Pancashikha, Pañcaśikha, Pancasikha, Pañcasikha, Pancan-shikha, Pañcaśikhā, Panca-shikha: 15 definitions


Pancashikha means something in Buddhism, Pali, 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 terms Pañcaśikha and Pañcaśikhā can be transliterated into English as Pancasikha or Pancashikha, using the IAST transliteration scheme (?).

Alternative spellings of this word include Panchashikha.

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In Hinduism

Natyashastra (theatrics and dramaturgy)

Source: Wisdom Library: Nāṭya-śāstra

Pañcaśikha (पञ्चशिख) is the Sanskrit name of one of Bharata’s sons, mentioned in the Nāṭyaśāstra 1.26-33. After Brahmā created the Nāṭyaveda (nāṭyaśāstra), he ordered Bharata to teach the science to his (one hundred) sons. Bharata thus learned the Nāṭyaveda from Brahmā, and then made his sons study and learn its proper application. After their study, Bharata assigned his sons (eg., Pañcaśikha) various roles suitable to them.

Natyashastra book cover
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Natyashastra (नाट्यशास्त्र, nāṭyaśāstra) refers to both the ancient Indian tradition (shastra) of performing arts, (natya—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 (nataka), construction and performance of Theater, and Poetic works (kavya).

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Purana and Itihasa (epic history)

[«previous next»] — Pancashikha in Purana glossary
Source: Puranic Encyclopedia

Pañcaśikha (पञ्चशिख).—A sage of ancient times. The Purāṇas give the following details about him.

He was a disciple of Āsuri. He was brought up breastfed by Kapilā, wife of Āsuri and so he was known as Kāpila also. He dwelt in Pañcasrotas and performed a Yāga for a thousand years and got his name Pañcaśikha. He went to the assembly of the learned king Janaka and entered into a polemic contest with him and defeated him. The defeated King gave Pañcaśikha great respect and he lived in the court of Janaka as his Guru for a number of years. (Chapter 218, Śānti Parva).

Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: The Purana Index

1a) Pañcaśikha (पञ्चशिख).—A Brahmaṛṣi1 of the eighth dvāpara.2

  • 1) Matsya-purāṇa 102. 18.
  • 2) Vāyu-purāṇa 23. 141.

1b) A son of Brahmā.*

  • * Vāyu-purāṇa 101. 338.
Source: JatLand: List of Mahabharata people and places

Pañcaśikhā (पञ्चशिखा) is a name mentioned in the Mahābhārata (cf. IX.44.89) and represents one of the many proper names used for people and places. Note: The Mahābhārata (mentioning Pañca-śikhā) is a Sanskrit epic poem consisting of 100,000 ślokas (metrical verses) and is over 2000 years old.

Purana book cover
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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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Kavya (poetry)

[«previous next»] — Pancashikha in Kavya glossary
Source: Wisdom Library: Kathāsaritsāgara

Pañcaśikha (पञ्चशिख) is the name of a gaṇa (attendant) of Śiva, whose story is told in “Story of Puṣpadanta”, according to the Kathāsaritsāgara, chapter 7.

The Kathāsaritsāgara (‘ocean of streams of story’), mentioning Pañcaśikha, is a famous Sanskrit epic story revolving around prince Naravāhanadatta and his quest to become the emperor of the vidyādharas (celestial beings). The work is said to have been an adaptation of Guṇāḍhya’s Bṛhatkathā consisting of 100,000 verses, which in turn is part of a larger work containing 700,000 verses.

Kavya book cover
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Kavya (काव्य, kavya) refers to Sanskrit poetry, a popular ancient Indian tradition of literature. There have been many Sanskrit poets over the ages, hailing from ancient India and beyond. This topic includes mahakavya, or ‘epic poetry’ and natya, or ‘dramatic poetry’.

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In Buddhism

Theravada (major branch of Buddhism)

[«previous next»] — Pancashikha in Theravada glossary
Source: Pali Kanon: Pali Proper Names

A Gandhabba. His favourite instrument was the Beluvapanduvina (q.v.). He was considered a favourite of the Buddha (DA.iii.699), and when Sakka visited the Buddha at the Indasalaguha in order to ask him certain questions, he sent Pancasikha in advance, that he might obtain permission for the interview. The episode in given in full in the Sakkapanha Sutta (D.ii.263ff.).

Pancasikha approached the Buddha and playing on his vina, sang of the beauties of the Buddha, the Doctrine, Arahants and Love. The verses really formed a love poem addressed to his beloved, Bhadda Suriyavaccasa, daughter of the Gandhabba Timbaru. The Buddha praised his music and song and questioned him about the poem. He confessed that when the Buddha was staying under the Ajapala nirgodba, before the Enlightenment, he (Pancasikha) had met Suriyavaccasa going with her father to dance before Sakka. Pancasikha thereupon fell in love with her; but she favoured the suit of Sikhandi, son of Matali. Pancasikha thereupon composed a song, which he sang to her. She was greatly pleased with the references in the song to the Sakyan sage of whom she had heard when she went to the Sudhammasabha, (on this occasion Sakka, pronounced his 8 fold eulogy of the Buddha, contained in the Mahagovinda Sutta, says Buddhaghosa, DA.ii.704) and she consented to marry Pancasikha. It is said that Sakka blessed the marriage in return for Pancasikhas intercession with the Buddha on his behalf.

In the Janavasabha Sutta (D.ii.211; also in the Mahagovinda Sutta, D.ii.230) it is stated that when Brahma Sanankumara appeared before the assembly of the gods of Tavatimsa and materialized himself he assumed the form of Pancasikha. Buddhaghosa says (DA.ii.640), by way of explanation, that all the devas loved Pancasikha and wished to resemble him. In the Mahagovinda Sutta (D.i.220; cp. Mtu.iii.197ff) Pancasikha is represented as conveying to the Buddha a full report of the happenings in the assembly of the devas, when Sakka spoke the Buddhas praises.

