Musalisa, Musalīśa, Musalisha, Musali-isha: 3 definitions


Musalisa 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 Musalīśa can be transliterated into English as Musalisa or Musalisha, using the IAST transliteration scheme (?).

In Hinduism

Shaivism (Shaiva philosophy)

Source: Kāpālikas

Musalisa (मुसलिस) is the name of a disciple of Lakulīśa.—According to a copper-plate inscription found in Malhar, Chhattisgarh, written around 650 CE: “Now having reached the kali age, Śiva descended in this world as Lord Lakulīśa. He was born in the family of a Brahman called Somaśarman (“Whose Shelter Is the Moon”), was initiated by him into the mahāvrata, and became Jagadindu (“Moon of the World”). He then initiated Musalisa. Then, in due course, the venerable Bhīmasoma, disciple of Tejasoma and grand-disciple of Rudrasoma, [was also initiated] according to the tradition started by Soma”.

Lakulīśa then initiates Mugalisa. It is possible that this Mugalisa is a Prakritic form of Mudgaleśa or Mudgalīśa, who may well be identical with Musaleśa of the little-known Mausula sect (Bakker, 2000, 7). However, we need not suppose that he was a prominent transmitter for the Kāpālikas. Te text also allows us to understand that Somaśarman himself or Lakulīśa transmitted the Soma tradition to the Mausalas as well as to the Kāpālikas separately, or that Musalisa was just one of several gurus in the lineage, with whom the Kāpālikas associated themselves.

Source: Brill: Śaivism and the Tantric Traditions

Musalīśa (मुसलीश) is another name for Lakulīśa, as mentioned in the Malhar or Junwani copper plate inscription (647CE, see Bakker 2000 and 2015; Sanderson 2012).—Accordingly, “[…] reaching the present Kali age, the venerable Lord Lakulīśa took up an incarnation and was born in the family of a Brahmin called Somaśarman. He was initiated into the Great Observance by him (?) [and became] the Moon of the World. Then by him, Musalīśa [was initiated], then, by the unbroken tradition starting with Soma, the local Master Rudrasoma, his disciple Tejasoma, whose pupil is the venerable Bhīmasoma […]”.

Source: Brill: Indo-Iranian Journal, Volume 56, Issue 2 (Jan 2013)

Musalīśa (मुसलीश) means essentially the same as Lakulīśa: the Lord with a club. It is worth noticing that the 11th-century Śaiva exegete Kṣemarāja (cf. Uddyota on Svacchandatantra 10.1134–1135) names this direct disciple of Lakulīśa as Musalendra, which is not different from Musalīśa in meaning. As Kṣemarāja states, it was a disciple of Lakuleśa called Musalendra who took out six ancillary texts attached to one of the eight Pramāṇa texts, and on the basis of those texts introduced a new ritual-based order, whereas the older Lākula order was centered on gnosis (see Sanderson 2006: 176–177).

This relationship of Lakulin/Lakulīśa/Lakuleśa and Musalīśa/Musalendra as teacher and disciple was known to the tradition apparently already a few centuries before Kṣemarāja. For, the two are presented that way already in the 7th-century Junwani copperplate inscription of Mahāśivagupta Bālārjuna placed at the source of a lineage of some Śaiva teachers whose names end in -soma. Tough the name of Lakulīśa’s disciple is spelt as Mugalīśa in this inscription, we have to correct it to Musalīśa in the light of Kṣemarāja’s account and orthographical closeness of ga and sa. And more, Mugalīśa has no sensible meaning, but if it is corrected to Musalīśa, then it becomes equivalent in meaning to Kṣemarāja’s Musalendra. See also Bakker 2000.

Shaivism book cover
context information

Shaiva (शैव, śaiva) or Shaivism (śaivism) represents a tradition of Hinduism worshiping Shiva as the supreme being. Closely related to Shaktism, Shaiva literature includes a range of scriptures, including Tantras, while the root of this tradition may be traced back to the ancient Vedas.

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