskrit, also spelled संस्कृतम् (saṃskṛtam), is an ancient language of India commonly seen as the grandmother of the Indo-European language family. 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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Relevant definitions

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Śiśupāla (शिशुपाल).—m. (-laḥ) The sovereign of a country in the central part of India or Chedi,...
Śaṅkhapāla (शङ्खपाल).—m. (-laḥ) 1. The sun. 2. A Naga or serpent of Patala. E. śaṅkha a conch, ...
Dharmapāla (धर्मपाल).—(1) (= Pali Dhammapāla 2 of DPPN), n. of the son of the purohita Brahmāy...
Dhanapāla (धनपाल).—(= Pali id.), n. of an elephant let loose by Devadatta, or by Ajātaśatru at ...
Ḍī (डी).—[(ṅa) ḍīñ] r. 1st and 4th cls. (ḍayate ḍīyate) 1. To fly, to pass through the air. 2. ...
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