Samhara, aka: Saṃhāra; 7 Definition(s)


Samhara means something in Buddhism, Pali, Hinduism, Sanskrit, 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

Shaivism (Shaiva philosophy)

Saṃhāra (संहार):—Eighth of the nine padas, or ‘fields of authority or qualification’ representing one of the nine groups of Dūtīs in the Dūtīchakra, according to the Kubjikāmata-tantra. The eighth group of Dūtīs is presided over by the Bhairava named Diṅmaheśvara.

(Source): Wisdom Library: Kubjikāmata-tantra
Shaivism book cover
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Shaiva (शैव, śaiva) or Shaivism (śaivism) represents a tradition of Hinduism worshiping Shiva as the supreme being. Closely related to Shaktism, Shaiva literature includes a range of scriptures, including Tantras, while the root of this tradition may be traced back to the ancient Vedas.


1a) Saṃhāra (संहार).—A Bhairava god on the sixth parva of Geyacakra.*

  • * Brahmāṇḍa-purāṇa IV. 19. 79.; 20. 92.

1b) The pralaya at the end of Kaliyuga; first covering by waters, next by tejas, then by ākāśa, then by bhūtadi, then by mahat, and lastly by avyakta;1 the period ending all manvantaras, each continuing for several yugas;2 impossible to be told in detail.3

  • 1) Vāyu-purāṇa 21. 11; 102. 4, 27-31;
  • 2) Vāyu-purāṇa 100. 118;
  • 3) Vāyu-purāṇa 61. 126-27.
(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.

Śilpaśāstra (iconography)

Saṃhāra (संहार) is the Sanskrit name of a form of Bhairava. According to the Rudrayāmala, there are eight main forms of Bhairava who control the eight directions of this universe. The term is used throughout Śilpaśāstra literature.

Saṃhāra has the following eight manifestations:

  1. Saṃhāra,
  2. Atiriktāṅga,
  3. Kālāgni,
  4. Priyaṅkara,
  5. Ghoranāda,
  6. Viśālākṣa,
  7. Yogīśa,
  8. Dakṣasaṃsthita.

All these have a color resembling the lightning; they should carry in their hands the kuṇḍa, the kheṭaka, the parigha (a kind of club) and bhiṇḍipāla.

(Source): Wisdom Library: Śilpa-śāstra
Śilpaśāstra 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.

Nāṭyaśāstra (theatrics and dramaturgy)

Saṃhāra (संहार, “conclusion”) refers to one of the “five segments” of the plot (itivṛtta or vastu) of a dramatic play (nāṭaka), according to the Nāṭyaśāstra chapter 21. It is also known by the name Nirvahaṇa. These five segments are assigned to the principal plot (ādhikārika).

(Source): Wisdom Library: Nāṭya-śāstra
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).

Vyākaraṇa (Sanskrit grammar)

Saṃhāra (संहार).—Unnecessary contraction of the place (स्थान (sthāna))as also of the instrument (करण (karaṇa)), which results into a fault of utterance called पीडन (pīḍana); cf. विहार-संहायोर्व्यासपींडने (vihāra-saṃhāyorvyāsapīṃḍane) R. Pr.XIV.2.

(Source): Wikisource: A dictionary of Sanskrit grammar
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Vyākaraṇa (व्याकरण, vyakarana) refers to Sanskrit grammar and represents one of the six additional sciences (vedāṅga) to be studied along with the Vedas. Vyākaraṇa concerns itself with the rules of Sanskrit grammar and linguistic analysis in order to establish the correct context of words and sentences.

In Buddhism


saṃhāra : (m.) abridgement; compilation.

(Source): BuddhaSasana: Concise Pali-English Dictionary
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.

Languages of India and abroad

Marathi-English dictionary

saṃhāra (संहार).—m (S) Destroying or destruction (i. c. reduction into its original state) of the universe. 2 Extinction, exhaustion, consumption, extirpation, annihilation &c.; demolition of form, mode, or state, or destruction of being, in the widest acceptation; and, preëminently (in poetry and popularly), exterminating or extensive slaughter:--whether the act or the state. 3 S Collecting: also collectedness or a collection. 4 Abridging: also abridgedness or an abridgment. 5 Contracting or gathering together generally: also contracted or gathered state.

(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.

Relevant definitions

Search found 53 related definition(s) that might help you understand this better. Below you will find the 15 most relevant articles:

Kāvyasaṃhāra (काव्यसंहार).—One of the fourteen elements of the ‘concluding segment’ (nirvahaṇas...
Varṇasaṃhāra (वर्णसंहार).—One of the twelve elements of the ‘progression segment’ (pratimukhasa...
Saṃhārapāda (संहारपाद).—The fourth pāda of the Purāṇa;1 of2 1) Brahmāṇḍa-purāṇ...
Saṃhāramūrti (संहारमूर्ति) refers to “destructive aspects”. It is one of the five classes of...
Śakti (शक्ति).—Faculty of import or denotation which is possessed by the words permanently acco...
Camunda refers to the seventh Matrka and is the shakthi of Devi (Candi). One of the description...
Dhruva (ध्रुव, “permanent”).—What is the meaning of permanent /lasting (dhruva) knowledge? The ...
bhairava (भैरव).—m Name of śiva. a Terrific, formidable.
Saṃbhava (संभव).—Iit. possibility. The word is used in the general sense of the possibility of ...
Viśālākṣa (विशालाक्ष) is a Sanskrit name referring to one of the eight manifestations of Asi...
priyaṅkara (प्रियंकर).—a S Exciting or attracting love or regard.
Sthiti (स्थिति).—Utterance of a pada or padas in the Padapatha without इति (iti); the utterance...
saṃhāraṇa (संहारण).—n Slaughtering.
Kālāgni (कालाग्नि) is a Sanskrit name referring to one of the eight manifestations of Bhīṣaṇa a...
Parāśakti (पराशक्ति).—Is Māyā;1 worship of, to get rid of Raurava hell and of other sins...

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