Mukha; 9 Definition(s)


Mukha means something in Buddhism, Pali, Hinduism, Sanskrit, 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

Śilpaśāstra (iconography)

According to the Matsya Purāṇa, Mukha (face) is 12 aṅgulas.

(Source): Google Books: The Theory of Citrasutras in Indian Painting
Śilpaśāstra book cover
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Śilpaśāstra (शिल्पशास्त्र, shilpa-shastra) represents the ancient Indian science of creative arts such as sculpture, iconography and painting. Closely related to Vāstuśāstra (architecture), they often share the same literature.


1a) Mukha (मुख).—The head of the Śiva Gaṇas.*

  • * Brahmāṇḍa-purāṇa III. 41. 28.

1b) (Sukhas)—one of the three gaṇas;1 20 branches of them mentioned.2

  • 1) Vāyu-purāṇa 100. 13.
  • 2) Ib. 100. 18-19.
(Source): Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: The Purana Index
Purāṇa book cover
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The Purāṇas (पुराण, purana) refers to Sanskrit literature preserving ancient India’s vast cultural history, including historical legends, religious ceremonies, various arts and sciences. The eighteen mahāpurāṇas total over 400,000 ślokas (metrical couplets) and date to at least several centuries BCE.

Nāṭyaśāstra (theatrics and dramaturgy)

Mukha (मुख, “opening”) refers to one of the “five segments” of the plot (itivṛtta or vastu) of a dramatic play (nāṭaka), according to the Nāṭyaśāstra chapter 21. These five segments are assigned to the principal plot (ādhikārika).

(Source): Wisdom Library: Nāṭya-śāstra

Mukha (मुख).—One of the five segments (sandhi) of a dramatic play;—That part of a play, in which the creation of the Seed (bīja) as the source of many objects and Sentiments takes place, is called in relation to its body the Opening (mukha).

(Source): Natya Shastra
Nāṭyaśāstra book cover
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Nāṭyaśāstra (नाट्यशास्त्र, natya-shastra) refers to both the ancient Indian tradition of performing arts, (e.g., theatrics, drama, dance, music), as well as the name of a Sanskrit work dealing with these subjects. It also teaches the rules for composing dramatic plays (nāṭya) and poetic works (kāvya).

In Buddhism


mukha : (nt.) mouth; face; entrance; opening; front. (adj.), foremost.

(Source): BuddhaSasana: Concise Pali-English Dictionary

Mukha, (nt.) (Vedic mukha, fr. Idg. *mu, onomat. , cp. Lat. mu facere, Gr. mukάomai, Mhg. mūgen, Lat. mūgio to moo (of cows), to make the sound “moo”; Ohg. māwen to cry, muckazzen to talk softly; also Gr. mu_qos word, “myth”; Ohg. mūla=Ger. maul; Ags. mule snout, etc. Vedic mūka silent, dumb=Lat. mutus=E. mute) 1. the mouth Sn. 608, 1022 (with ref. to the long tongue, pahūta-jivha, of the Buddha or Mahāpurisa); J. II, 7; DA. I, 287 (uttāna° clear mouthed, i.e. easy to understand, cp. D. I, 116); PvA. 11, 12 (pūti°), 264 (mukhena).—2. the face J. VI, 218 (uṇṇaja m.); PvA. 74, 75, 77; °ṃ karoti to make a face (i.e. grimace) Vism. 343.—adho° face downward Vin. II, 78; opp. upari° (q. v.); assu° with tearful face Dh. 67; PvA. 39; see assu.—dum° (adj.) sad or unfriendly looking J. II, 393; VI, 343; scurrilous J. V, 78; bhadra° brightfaced PvA. 149; ruda° crying Pv. I, 112.—3. entrance, mouth (of a river) Mhvs 8, 12; āya° entrance (lit. opening), i.e. cause or means of income DA. I, 218; ukkā° the opening of a furnace, a goldsmith’s smelting pot A. I, 257; Sn. 686; J. VI, 217; 574. ubhato-mukha having 2 openings M. I, 57. sandhi° opening of the cleft PvA. 4. Hence: — 4. cause, ways, means, reason, by way of J. III, 55 by way of a gift (dānamukhe); IV, 266 (bahūhi mukhehi).—apāya° cause of ruin or loss A. II, 166; IV, 283.—5. front part, front, top, in īsā° of the carriage pole S. I, 224=J. I, 203. Hence: — 6. the top of anything, front, head, best part; adj. topmost, foremost Sn. 568 (aggihutta-mukhā yaññā), 569 (nakkhattānaṃ mukhaṃ cando; cp. Vin. I, 246); VbhA. 332 (=uttamaṃ, mukha-bhūtaṃ vā).—Der. adj. mokkha & pāmokkha (q. v.). Note. A poetical Instr. sg. mukhasā is found at Pv. I, 23 & I. 32, as if the Nom. were mukho (s-stem).—The Abl. mukhā is used as adv. “in front of, before, ” in cpd. sam° & param°, e.g. PvA. 13. See each sep.

