Plaksha, aka: Plakṣā, Plakṣa; 6 Definition(s)

Introduction

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 can be transliterated into English as Plaksa or Plaksha, using the IAST transliteration scheme (?).

In Hinduism

Āyurveda (science of life)

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: Āyurveda and botany
Āyurveda book cover
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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.

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.

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

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.
(Source): Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: The Purana Index
Purāṇa 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.

General definition (in Hinduism)

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.

(Source): archive.org: Vedic index of Names and Subjects

In Jainism

General definition (in 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): Wisdom Library: Jainism

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.

(Source): archive.org: Jaina Yoga
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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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