Panjara, Pañjara: 14 definitions

Introduction

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

Shilpashastra (iconography)

Source: Wisdom Library: Śilpa-śāstra

Pañjara (पञ्जर, “cage”) refers to a representation of a pavilion with a nāsī as its roofing element..

Shilpashastra book cover
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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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Vastushastra (architecture)

Source: Shodhganga: Temples of Salem region Up to 1336 AD

Pañjara (पञ्जर).—Type of pavillion found sculptured on the hāra (parapet of the temple);—Pañjara is a pavilion, which is apsidal on plan. Normally, the façade of the pañjaras are shown in the parapet. Pañjaras are also provided with an elevated plinth, two pillars in the front and a semi circular façade, often mounted with a kīrtimukha at the apex. In the façade of the pavilion, between the pillars, a relief sculpture is often carved. Pañjaras are placed always perpendicular to the line of the parapet, so that the façade of the pañjara faces front, (exception to this is also not absent).

Vastushastra book cover
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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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General definition (in Hinduism)

Source: Google Books: New Essays in Comparative Aesthetics

The basic geometrical diagram is called “pañjara” (“cage”, “skeleton”) and it consists of lines, points, circles, squares, triangles and diagonals. The ritual and performative nature of sacred Hindu art has to be taken into account in order to realise that there is not a mere imitation of divine forms but by employing the divine rhythms a metrical reconsitution takes place. Drawing a pañjara becomes a ritual act which in itself is a re-enactment of the process of creation, as much on a microcosmic level as on a macrocosmic one. In this sense, pañjaras can be seen as symbolic representations of the upaniṣadic conception of world creation.

Source: Asian art: Indra’s Ratha in Melakkadambur, a Chola Masterpiece

A pañjara is in a way a miniature shrine in two dimensions. Chola architects adopted the structure of the pañjara during the earlier phases of the Chola period (910 to 970) as a structure to fill the space of a vimana wall without using it to house sculptures of deities. The pañjara was already a feature of Pallava temple architecture, where it had the role of accommodating a murti on a temple wall or as abstract decoration on a roof.

The most obvious differences between a devakoshtha and a pañjara are that the first is capped by a lintel and crowned with a makaratorana, whereas the second is capped by a kapota or cornice crowned with a miniature ekatala or one-storied shrine.

The pañjaras of the later Chola period, especially the ones in a central position on a wall, distinguish themselves often by being capped with a shala or barrel shaped roof element, instead of a miniature ekatala. But the pañjaras that accommodate murtis on the Amritagateshvara temple in Melakkadambur are unusual in several ways (Figure 18). They do not have a base of their own that would have made them project out from the temple wall, but are all situated on the base of the temple. At the same time each has a kind of ‘base’ structure positioned in front, creating the appearance of a projection. Each of the walls of the ardhamandapa and the grabhagriha has a central figure that is housed in an exceptional pañjara. These pañjaras are unusual in that they each have a pair of independent octagonal pillars with lions as caryatids supporting a roof that juts out from the wall and is sculpted with a ribbed kapota (cornice).

 

Source: Academia.edu: Unity and Gravity of an elemental Architecture

The walls of the temple are themselves a ‘cage’ (pañjara) forming a pillared enclosure giving a body to Air. The Agni-purāṇa states that “the five Elements—Water, Light, Air, Sky, [and Earth]”—act “as the wrappings”, in the temple’s wall-frieze (jaṅghā), for the microcosm (brahmāṇṭaka) guarded within.

Languages of India and abroad

Pali-English dictionary

[«previous (P) next»] — Panjara in Pali glossary
Source: BuddhaSasana: Concise Pali-English Dictionary

pañjara : (m.) a cage.

Source: Sutta: The Pali Text Society's Pali-English Dictionary

Pañjara, (m. & nt.) (cp. Epic Sk. pañjara, which probably belongs to Lat. pango, q. v. Walde, Lat. Wtb. s. v. ) a cage, J. I, 436; II, 141; III, 305 (sīha°); IV, 213; V, 232 (sīha), 365; VI, 385 (sīha°), 391; Miln. 23 (°antaragata gone into the c.); 27; DhA. I, 164 (nakha°), where meaning is “frame”; VbhA. 238; +sīha° meaning window. (Page 389)

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.

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Marathi-English dictionary

Source: DDSA: The Molesworth Marathi and English Dictionary

pañjara (पंजर).—m (S) A cage. 2 fig. The fabric or skeleton (of man or an animal). 3 The chest or the case of ribs.

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pāñjarā (पांजरा).—m (pañjara S) A cage. 2 The crop or branching portion of a Palm. 3 The frame or skeleton (as of a house or ship).

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

pañjara (पंजर).—m A cage. The skeleton (of man or an animal).

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pāñjarā (पांजरा).—m A cage. The frame of skeleton (as of a house or ship). aṅgācā or śarīrācā or hāḍāñcā pāñjarā A term for an emaciated person.

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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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Sanskrit-English dictionary

Source: DDSA: The practical Sanskrit-English dictionary

Pañjara (पञ्जर).—A cage, an aviary; पञ्जरशुकः, भुजपञ्जरः (pañjaraśukaḥ, bhujapañjaraḥ) &c.

-raḥ, ram 1 Ribs.

2) A skeleton.

-raḥ 1 The body.

2) The Kaliyuga.

3) A purificatory ceremony performed on cows.

Derivable forms: pañjaram (पञ्जरम्).

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

Pañjara (पञ्जर) or Piñjara.—mn.

(-raḥ-raṃ) A skeleton. n.

(-raṃ) 1. A cage, an aviary, a dove-cot. 2. The ribs. m.

(-raḥ) 1. The body. 2. The Kali age. E. paji for piji to dwell, &c. Unadi aff. arac; also piñjara.

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

Pañjara (पञ्जर).—n. 1. A cage, Mahābhārata 12, 3061. 2. A skeleton, [Prabodhacandrodaya, (ed. Brockhaus.)] 71, 1. (Probably akin to paj in vedic pajra, pājas; cf. [Latin] pango).

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

1) Pañjara (पञ्जर):—[from pañj] n. a cage, aviary, dove-cot, net, [Mahābhārata; Kāvya literature] etc.

2) [v.s. ...] a skeleton, the ribs, [Prabodha-candrodaya; Caṇḍa-kauśika] (also m., [cf. Lexicographers, esp. such as amarasiṃha, halāyudha, hemacandra, etc.])

3) [v.s. ...] Name of [particular] prayers and formularies, [Vāmana-purāṇa]

4) [v.s. ...] m. (L.) the body, [Udbhaṭa]

5) [v.s. ...] the Kali-yuga, [cf. Lexicographers, esp. such as amarasiṃha, halāyudha, hemacandra, etc.]

6) [v.s. ...] a purificatory ceremony performed on cows, [cf. Lexicographers, esp. such as amarasiṃha, halāyudha, hemacandra, etc.]

7) [v.s. ...] a kind of bulbous plant ([varia lectio] pañjala).

8) Pāñjara (पाञ्जर):—([from] pañjara) mfn. relating or belonging to a cage, [Nalacampū or damayantīkathā]

context information

Sanskrit, also spelled संस्कृतम् (saṃskṛtam), is an ancient language of India commonly seen as the grandmother of the Indo-European language family. 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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