Pancalakshana, Pañcalakṣaṇa, Pancan-lakshana: 9 definitions
Pancalakshana 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 Pañcalakṣaṇa can be transliterated into English as Pancalaksana or Pancalakshana, using the IAST transliteration scheme (?).
Alternative spellings of this word include Panchalakshana.
Purana and Itihasa (epic history)Source: archive.org: Nilamata Purana: a cultural and literary study
Pañcalakṣaṇa (पञ्चलक्षण) occurring in the Amarakośa and in various Purāṇas enumerates creation (sarga), recreation (pratisarga), genealogy (vaṃśa), cosmic cycles (manvantara) and accounts of royal dynasties (vaṃśānucarita) as five characteristics of a Purāṇa, but many of the extant Mahā-purāṇas and almost all the Upapurāṇas do not follow this definition. They have rather become “Codes of Hindu rites and customs by including chapters on varṇāśramadharma, ācāra, śrāddha, prāyaścita, dāna, pūjā, vrata, tīrtha, pratiṣṭhā, dīkṣā, utsarga etc.”Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: The Purana Index
1a) Pañcalakṣaṇa (पञ्चलक्षण).—Of a purāṇa Sarga, Pratisarga, Manvantara, Vaṃśa and Vaṃśānucarita.*
- * Matsya-purāṇa 53. 65. 70; Vāyu-purāṇa 4. 11.
1b) Śabda, rūpa, rasa, gandha, and sparśa; incidents relating to.*
- * Vāyu-purāṇa 8. 45.
Pañcalakṣaṇa (पञ्चलक्षण) refers to the definition of the Purāṇas according to Amarakoṣa: the famous Sanskrit lexicon of the 5th Century A.D.—This definition is also given in most of the Purāṇas. That is the Purāṇas are supposed to contain theories about sarga (creation or evolution of the Universe), pratisarga (recreation of the universe after its periodic dissolution); should include vaṃśa (genealogical description of Gods, patriarchs, sagas and kings); must have descriptions of manvantara (manu-intervals, cosmic cycles), each of which is presided over by a Manu (the father of mankind); and vaṃśānucarita (accounts of royals dynasties).
If we look into the extant Puranic texts we find that these five topics [pañcalakṣaṇa] are treated irregularly and we find extensive additions, such as glorification of sectarian deities, numerous passages on myths and legends; various topics concerning religion and society, for instance, duties of the different castes and orders of life, sacraments, duties of women, funeral rites, sins, penances and expiations, donations, vows, places of pilgrimage, customs in general, eatables and non-eatables, etc.
Hence in subsequent period we see the Purāṇas incorporating materials glorifying tīrtha, vrata, dāna, pūjā, śrāddha etc. and knowledge about sāṃkhya, vedānta, yoga etc. As such the Purāṇas have become encyclopaedic in nature. Further almost all the Purāṇas have a sectarian character according to the cult of the deity they adher to.
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.
Languages of India and abroad
Sanskrit dictionarySource: DDSA: The practical Sanskrit-English dictionary
Pañcalakṣaṇa (पञ्चलक्षण).—a Purāṇa; so called because it deals with five important topics:-सर्गश्च प्रतिसर्गश्च वंशो मन्वन्तराणि च । वंशानुचरितं चैव पुराणं पञ्चलक्षणम् (sargaśca pratisargaśca vaṃśo manvantarāṇi ca | vaṃśānucaritaṃ caiva purāṇaṃ pañcalakṣaṇam) || see पुराण (purāṇa) also.
Derivable forms: pañcalakṣaṇam (पञ्चलक्षणम्).
Pañcalakṣaṇa is a Sanskrit compound consisting of the terms pañcan and lakṣaṇa (लक्षण).Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: Shabda-Sagara Sanskrit-English Dictionary
(-ṇaṃ) A Purana or mythological poem. E. pañca five, and lakṣaṇa a mark; Purana should comprehend five topics; the creation of worlds, their destruction and renovation, the genealogy of gods and heroes, the reigns of the Manus, and the actions of their descendants.Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: Monier-Williams Sanskrit-English Dictionary
1) Pañcalakṣaṇa (पञ्चलक्षण):—[=pañca-lakṣaṇa] [from pañca] mfn. possessing 5 characteristics (said of the Purāṇas, which ought strictly to comprehend 5 topics, viz. the creation of the universe, its destruction and renovation, the genealogy of gods and patriarchs, the reigns of the Manus, and the history of the solar and lunar races)
2) [v.s. ...] n. a Purāṇa or mythological poem, [Horace H. Wilson]
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.
See also (Relevant definitions)