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Dvārapālaka, aka: Dvara-palaka; 3 Definition(s)


Dvārapālaka means something in Hinduism, Sanskrit. Check out some of the following descriptions and leave a comment if you want to add your own contribution to this article.

The Sanskrit term Dvārapālaka can be transliterated into English as Dvarapalaka, using the IAST transliteration scheme (?).

In Hinduism

Vāstuśāstra (architecture)

Dvārapālaka (द्वारपालक).—Dvārapālakas are the door-keepers of the temples, and sculptures representing them are noticed invariably in all the temples. The sculptures of these Dvārapālaka are found carved both in relief as well as in the round. They are always carved in pairs. The forms of these sculptures closely resemble those of the main deity.

Hands: They are four-handed and the attributes they carry vary based on the creed to which they belong. The Śaiva-Dvārapālakas hold the trident and the kettle drum in their upper hands and the Vaiṣṇnava-Dvārapālakas hold the conch and the discus in their upper hands. The mace is common for the Dvārapālakas of both the creeds, which is held in their lower left hand. Their lower right hand is disposed in various gestures like the tarjanimudra, abhayamudra and svargahasta. But the commonly found gesture is the tarjanimudra.

Faces: Their faces are shown as ferocious, and they wear a kirīṭa, which is occasionally shown with a halo of flames. The ferocity of the face is shown by the carving of the prominent canines.

Legs: They are shown as standing with one of their legs firmly placed on the ground while the other leg is lifted across the other leg and shown as resting upon the mace. The left leg of the Dvārapālaka to the left side of the doorway is shown is lifted while the right leg of the Dvārapālaka to the right side is shown as lifted. This is a posture common in Tamil idiom, whereas the Dvārapālakas in the Karnataka idiom is sometimes shown in tribhaṅga or dvibhaṅga.

The Texts prescribe that the Dvārapālakas have to be provided for all the doorways of all the four directions. Dvārapālakas are found carved at the doorway of the gūḍhamaṇḍapa. They are sometimes carved on the pedyas of the dvārabandha. They are even found in the mahādvāras of the temple.

Source: Shodhganga: Temples of Salem region Up to 1336 AD

about this context:

Vāstuśāstra (वास्तुशास्त्र, vastu-shastra) refers to the knowledge of architecture. It is a branch of ancient Indian science dealing with topics such architecture, construction, sculpture and their relation with the cosmic universe.

Pāñcarātra (worship of Nārāyaṇa)

The eight door-keepers of Vaikuntha (dvāra-pālaka) are known as

  • Dhāta & Vidhāta (East),
  • Bhadra & Subhadra (South);
  • Nanda,
  • Sunanda (North);
  • Jaya & Vijaya (West).

Sometimes Nanda and Sunanda are replaced by Caṇḍa and Pracaṇḍa.

Source: SriMatham: Vaiṣṇava Iconology based on Pañcarātra Āgama

about this context:

Pāñcarātra (पाञ्चरात्र, pancaratra) represents a tradition of Hinduism where Nārāyaṇa is revered and worshipped. Closeley related to Vaiṣnavism, the Pāñcarātra literature includes various Āgamas and tantras incorporating many Vaiṣnava philosophies.

General definition (in Hinduism)

Dvārapālakas are the doorkeepers of Śiva. Dvārapālakas are the guardians who stand watch near the door that leads to god. They would first inquire about which deities wished to come to god. After receiving [god’s] permission they would allow the deities to proceed to god. Those who want to proceed against the guardians’ will receive severe punishment. Bhairava is Īśvara himself. Among his 1,008 appearances he once appeared with the name Bhairava. It is also said that Bhairava is the protector of the mountain kailāsa. In addition, it stands also written that there are 80,000,000 Bhairavas. One would also bring offerings to them.

Source: Gaudiya History: Genealogy of the South Indian Deities

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Search found 90 books containing Dvārapālaka or Dvara-palaka. You can also click to the full overview containing English textual excerpts. Below are direct links for the 20 most relevant articles:

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