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Pasha, aka: Pasa, Pāsa, Pāśa, Pāśā; 14 Definition(s)


Pasha 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 Pāśa and Pāśā can be transliterated into English as Pasa or Pasha, using the IAST transliteration scheme (?).

In Hinduism

Nāṭyaśāstra (theatrics and dramaturgy)

One of the saṃyutta-hastāni (Twenty-four combined Hands).—Pāśa (noose) : the forefingers of the Sūci hand are bent and interlocked. Usage: enmity, noose, manacles. 

Source: archive.org: The mirror of gesture (abhinaya-darpana)Nāṭyaśāstra book cover
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Nāṭyaśāstra (नाट्यशास्त्र, natya-shastra) refers to both the ancient Indian tradition of performing arts, (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 (nāṭya) and poetic works (kāvya).

Śilpaśāstra (iconography)

Pāśa (पाश, ‘noose’) is a weapon (āyudha or bādhra) according to the Vāstusūtra Upaniṣad.

Source: Google Books: The Theory of Citrasutras in Indian Painting

Pāśa.—As the word indicates, it is a noose of ropes employed in the binding the enemy’s hands and legs. It is represented in sculptures as consisting of two or event three ropes made into a single or a double loop.

Source: Google Books: Elements of Hindu iconography

The noose (pāśa) of Gaṇeśa — represents the three things which are the cause of our bondage to the material world which necessitate continued rebirth:

  1. Avidyā—Ignorance of our true nature
  2. Karma—Our actions done in conformity with the false identification with the material vehicle
  3. Vāsanā—The habitual pattern formations which we create.
Source: Red Zambala: Hindu Icons and Symbols | Inner Circle IV

Pāśa (Noose) - The 3 bonds that bind us to the cycle of rebirth – avidya (ignorance) karma (action) vāsanā (habitual patterns). It also has three other meanings attracting oneself to the Dharma, tying oneself by the constraints of Dharma and destroying all obstacles to one’s spiritual evolution.

Source: Red Zambala: Hindu Icons and Symbols | IntroductionŚilpaśāstra book cover
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Śilpaśāstra (शिल्पशास्त्र, shilpa-shastra) represents the ancient Indian science of creative arts such as sculpture, iconography and painting. Closely related to Vāstuśāstra (architecture), they often share the same literature.


Pāśā (पाशा).—Name of a river originating from Vindhya, a holy mountain (kulaparvata) in Bhārata, according to the Varāhapurāṇa chapter 85. There are settlements (janapada) where Āryas and Mlecchas dwell who drink water from these rivers.

Bhārata is a region south of Hemādri, once ruled over by Bharata (son of Ṛṣabha), whose ancestral lineage can be traced back to Svāyambhuva Manu, who was created by Brahmā, who was in turn created by Nārāyaṇa, the unknowable all-pervasive primordial being.

The Varāhapurāṇa is categorised as a Mahāpurāṇa, and was originally composed of 24,000 metrical verses, possibly originating from before the 10th century. It is composed of two parts and Sūta is the main narrator.

Source: Wisdom Library: Varāha-purāṇa

Pāśa (पाश, “noose” or “lasso”):—The pāśa was a sort of lariat or lasso. It is mentioned in the Ṛgveda as one of the weapons of Varuṇa and Soma. The Mahābhārata also makes allusions to it. The Vāyu-purāṇa mentions it only in connection with Śiva.

Source: Google Books: Cultural History from the Vāyu Purāna

1) Pāśa (पाश).—Noose peculiar to Varuṇa.*

  • * Matsya-purāṇa 135. 77; 150. 128; 152. 2; 153. 211; 162. 31; 173. 12; 174. 13.

2) Pāśā (पाशा).—A R. from the Pāriyātra.*

  • * Brahmāṇḍa-purāṇa II. 16. 28.
Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: The Purana IndexPurāṇa book cover
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The Purāṇas (पुराण, purana) refers to Sanskrit literature preserving ancient India’s vast cultural history, including historical legends, religious ceremonies, various arts and sciences. The eighteen mahāpurāṇas total over 400,000 ślokas (metrical couplets) and date to at least several centuries BCE.

Śaivism (Śaiva philosophy)

Pāśa (पाश).—According to the Mṛgendrāgama, the pāśa is really the tirodhānaśakti of Śiva. The pāśas are threefold:

  1. sahaja, those malas with which we are associated from beginningless time and which stay on until liberation;
  2. āgantuka, meaning all our senses and sense-objects; and
  3. sūṃsargika, that is those which are produced by the intercourse of sahaja and the āgantuka mala.

The creation and the manifestation of our experiences take place in accordance with our karma as revealed by God. Just as a field sown with seeds does not produce the same kind of crop for every peasant, so in spite of same kinds of actions we may have different kinds of results manifested to us by God.

Source: A History of Indian Philosophy Volume 5: Śiva-jñāna-bodha

Pāśa (पाश, “bonds”).—The bonds or pāśa are of four kinds: first, the bond of mala and the karma. The bond of mala is beginningless, and it stands as a veil over our enlightenment and power of action. The karma also flows on, depending on the mala from beginningless time. The third is called māyēya, which means the subtle and gross bodies produced through māyā, which is the fourth. Aghora-śivācārya says that māyēyameans the contingent bonds of passion, etc., which are produced in consequence of karma. Even those who have not the māyēya impurity at the time of dissolution (pralaya) remain by themselves but not liberated.

Source: A History of Indian Philosophy Volume 5: Śaiva Philosophy according to Bhoja and his commentatorsŚaivism book cover
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Śaiva (शैव, shaiva) or Śaivism (shaivism) represents a tradition of Hinduism worshipping Śiva as the supreme being. Closeley related to Śāktism, Śaiva literature includes a range of scriptures, including tantras, while the root of this tradition may be traced back to the ancient Vedas.

General definition (in Hinduism)

Pāśa (पाश, “noose”):—One of the objects that Yama is displayed carrying. Yama, the vedic God of death, represents the embodiment of Dharma. Yama rules over the kingdom of the dead and binds humankind according to the fruits of their karma.

Source: Wisdom Library: Hinduism

In Buddhism

Theravada (major branch of Buddhism)

A locality in South India, captured by Lankapura. Cv.lxxvi.236.

Source: Pali Kanon: Pali Proper Names
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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).


pāsa : (m.) a sling; a snare; a button hole.

Source: BuddhaSasana: Concise Pali-English Dictionary

1) Pāsa, 3 (a stone?) at PvA. 63 (pās’antare) is probably a misreading and to be corrected to palāsa (palās’antare, similarly to rukkh’antare, kaṭṭh’— and mūl’antare), foliage. (Page 456)

2) Pāsa, 2 (Class. Sk. prāsa fr. pra+as) a spear, a throw Sn. 303; A. IV, 171 (kuṭhāri° throw of an axe).—asi° a class of deities Miln. 191. (Page 456)

3) Pāsa, 1 (Vedic pāśa) a sling, snare, tie, fetter S. I, 105, 111; A. II, 182; IV, 197; Vin. IV, 153 (? hattha°); Sn. 166; It. 36 (Māra°); J. III, 184; IV, 414; PvA. 206. On its frequent use in similes see J. P. T. S. 1907, 111. (Page 456)

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