—ādhāna (1) the bit of a bridle M. I, 446; (2) setting of the mouth, i.e. mouth-enclosure, rim of the m.; in m. siliṭṭhaṃ a well-connected, well-defined mouth-contour DhsA. 15 (not with trsl. “opens lightly, ” but better with note “is well adjusted, ” see Expos. 19, where write °ādhāna for °ādāna).—āsiya (? cp. āsita1) to be eaten by the mouth DhsA. 330 (mukhena asitabba).—ullokana looking into a person’s face, i.e. cheerful, bright, perhaps also flattering DhA. II, 193 (as °olokana).—ullokika flattering (cp. above) Nd1 249 (puthu Satthārānaṃ m. puthujjana); PvA. 219.—odaka water for rinsing the mouth Nd2 391=Miln. 370; VvA. 65; DhA. II, 19; IV, 28.—ja born in (or from) the mouth, i.e. a tooth J. VI, 219.—tuṇḍa a beak VvA. 227 (cp. BSk. mukhatuṇḍaka Divy 387).—dugga one whose mouth is a difficult road, i.e. one who uses his mouth (speech) badly Sn. 664 (v. l. °dukkha).—dūsi blemishes of the face, a rash on the face DA. I, 223 (m.—dosa ibid.).—dvāra mouth opening PvA. 180.—dhovana-ṭṭhāna place for rinsing the mouth, “lavatory” DhA. II, 184.—puñchana wiping one’s mouth Vin. I, 297.—pūra filling the mouth, a mouthful, i.e. as much as to fill the mouth J. VI, 350.—pūraka mouth-filling Vism. 106.—bheri a musical instrument, “mouth-drum, ” mouthorgan (?) Nd2 219 B; SnA 86.—makkaṭika a grimace (like that of a monkey) of the face J. II, 70, 448 (T. makkaṭiya).—vaṭṭi “opening-circumference, ” i.e. brim, edge, rim DhA. II, 5 (of the Lohakumbhi purgatory, cp. J. III, 43 lohakumbha-mukhavaṭṭi); DhA. III, 58 (of a gong).—vaṇṇa the features PvA. 122, 124.—vikāra contortion of the mouth J. II, 448.—vikūṇa (=vikāra) grimace SnA 30.—saṅkocana distortion or contraction of the mouth, as a sign of displeasure DhA. II, 270; cp. mukha-saṅkoca Vism. 26.—saññata controlling one’s mouth (i.e. speech) Dh. 363, cp. DhA. IV, 93. (Page 534)

(Source): Sutta: The Pali Text Society's Pali-English Dictionary
Pali book cover
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Pali is the language of the Tipiṭaka, which is the sacred canon of Theravāda Buddhism and contains much of the Buddha’s speech. Closeley related to Sanskrit, both languages are used interchangeably between religions.

Mahayana (major branch of Buddhism)

Mukha (मुख, “mouth”) refers to that part of the human body from which the Buddha emitted numerous rays when he smiled with his whole body after contemplating the entire universe, according to the Mahāprajñāpāramitāśāstra (chapter XIV).—Accordingly, having himself arranged the lion-seat, the Bhagavat sat down cross-legged; holding his body upright and fixing his attention, he entered into the samādhirājasamādhi. Then, having tranquilly come out of this samādhi and having contemplated the entire universe with his divine eye (divyacakṣus), the Bhagavat smiled with his whole body. Wheels with a thousand spokes imprinted on the soles of his feet (pādatala) shoot out six hundred prabhedakoṭi of rays. In the same way, beams of six hundred prabhedakoṭi of rays are emitted from his mouth (mukha).

(Source): Wisdom Library: Maha Prajnaparamita Sastra
Mahayana book cover
context information

Mahayana (महायान, mahāyāna) is a major branch of Buddhism focusing on the path of a Bodhisattva (spiritual aspirants/ enlightened beings). Extant literature is vast and primarely composed in the Sanskrit language. There are many sūtras of which some of the earliest are the various Prajñāpāramitā sūtras.

Languages of India and abroad

Marathi-English dictionary

mukha (मुख).—n (S) The mouth. S adage. mukhamastīti vaktavyaṃ Used in reproof of one who speaks because he has a mouth. 2 The face. 3 fig. The entrance into a building; the beginning of a work &c. For other figurative senses see tōṇḍa. 4 A means, measure, expedient. 5 S In comp. The fore, prime, or initial thing or part: also the chief, principal, or leading person. 6 In arithmetic &c. The first term of a series. 7 The opposite side to the base of any quadrilateral figure.

--- OR ---

mukhā (मुखा).—m The expanded or broad end of a hammer. Opp. to pisā.

(Source): DDSA: The Molesworth Marathi and English Dictionary

mukha (मुख).—n The mouth; the face. A means.

--- OR ---

mukhā (मुखा).—m The broad end of a hammer.

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