No really satisfactory explanation is found in the Commentaries of Pancasikhas name. Buddhaghosa says (DA.ii.647) Pancasikho ti pancaculo, pancakundaliko, and goes on to say that Pancasikha was born once as a human being, and, while yet a boy wearing his hair in five knots* (pancaculakadaraka kale), he became chief of those who tended the calves.

* This is done even now in Ceylon, where young boys hair is tied round their heads in several knots. But in one place (DA.i.296) Buddhaghosa says that one way of insulting a man was to shave his head, leaving him five locks of hair (garahaya ti pancasikha mundakaranam). And, again (SA.i.171), he mentions that Sanankumara retained his eternal youth because in a previous life he had developed jhana while yet a lad (pancasikhakumarakale). See also,

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Theravāda is a major branch of Buddhism having the the Pali canon (tipitaka) as their canonical literature, which includes the vinaya-pitaka (monastic rules), the sutta-pitaka (Buddhist sermons) and the abhidhamma-pitaka (philosophy and psychology).

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Tibetan Buddhism (Vajrayana or tantric Buddhism)

Source: The Indian Buddhist Iconography

Pañcaśikha (पञ्चशिख) is the king of the Gandharvas, as commonly depicted in Buddhist Iconography, and mentioned in the 11th-century Niṣpannayogāvalī of Mahāpaṇḍita Abhayākara.—The Gandharva king is known by the name of Pañcaśikha and his form is described as follows:—“Pañcaśikha the king of the Gandharvas is yellow in colour and he plays on the vīṇā instrument”.

Source: Brill: Śaivism and the Tantric Traditions (tantric Buddhism)

Pañcaśikha (पञ्चशिख) refers to “five crests” and is used to describe Ādibuddha, according to the Nāmamantrārthāvalokinī by Vilāsavajra, which is a commentary on the Nāmasaṃgīti.—Accordingly, [while describing Ādibuddha]—“[...] [The Ādibuddha] has five faces. [He also] has five crests (pañcaśikha)—in other words, five hair-braids (pañcacīraka). It is through tying up those [hair-braids that he] has a crown of five hair-braids. [His five faces] have five [different] colours: dark blue for the east [and forward-facing face], yellow for the south, red for the west, [and] green for the north. [...]”.

Tibetan Buddhism book cover
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Tibetan Buddhism includes schools such as Nyingma, Kadampa, Kagyu and Gelug. Their primary canon of literature is divided in two broad categories: The Kangyur, which consists of Buddha’s words, and the Tengyur, which includes commentaries from various sources. Esotericism and tantra techniques (vajrayāna) are collected indepently.

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Languages of India and abroad

Sanskrit dictionary

[«previous next»] — Pancashikha in Sanskrit glossary
Source: DDSA: The practical Sanskrit-English dictionary

Pañcaśikha (पञ्चशिख).—a lion.

Derivable forms: pañcaśikhaḥ (पञ्चशिखः).

Pañcaśikha is a Sanskrit compound consisting of the terms pañcan and śikha (शिख).

Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: Edgerton Buddhist Hybrid Sanskrit Dictionary

Pañcaśikha (पञ्चशिख).—(1) m. (= Pali °sikha), name of a celebrated gandharva: Mahāvastu iii.197.15 ff.; 215.5 ff.; Avadāna-śataka i.95.8—9 ff.; 113.5; Samādhirājasūtra 19.11 ff., 37; king of gandharvas, (Ārya-)Mañjuśrīmūlakalpa 46.1; as in Pali (Malalasekara (Dictionary of Pali Proper Names)) sometimes regarded (like Śakra) as an office rather than an individual, so that a person may be reborn as the gandharva P., Mahāvastu ii.49.3; (2) f., or adj., °khā mahāmudrā (q.v.), a mudrā belonging to Mañjuśrī (compare Lalou's theory cited s.v. Pañcacīra), (Ārya-)Mañjuśrīmūlakalpa [Page315-b+ 71] 26.15; printed °kha-mahāmudrā (Ārya-)Mañjuśrīmūlakalpa 37.8, but in 37.26—27 and 58.24 mahāmudrā(ṃ) pañcaśikhāṃ baddhvā, and so regularly (fem.).

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

Pañcaśikha (पञ्चशिख).—m.

(-khaḥ) 1. A lion. 2. The name of a Muni, the son of Dha- Rma by Hinsa. E. pañca spreading, śikhā a crest or mane.

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

1) Pañcaśikha (पञ्चशिख):—[=pañca-śikha] [from pañca] mfn. ‘5-crested’, having tufts of hair on the head (as an ascetic), [Mahābhārata] (khī-kṛta mfn. made an a°, [Bhartṛhari])

2) [v.s. ...] m. a lion, [cf. Lexicographers, esp. such as amarasiṃha, halāyudha, hemacandra, etc.]

3) [v.s. ...] Name of a Sāṃkhya teacher (called also -muni, a pupil of Āsuri), [Mahābhārata; Vāyu-purāṇa] etc.

4) [v.s. ...] of an attendant of Śiva, [Kathāsaritsāgara]

5) [v.s. ...] of a Gandharva, [cf. Lexicographers, esp. such as amarasiṃha, halāyudha, hemacandra, etc.]

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

Pañcaśikha (पञ्चशिख):—[pañca-śikha] (khaḥ) 1. m. A lion; a sage.

[Sanskrit to German]

Pancashikha 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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