Kishku, Kiṣku: 14 definitions


Kishku means something in Hinduism, Sanskrit. 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.

The Sanskrit term Kiṣku can be transliterated into English as Kisku or Kishku, using the IAST transliteration scheme (?).

In Hinduism

Vastushastra (architecture)

Source: Wisdom Library: Vāstu-śāstra

1) Kiṣku (किष्कु) refers to the “cubit-scale” a type of physical instrument used during architectural measurement. It is used throughout Vāstuśāstra literature such as the Mānasāra, which is a 5th-century Sanskrit treatise on architectural practice.

2) Kiṣku (किष्कु, “cubit”) is the Sanskrit name for a unit of measurement, used in Vāstuśāstra literature, according to the Mānasāra II.40-53. A single Kiṣku unit corresponds to 2 Vitasti units. There are 4 different cubit (kiṣku) varieties:

  1. Kiṣku comprises 24 aṅgulas,
  2. Prājāpatya comprises 25 aṅgulas,
  3. Dhanurmuṣṭi comprises 26 aṅgulas
  4. and Dhanurgraha comprises 27 aṅgulas.

Below follows a table of the different units of measurement in relation to one another:

  • 8 Paramāṇu = 1 Rathadhūli, chariot-dust
  • 8 Rathadhūli = 1 Vālāgra, hair-end
  • 8 Vālāgra = 1 Likṣā, nit,
  • 8 Likṣā = 1 Yūka, louse
  • 8 Yūka = 1 Yava, barley-corn,
  • 8 Yava = 1 Aṅgula, digit (finger-breadth),
  • 12 Aṅgula = 1 Vitasti, span,
  • 2 Vitasti (24 aṅgulas) = 1 Kiṣku, cubit,
  • 4 Dhanurmuṣṭi (26 aṅgulas) = 1 Daṇḍa, rod,
  • 8 Daṇḍa = 1 Rajju, rope

The smallest unit, which is paramāṇu, atom is stated ta be perceived (only) by the sages. For all practical purposes, aṅgula is the smallest unit of measurement. For this reason, it is seen to be treated in a special way in the text with regards to its universality that significantly downplays its semantic reference to the body.

Vastushastra book cover
context information

Vastushastra (वास्तुशास्त्र, vāstuśāstra) refers to the ancient Indian science (shastra) of architecture (vastu), dealing with topics such architecture, sculpture, town-building, fort building and various other constructions. Vastu also deals with the philosophy of the architectural relation with the cosmic universe.

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Purana and Itihasa (epic history)

Source: Google Books: Cultural History from the Vāyu Purāna

Kiṣku (किष्कु): A unit of measurement of distance, according to the Vāyu Purāṇa (वायु पुराण). The following table gives some idea about their relations to each other:

8 Aṅgulas = Prādeśa (?);
21 Aṅgulas = Ratni;
24 Aṅgulas = Hasta;
2000 Dhanus = Gavyūti;
12 Aṅgulas = Vitasti;
2 Ratnis or 42 Aṅgulas = Kiṣku;
4 hastas = Dhanus;
8000 Dhanus = Yojana.
Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: The Purana Index

Kiṣku (किष्कु).—A measure of length; two ratnis or 42 aṅgulas.*

  • * Brahmāṇḍa-purāṇa II. 7. 96, 99. Matsya-purāṇa 173. 16. Vāyu-purāṇa 8. 102; 101. 123.
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)

Kiṣku (किष्कु) refers to a “cubit” and represents a type of absolute measurement, as defined in the texts dealing with śilpa (arts and crafs), known as śilpaśāstras.—In the Indian value of measurement of length there are two different kinds of units, namely, the absolute and the relative. Of these, the first is based on the length of certain natural objects, while the second is obtained from the length of a particular part or limb of the person whose measurement is under consideration. They have been specified by R. N. Mishra, in his text in volume 1 of Kalātattvakośa.

24 aṅgulas or mānāṅgulas (inch measure) make 1 kiṣku (cubit).

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: Wisdom Library: Hinduism

Kiṣku; ancient Hindu unit of measurement of distance. 2 Ratnis or 42 Aṅgulas make a single Kiṣku.

If we consider a single Yojana to be 8 miles (~12.87km), one Kiṣku would correspond to roughly 27.72 inches (~70.41cm)

If we consider a single Yojana to be 5 miles (~8.04km), one Kiṣku would correspond to roughly 17.33 inc (~44.01cm)

Languages of India and abroad

Sanskrit dictionary

Source: DDSA: The practical Sanskrit-English dictionary

Kiṣku (किष्कु).—a. [P.VI.1.157.] Vile, contemptible, bad.

-ṣkuḥ m. or f.

1) The fore-arm. fore-arm measure (= 24 Aṅgulas); Rām.5.35.18.

2) A cubit, span; अवर्धत महा- तेजाः किष्कून्राजंस्त्रयोदश (avardhata mahā- tejāḥ kiṣkūnrājaṃstrayodaśa) Mahābhārata (Bombay) 3.126.32.

3) An instrument for measuring lengths.

4) A cubit of 24 or 42 Aṅgulas; किष्कुः स्मृतो द्विरत्निस्तु द्विचत्वारींशदङ्गुलः (kiṣkuḥ smṛto dviratnistu dvicatvārīṃśadaṅgulaḥ) | (Brahmāṇda P. Ch.7.5.99.).

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

Kiṣku (किष्कु).—mfn. (-ṣkuḥ-ṣkuḥ-ṣku) Vile, bad, contemptible. mf.

(-ṣkuḥ) 1. A cubit. 2. A span. 3. The fore-arm. E. kai to sound, ḍiṣku aff.

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

Kiṣku (किष्कु).—m. and f. 1. The forearm, [Rāmāyaṇa] 5, 32, 11. 2. A span, as measure, Mahābhārata 3, 10454.

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

Kiṣku (किष्कु).—[masculine] fore-arm, handle (of an axe).

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

1) Kiṣku (किष्कु):—m. ([f., [cf. Lexicographers, esp. such as amarasiṃha, halāyudha, hemacandra, etc.]]) the fore-arm, [Rāmāyaṇa v, 32, 11]

2) the handle (of an axe), [Tāṇḍya-brāhmaṇa]

3) a kind of linear measure (= hasta, or kara = twenty-four thumbs' breadths = 1/400 of a Nalva), [Mahābhārata] etc.

4) [gana] pāraskarādi

5) mfn. contemptible, bad, [cf. Lexicographers, esp. such as amarasiṃha, halāyudha, hemacandra, etc.]

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

Kiṣku (किष्कु):—(ṣkuḥ) 2. m. f. A cubit, span, the forearm. a. Vile, bad.

[Sanskrit to German]

Kishku 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

Kiṣku (ಕಿಷ್ಕು):—[adjective] of low, inferior, mean, base quality; vile; contemptible.

--- OR ---

Kiṣku (ಕಿಷ್ಕು):—

1) [noun] the part of the arm between the elbow and the wrist; the fore-arm.

2) [noun] the length of the arm from the end of the middle finger to the elbow, an ancient unit of linear measure of 18 to 22 inches (45.4 to 55.5 cm.); a cubit.

3) [noun] (Jain.) a measure of two cubits (about 36 to 44 inches or 90.8 to 111.0 cm.) 4) the distance between from the tip of the small finger to the tip of the thumb when stretched apart, used as a unit of liner measure.

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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