Plaksha, Plakṣā, Plakṣa, Plākṣa: 13 definitions


Plaksha means something in Hinduism, Sanskrit, Jainism, Prakrit. 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 Plakṣā and Plakṣa and Plākṣa can be transliterated into English as Plaksa or Plaksha, using the IAST transliteration scheme (?).

In Hinduism

Ayurveda (science of life)

Source: Wisdom Library: Āyurveda and botany

Plakṣa (प्लक्ष) is a Sanskrit word referring to Ficus lacor (white fig), in the Moraceae family. Certain plant parts of Plakṣa are eaten as a vegetable (śāka), according to Caraka in his Carakasaṃhitā sūtrasthāna (chapter 27), a classical Āyurvedic work. The plant is therefore part of the Śākavarga group of medicinal plants, referring to the “group of vegetables/pot-herbs”. Caraka defined such groups (vargas) based on the dietic value of the plant.

Source: Wisdom Library: Raj Nighantu

Plakṣa (प्लक्ष) is the name of a tree (Pākaḍī) that is associated with the Nakṣatra (celestial star) named Uttarā-Phālgunī, according to the second chapter (dharaṇyādi-varga) of the 13th-century Raj Nighantu or Rājanighaṇṭu (an Ayurvedic encyclopedia). Accordingly, “these [trees] are propounded in Śāstras, the secret scriptures (śāstrāgama). These pious trees [viz, Plakṣa], if grown and protected, promote long life”. These twenty-seven trees related to the twenty-seven Nakṣatras are supposed to be Deva-vṛkṣas or Nakṣatra-vṛkṣas.

Source: Shodhganga: Dietetics and culinary art in ancient and medieval India

Plakṣa (प्लक्ष) refers to the “fig tree” and represents a type of fruit-bearing plant, according to the Mahābhārata Anuśāsanaparva 53.19 , and is commonly found in literature dealing with the topics of dietetics and culinary art, also known as Pākaśāstra or Pākakalā.—We can see the description of flowering and fruit bearing plants in Ṛgveda. But we come across the specific names of them only in the later Saṃhita and Brāhmaṇa literature. [...] From the epics, we know that the hermits generally lived on fruits, roots and tubers. Mahābhārata the commonly used fruits are kāsmarya, iṅguda, śṛṅgāṭaka, bhallātaka (marking nut), the fruits of plakṣa (fig tree), aśvattha (pipal tree), vibhītaka (fruit of Terminallia) and pīlu (Salvadora persica). Mahābhārata prohibits the usage of certain fruits like the fruits of plakṣa, aśvattha, pippala and uduṃbara trees for the persons who are desirous of glory.

Plakṣa or Ficus infectoria is mentioned in a list of potential causes for indigestion in the 17th century Bhojanakutūhala (dravyaguṇāguṇa-kathana).—A complete section in Bhojanakutūhala is devoted for the description of agents that cause indigestion [viz., plakṣa (Ficus infectoria)]. These agents consumed on a large scale can cause indigestion for certain people. The remedies [viz., paryuṣitodaka] for these types of indigestions are also explained therewith.

Ayurveda book cover
context information

Āyurveda (आयुर्वेद, ayurveda) is a branch of Indian science dealing with medicine, herbalism, taxology, anatomy, surgery, alchemy and related topics. Traditional practice of Āyurveda in ancient India dates back to at least the first millenium BC. Literature is commonly written in Sanskrit using various poetic metres.

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Purana and Itihasa (epic history)

Source: Wisdom Library: Varāha-purāṇa

Plakṣā (प्लक्षा).—Name of a river (nadī) situated near the seven great mountains on the western side of mount Naiṣadha, according to the Varāhapurāṇa chapter 83. These settlements consume the water flowing from these seven great mountains (Viśākha, Kambala, Jayanta, Kṛṣṇa, Harita, Aśoka and Vardhamāna). Niṣadha (Naiṣadha) is one of the seven mountains located in Jambūdvīpa, ruled over by Āgnīdhra, a grandson of Svāyambhuva Manu, who was created by Brahmā, who was in turn created by Nārāyaṇa, the unknowable all-pervasive primordial being.

Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: The Purana Index

1a) Plakṣa (प्लक्ष).—The lord of forest trees; acted calf for trees to milk the cow-earth;1 sticks of this tree to be used in ceremonies connected with the kṛṣṇāṣṭamivrata and the digging of tanks.2

  • 1) Matsya-purāṇa 8. 8; 10. 28;
  • 2) Ib. 56. 7; 58. 10.

1b) A son of Dāruka; an avatār of the Lord.*

  • * Vāyu-purāṇa 23. 196.

1c) A continent; a part of Kimpuruṣa equal to Nandana; there is a plakṣa tree here.*

  • * Vāyu-purāṇa 33. 11; 46. 4.
Purana book cover
context information

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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General definition (in Hinduism)

Source: Vedic index of Names and Subjects

Plakṣa (प्लक्ष) is the name of the waved leaf fig-tree (Ficus infectoria), a large and beautiful tree with small white fruit. It is mentioned in the Atharvaveda and the Taittirīya-saṃhitā along with the Nyagrodha and the Parṇa. Its name is altered in the latter Saṃhitā to Prakṣa for the sake of an etymology. It is also mentioned in the Brāhmaṇas.

In Jainism

General definition (in Jainism)

Source: Wisdom Library: Jainism

Plakṣa (प्लक्ष) is the name of the caitya-tree (also known as Pilaṅkhu) under which the parents of Śītala are often depicted in Jaina iconography, according to the Śvetāmbara tradition. According to the Digambara tradition the tree is known as Dhūli. The term caitya refers to “sacred shrine”, an important place of pelgrimage and meditation in Jainism. Sculptures with such caitya-trees generally shows a male and a female couple seated under a tree with the female having a child on her lap. Usually there is a seated Jina figure on top of the tree.

Śītala is the tenth of twenty-four tīrthaṅkaras: enlightened beings who, having conquered saṃsāra (cycle of birth and death), leave a path behind for others to follow. His father is Dṛḍharatha and his mother is Nandā, according to the Ācāradinakara (14th century work on Jain conduct written by Vardhamāna Sūri).

Source: Jaina Yoga

Plakṣa (प्लक्ष) refers to a “Ficus infectoria Roxb.”: one of the five udumbara fruits considered forbidden to eat for Jain laymen, as listed under the khādima category of forbidden food (āhāra), according to Amitagati in his 11th century Śrāvakācāra (v6.96-97). The udumbaras, perhaps because they live long and have nutritive fruits, perhaps because of their milky latex, have been identified with the source of all fertility, and possibly owing to the ceaseless rustling of their leaves have been regarded as homes of the spirits of the dead.

General definition book cover
context information

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

Sanskrit-English dictionary

Source: DDSA: The practical Sanskrit-English dictionary

Plakṣa (प्लक्ष).—[plakṣate kīṭaiḥ plakṣ-karmaṇi ghañ]

1) The Indian fig-tree; प्लक्षप्ररोह इव सौधतलं विभेद (plakṣapraroha iva saudhatalaṃ vibheda) R.8.93;13.71; कपित्थैः किंशुकैः प्लक्षैः (kapitthaiḥ kiṃśukaiḥ plakṣaiḥ) Parṇāl.4.62.

2) One of the seven Dvīpas or continents of the world; प्लक्षो जम्बूप्रमाणो द्वीपः ख्यातिकरो हिरण्मय उत्थितो यत्राग्निरुपास्ते सप्तजिह्वः (plakṣo jambūpramāṇo dvīpaḥ khyātikaro hiraṇmaya utthito yatrāgnirupāste saptajihvaḥ) Purāṇam.

3) A side or back-door, a private entrance.

4) The space at the side of a door.

Derivable forms: plakṣaḥ (प्लक्षः).

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Plākṣa (प्लाक्ष).—The fruit of प्लक्ष (plakṣa).

Derivable forms: plākṣam (प्लाक्षम्).

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

Plakṣa (प्लक्ष).—m.

(-kṣaḥ) 1. Waved-leaf fig-tree, (Ficus infectoria.) 2. Another tree, (Hibiscus populneoides.) 3. The holy fig, (Fious religiosa.) 4. One of the seven Dwipas or continents, into which the world is divided. 5. A private or back-door. E. plaṣ to burn, Unadi aff. sa, and a substituted for the penultimate vowel.

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Plākṣa (प्लाक्ष).—n.

(-kṣaṃ) The fruit of the Hibiscus populneoides. E. plakṣ, and aṇ added.

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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