Panjara, Pañjara, Pamjara: 25 definitions


Panjara means something in Buddhism, Pali, Hinduism, Sanskrit, Jainism, Prakrit, 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).

Source: OpenEdition books: Architectural terms contained in Ajitāgama and Rauravāgama

Pañjara (पञ्जर) refers to “niche §§ 3.43; 4.10, 12; 5.8.”.—(For paragraphs cf. Les enseignements architecturaux de l'Ajitāgama et du Rauravāgama by Bruno Dagens)

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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Shaktism (Shakta philosophy)

Source: Google Books: Manthanabhairavatantram

1) Pañjara (पञ्जर) refers to a “cage” (viz., prakṛtipañjara—the cage of nature), according to the second recension of the Yogakhaṇḍa of the Manthānabhairavatantra, a vast sprawling work that belongs to a corpus of Tantric texts concerned with the worship of the goddess Kubjikā.—Accordingly, as the Goddess Kumārī said to Ṛṣi Vyāsa said: “Vyāsa’s state is nothing (real). O Śaṃkara, (there is nothing) of mine (I can give) you. [...] All this is the net of Māyā. Māyā is the cage of Nature [i.e., prakṛti-pañjara]. Māyā is the intellect. Māyā is the mind. Māyā is the wish-granting gem. Māyā is (the variety and changes of phenomena and so is) like waves; also, (it is the essential nature of all phenomena and so it is) like the water (from which waves are made). Māyā is the bondage of Karma. [...]”.

2) Pañjara (पञ्जर) refers to a “cage” (e.g., pāpapañjara—the cage of sin), according to the Śrīmatottara-tantra, an expansion of the Kubjikāmatatantra: the earliest popular and most authoritative Tantra of the Kubjikā cult.—Accordingly, as Bhairava explains: “[...] By squeezing where the channels that transport the vital breath (are located), (with) the two thumbs consecrated with mantra, it [i.e., the Supreme Energy] heats up and (then) burns up the cage of sin [i.e., pāpapañjara]. The mind attains the transmental state and (the disciple) falls on the ground unconscious”.

Shaktism book cover
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Shakta (शाक्त, śākta) or Shaktism (śāktism) represents a tradition of Hinduism where the Goddess (Devi) is revered and worshipped. Shakta literature includes a range of scriptures, including various Agamas and Tantras, although its roots may be traced back to the Vedas.

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Vedanta (school of philosophy)

Source: Prem Pahlajrai: Pañcadaśī Chapter 7: Tṛptidīpa Prakaraṇam

Pañjara (पञ्जर) refers to a “cage‐like body”, according to the Pañcadaśī verse 7.140-141.—Accordingly: “What is there attractive in the cage‐like body [i.e., pañjaraaṅga pañjare], ever restless like a machine, of a woman who is but a doll made of flesh and consisting of nerves, bones and joints? Such are the defects of worldly pleasures, elaborately pointed out by the scriptures. No wise man, aware of these defects, will allow himself to be drowned in afflictions caused by them. [...]”.

context information

Vedanta (वेदान्त, vedānta) refers to a school of orthodox Hindu philosophy (astika), drawing its subject-matter from the Upanishads. There are a number of sub-schools of Vedanta, however all of them expound on the basic teaching of the ultimate reality (brahman) and liberation (moksha) of the individual soul (atman).

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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: 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.

In Buddhism

Tibetan Buddhism (Vajrayana or tantric Buddhism)

Source: OSU Press: Cakrasamvara Samadhi

Pañjara (पञ्जर) refers to a “canopy”, according to the Saṃvaramaṇḍala of Abhayākaragupta’s Niṣpannayogāvalī, p. 45 and n. 145; (Cf. Cakrasaṃvaratantra, Gray, David B., 2007).—Accordingly, [while describing the iconography of Cakrasaṃvara]: “In the Saṃvara Maṇḍala atop Mount Sumera within a vajra-canopy (vajrapañjara) there is a variegated lotus, on top of that a palace, in the middle of which is the Blessed Lord, standing in ālīḍhāsana, "archer's pose", on Bhairava and Kālirātrī, lying upon a solar-disc, atop the pericarp of the lotus, dark-blue with four faces, which starting in the front (and going counter-clockwise) are dark-blue, green, red and yellow, each with trinetra, "three eyes", [...]”

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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In Jainism

General definition (in Jainism)

Source: The University of Sydney: A study of the Twelve Reflections

1) Pañjara (पञ्जर) refers to a “skeleton”, according to the 11th century Jñānārṇava, a treatise on Jain Yoga in roughly 2200 Sanskrit verses composed by Śubhacandra.—Accordingly, “Where is the body, which is filled with blood, flesh and fat, has a skeleton of slender bones (śīrṇa-kīkasa-pañjara), is bound with tendons and is of bad odour, praised? Continually pouring forth putrid smells through [its] nine orifices, the human body is ever perishable [and] dependent on other [things]”.

2) Pañjara (पञ्जर) refers to the “structure (of the body)” (of embodied souls), according to the Jñānārṇava.—Accordingly, “If this body were not covered with skin, then who would be able to protect [it] from flies, worms and crows? The structure of the body (deha-pañjara) of embodied souls is always filled with diseases, always the abode of impurity [and] always destined for death”.

General definition book cover
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Jainism is an Indian religion of Dharma whose doctrine revolves around harmlessness (ahimsa) towards every living being. The two major branches (Digambara and Svetambara) of Jainism stimulate self-control (or, shramana, ‘self-reliance’) and spiritual development through a path of peace for the soul to progess to the ultimate goal.

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Languages of India and abroad

Pali-English dictionary

[«previous 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.

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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Sanskrit 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: Cappeller Sanskrit-English Dictionary

Pañjara (पञ्जर).—[neuter] cage, skeleton.

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]

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

Pañjara (पञ्जर):—[(raḥ-raṃ)] 1. m. n. A skeleton. m. The body; the Kali age. n. A cage, an aviary; a rib.

Source: DDSA: Paia-sadda-mahannavo; a comprehensive Prakrit Hindi dictionary (S)

Pañjara (पञ्जर) in the Sanskrit language is related to the Prakrit word: Paṃjara.

[Sanskrit to German]

Panjara 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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Prakrit-English dictionary

Source: DDSA: Paia-sadda-mahannavo; a comprehensive Prakrit Hindi dictionary

1) Paṃjara (पंजर) in the Prakrit language is related to the Sanskrit word: Pañjara.

2) Paṃjara (पंजर) also relates to the Sanskrit word: Pañjara.

context information

Prakrit is an ancient language closely associated with both Pali and Sanskrit. Jain literature is often composed in this language or sub-dialects, such as the Agamas and their commentaries which are written in Ardhamagadhi and Maharashtri Prakrit. The earliest extant texts can be dated to as early as the 4th century BCE although core portions might be older.

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Kannada-English dictionary

Source: Alar: Kannada-English corpus

Paṃjara (ಪಂಜರ):—

1) [noun] a box or enclosed structure made of wires, bars, etc., for confining and displaying birds or animals; a cage.

2) [noun] a veil used to cover a palanquin.

3) [noun] the bones of a human or an animal considered as a whole, together forming the framework of the body; the skeleton.

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Paṃjara (ಪಂಜರ):—[noun] = ಪಂಜಾ [pamja].

context information

Kannada is a Dravidian language (as opposed to the Indo-European language family) mainly spoken in the southwestern region of India.

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