Parshva, aka: Pārśva; 8 Definition(s)


Parshva means something in Hinduism, Sanskrit, Jainism, Prakrit, the history of ancient India, 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.

The Sanskrit term Pārśva can be transliterated into English as Parsva or Parshva, using the IAST transliteration scheme (?).

In Hinduism

Natyashastra (theatrics and dramaturgy)

Pārśva (पार्श्व) refers to the “sides”. It is one of the six major limbs (aṅga) used in dramatic performance, according to the Nāṭyaśāstra chapter 8. With these limbs are made the various gestures (āṅgika), which form a part of the histrionic representation (abhinaya).

These are the five kinds of movements made with the sides (pārśva):

  1. nata (bent),
  2. samunnata (raised),
  3. prasārita (extended),
  4. vivartita (turned round)
  5. apasṛta (drawn away).
Source: Wisdom Library: Nāṭya-śāstra

Pārśva (पार्श्व) refers to the “two sides” representing one of the seven “major limbs” (aṅga), which represents a division of Āṅgikābhinaya (gesture language of the limbs) as used within the classical tradition of Indian dance and performance, also known as Bharatanatyam.—Āṅgika-abhinaya is the gesture language of the limbs. Dance is an art that expresses itself through the medium of body, and therefore, āṅgikābhinaya is essential for any dance and especially for any classical dance of India. Aṅgas or major limbs include the head, hands, chest, sides (viz., Pārśva), waist, and feet; at times the neck is also used as a separate limb.

Source: Shodhganga: The significance of the mūla-beras (natya)
Natyashastra book cover
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Natyashastra (नाट्यशास्त्र, nāṭyaśāstra) refers to both the ancient Indian tradition (śāstra) of performing arts, (nāṭya, e.g., 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) and poetic works (kavya).

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Itihasa (narrative history)

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Pārśva (पार्श्व) is a name mentioned in the Mahābhārata (cf. VI.10.54) and represents one of the many proper names used for people and places. Note: The Mahābhārata (mentioning Pārśva) is a Sanskrit epic poem consisting of 100,000 ślokas (metrical verses) and is over 2000 years old.

Source: JatLand: List of Mahabharata people and places
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Itihasa (इतिहास, itihāsa) refers to ‘epic history’ and represents a branch of Sanskrit literature which popularly includes 1) the eighteen major Puranas, 2) the Mahabharata and 3) the Ramayana. It is a branch of Vedic Hinduism categorised as smriti literature (‘that which is remembered’) as opposed to shruti literature (‘that which is transmitted verbally’).

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In Jainism

General definition (in Jainism)

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Pārśva (पार्श्व):—The twenty-third Tīrthaṅkara (Janism recognizes 24 such teachers or Siddhas). He is also known by the name Pārśvanātha. His colour is green (harita), according to Aparājitapṛcchā (221.5-7). His height is 9 hatha (4 hatha equals 1 dhanuṣa, which equals 6 feet), thus, roughly corresponding to 4.1 meters. His emblem, or symbol, is a Snake.

Pārśva’s father is Aśvasena and his mother is Vāmā according to Śvetāmbara or Varmilā according to Digambara. It is an ancient Jain practice to worship the Tīrthaṅkara’s parents in various rites, such as the pratiṣṭhāvidhi, according to the Ācāradinakara (14th work on Jain conduct written by Vardhamāna Sūri).

Source: Wisdom Library: Jainism
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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India history and geogprahy

Pārśva (पार्श्व) is an example of a name based on some sect mentioned in the Gupta inscriptions. Various names indicated Buddhist or Jain sects. The Gupta empire (r. 3rd-century CE), founded by Śrī Gupta, covered much of ancient India and embraced the Dharmic religions such as Hinduism, Buddhism and Jainism. Derivation of personal names (eg., Pārśva) during the rule of the Guptas followed patterns such as tribes, places, rivers and mountains.

Source: Personal and geographical names in the Gupta inscriptions
India history book cover
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The history of India traces the identification of countries, villages, towns and other regions of India, as well as royal dynasties, rulers, tribes, local festivities and traditions and regional languages. Ancient India enjoyed religious freedom and encourages the path of Dharma, a concept common to Buddhism, Hinduism, and Jainism.

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Languages of India and abroad

Marathi-English dictionary

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pārśva (पार्श्व) [or पार्श्विक, pārśvika].—a S Relating to a side of the body, lateral.

Source: DDSA: The Molesworth Marathi and English Dictionary
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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

Pārśva (पार्श्व).—a. Near, proximate.

-rśvaḥ, -rśvam [parśūnāṃ samūhaḥ]

1) The part of the body below the arm-pit, the region of the ribs; वामं पार्श्वं विनिर्भिद्य सुतः सूर्य इव स्थितः (vāmaṃ pārśvaṃ vinirbhidya sutaḥ sūrya iva sthitaḥ) Mb.3. 126.27; शयने सन्निषण्णैकपार्श्वाम् (śayane sanniṣaṇṇaikapārśvām) Me.91.

2) The side, flank (in general) (of animate or inanimate objects), पिठरं क्वथदतिमात्रं निजपार्श्वानेव दहतितराम् (piṭharaṃ kvathadatimātraṃ nijapārśvāneva dahatitarām) Pt.1.324.

3) Vicinity.

4) Ved. A curved knife.

-rśvaḥ An epithet of the twentythird Tīrthaṅkar of the Jainas.

-rśvam 1 A multitude of ribs.

2) A fraudulent expedient, a dishonourable means.

3) The extremity of the fore-axle of a wheel. (pārśvam is used adverbially in the sense of 'near to', 'by the side of', 'towards'; kenāpyutkṣipateva paśya bhuvanaṃ matpārśvamānīyate Ś.7.8; so pārśvāt 'from the side of, away, from'; pārśve 'near', 'at hand', 'at the side'; name dūre kiṃcit kṣaṇamapi na pārśve rathajavāt Ś.1.9; Bh.3.37.)

Source: DDSA: The practical Sanskrit-English dictionary
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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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Relevant definitions

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1) Supārśva (सुपार्श्व).—A Kṣatriya King, who was the rebirth of the Asura, Kapaṭa. (Ādi Parva,...
Pārśvanātha (पार्श्वनाथ).—the Jaina pontiff. the 23 rd Tīrthaṅkara (Mar. pārasa- nātha). Deriva...
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Pārśvakukkuṭāsana (पार्श्वकुक्कुटासन) is one of the eighty-four āsanas (postures) taught by Śiv...
Pārśvapiṇḍāsana (पार्श्वपिण्डासन, “side ball posture”) is a Sanskrit word referring to a typ...
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