Dikpala, Dik-pala, Dikpāla, Dish-pala: 19 definitions


Dikpala means something in Buddhism, Pali, Hinduism, Sanskrit, Jainism, Prakrit, 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.

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In Hinduism

Purana and Itihasa (epic history)

Source: Wisdom Library: Varāha-purāṇa

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: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: The Purana Index

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.
Purana book cover
context information

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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Shilpashastra (iconography)

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

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.

Shilpashastra book cover
context information

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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General definition (in Hinduism)

Source: WikiPedia: 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.

In Buddhism

Tibetan Buddhism (Vajrayana or tantric Buddhism)

Source: archive.org: The Indian Buddhist Iconography

Dikpāla (दिक्पाल) refers to either eight or ten “presiding deities of the directions”.—Amongst the Hindus the eight Dikpālas are commonly found in the Purāṇas and Tantric works. The Dikpālas are supposed to guard the ten quarters, and are said to be the presiding deities of these directions, or in other words, they are regarded as the embodiments of these quarters in the form of deities. The Buddhists improved upon the original ideas of the Hindus and showed in an artistic style their origin in an Assembly of the Faithful where the Highest Lord sits in different Samādhis (meditations), and the rays issuing out of his body Condense themselves first into syllables which give rise to the different Guardians of the Gates. This process of deification is described in the first chapter of the Guhyasamāja.

The ten Dikpāla (“deities of the ten quarters”) are frequently mentioned in the sādhanas. In the maṇḍalas of the Niṣpannayogāvalī they are invariably present and their places are accurately stated. They are always collectively mentioned in the maṇḍalas or Circles of deities where the directions play an important part. Their chief function is to remove all sorts of obstacles for the protection of Dharma. The ten deities of the quarters are described differently in the different maṇḍalas in the Niṣpannayogāvalī, and they are sometimes represented along with their Śaktis often in close embrace.

The eight Dikpālas (“Lords of the Eight Quarters”) are described in the dharmadhātuvāgīśvara-maṇḍala and other places in the Niṣpannayogāvalī. They are the Lords or rather the embodiments of the four principal directions and the four intermediate corners, and resemble the Yamāntaka group of deities of the Buddhists. Their forms are described below in the same order as they appear in the dharmadhātuvāgīśvara-maṇḍala. Here only one typical form is given, although there are many more, even with their female counterparts.

The eight Dikpāla are: Indra, Yama, Varuṇa, Kubera, Īśāna, Agni, Nairṛti and Vāyu.

Source: MDPI Books: The Ocean of Heroes

Dikpāla (दिक्पाल) refers to the “guardians of direction” (associated with the guṇacakra or ‘merit circle’), according to the 10th-century Ḍākārṇava-tantra: one of the last Tibetan Tantric scriptures belonging to the Buddhist Saṃvara tradition consisting of 51 chapters.—Accordingly, [while describing the Merit Circle (guṇacakra)]: “[...] In addition, there are trees, the guardians of direction (dikpāla), serpent kings, and cloud kings in order—[...] [The guardians of direction are] (1) Indra, (2) the wealth-giver (Kubera), (3) the Lord of Nāgas (Varuṇa), (4) Yama the Lord, (5)Īśāna, (6) the fire (Agni), (7) Rākṣasa the king, and (8) the Lord of wind (Vāyu). [...] All is here in the charnel grounds; he should give a wreath of vajras [to them] All is also to be done in this same [charnel ground]. [All is] taught to be both external and internal. The Merit Circle, the third, is thus [taught]”.

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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In Jainism

General definition (in Jainism)

Source: archive.org: The Jaina Iconography

Dikpāla (दिक्पाल) or Lokapāla refers to a class of deities who are supposed to guard the quarters.—[They are] subservient to that of the Tīrthaṃkaras, who like the Buddhas were served and cared for by the chiefs of the quarters. [...] Another feature regarding the Dikpālas, who are also called Lokapālas, is their worship as Vāstudevatās, One Śvetāmbara text makes them functioning as Kumāras, who differ very little in nature from the Gods of the quarters.

Source: The University of Sydney: A study of the Twelve Reflections

Dikpāla (दिक्पाल) refers to the “guardians of the quarters of the sky”, according to the 11th century Jñānārṇava, a treatise on Jain Yoga in roughly 2200 Sanskrit verses composed by Śubhacandra.—Accordingly, “Rudra, elephants of the quarters, gods, demons, aerial spirits, aquatic predators, the planets, the Vyantaras , the guardians of the quarters of the sky (dikpāla), the enemies [of Vāsudeva], Hari, Bala, the chief of the snakes, the lord of the discus (i.e. Viṣṇu) and others who are powerful, the wind, the sun, etc. all themselves having come together are not able to protect an embodied soul even for an instant [when death is] initiated by the servants of Yama”.

General definition book cover
context information

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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India history and geography

Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: Indian Epigraphical Glossary

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.

India history book cover
context information

The history of India traces the identification of countries, villages, towns and other regions of India, as well as mythology, zoology, 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 Aryabhusan school dictionary, Marathi-English

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

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

Dikpāla (दिक्पाल).—the regent or guardian of a quarter; Rāj. T.4.225 (for the names of the several regents, see aṣṭadikpālaḥ cf. Manusmṛti 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: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: Shabda-Sagara 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: Benfey Sanskrit-English Dictionary

Dikpāla (दिक्पाल).—and

Dikpāla is a Sanskrit compound consisting of the terms diś and pāla (पाल).

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

Dikpāla (दिक्पाल).—[masculine] = dikpati.

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

Dikpāla (दिक्पाल):—[=dik-pāla] [from dik > diś] m. = -pati, [Rājataraṅgiṇī iv, 225.]

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

Dikpāla (दिक्पाल):—[dik-pāla] (laḥ) 1. m. Idem.

[Sanskrit to German]

Dikpala 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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Kannada-English dictionary

Source: Alar: Kannada-English corpus

Dikpāla (ದಿಕ್ಪಾಲ):—[noun] = ದಿಕ್ಪಾಲಕ [dikpalaka].

context information

Kannada is a Dravidian language (as opposed to the Indo-European language family) mainly spoken in the southwestern region of India.

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