Senapati, Senāpati, Shenapati, Sena-pati, Sēṉāpati: 23 definitions


Senapati means something in Buddhism, Pali, Hinduism, Sanskrit, Jainism, Prakrit, the history of ancient India, Marathi, Tamil. 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

Shilpashastra (iconography)

Source: Wisdom Library: Elements of Hindu Iconograpy

Senāpati (one of the aspects of Subrahmaṇya, according to the Kumāra-tantra). This aspect should have the brilliance of the sun and should possess six faces and twelve eyes. One of the arms of Senāpati should pass round the waist of his devī, who should be seated upon his left lap; the corresponding right hand should keep a lotus. The other hands should hold the following objects in them: śūla, kheṭaka, vajra, dhanus, gadā, ghaṇṭā, kukkuṭa and abhaya.

Under the name Devasenāpati, the Śrītatvanidhi gives the following description: He should have one face, two eyes and four arms: two fo the hands should be held in the abhaya and varada poses respectively and the remaining two should carry the śaṅkha and the chakra; the colour of this aspect of Subrahmaṇya is said to be black. He should be adorned with all ornaments, and should have a white yajñopavīta and his body should have a coating of finely smelling sandal paste. The face must be very pretty and a smile must be playing about his lips.

Shilpashastra book cover
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Shilpashastra (शिल्पशास्त्र, śilpaśāstra) represents the ancient Indian science (shastra) of creative arts (shilpa) such as sculpture, iconography and painting. Closely related to Vastushastra (architecture), they often share the same literature.

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Dharmashastra (religious law)

Source: Wisdom Library: Dharma-śāstra

Senāpati (सेनापति) refers to the “officer”, as in, the officer in an army. It is used throughout Dharmaśāstra literature such as the Manusmṛti and the Baudhāyana-dharmasūtra.

Dharmashastra book cover
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Dharmashastra (धर्मशास्त्र, dharmaśāstra) contains the instructions (shastra) regarding religious conduct of livelihood (dharma), ceremonies, jurisprudence (study of law) and more. It is categorized as smriti, an important and authoritative selection of books dealing with the Hindu lifestyle.

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Purana and Itihasa (epic history)

[«previous next»] — Senapati in Purana glossary
Source: Shiva Purana - English Translation

Senāpati (सेनापति) refers to the “commander-in-chief (of an army)”, according to the Śivapurāṇa 2.3.15 (“The penance and reign of Tārakāsura”).—Accordingly, as Tāraka said to Brahmā: “[...] O great lord, there should certainly be no man equal to me in strength in this entire universe created by you. If a son born of Śiva becomes the commander-in-chief of an army [i.e., senāpati] and discharges weapons against me, let my death occur then”.

Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: The Purana Index

Senāpati (सेनापति).—(Senāni) qualifications of; may be a Brahman or Kṣatriya;1 residence of, with five courts (prākāras).2

  • 1) Matsya-purāṇa 148. 79; 215. 8-10.
  • 2) Ib. 223. 8; 254. 18.
Purana book cover
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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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Natyashastra (theatrics and dramaturgy)

Source: Wisdom Library: Nāṭya-śāstra

1) Senāpati (सेनापति) refers to the “army-leader”, who should be represented with an ardhamukuṭa (small crown), according to Nāṭyaśāstra chapter 23. Providing masks is a component of nepathya (costumes and make-up) and is to be done in accordance with the science of āhāryābhinaya (extraneous representation).

2) Senāpati (सेनापति) refers to the “leader of the army” and represents a classification of persons who “move about in public”, according to the Nāṭyaśāstra chapter 34. Accordingly, “one who possesses a good character and truthfulness, and is always active (lit. has given up idleness), sweet-tongued, knows the rules regarding weakness of the enemy, and proper time for marching against him, has a knowledge of the Arthaśāstra and of everything about wealth, is devoted to the king, honoured in his own clan, and has a knowledge about time and place, should be made a leader of the army (senāpati), for these qualities of him”.

According to the Nāṭyaśāstra chapter 35, the role (bhūmikā) of actors playing senāpatis (army-leaders) is defined as, “Persons who have well-formed limbs, distinct speech, are neither tall nor fat, are heroic, have reasoning positive and negative, are brave, and eloquent and have presence of mind, should be employed to take up the role of army-leaders (senāpati) and secretaries (amātya)”.

Natyashastra book cover
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Natyashastra (नाट्यशास्त्र, nāṭyaśāstra) refers to both the ancient Indian tradition (shastra) of performing arts, (natya—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), construction and performance of Theater, and Poetic works (kavya).

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Arthashastra (politics and welfare)

Source: Shodhganga: Kakati Ganapatideva and his times (artha)

Senāpati (सेनापति, “commander”) is an official title designating one of the seventy-two officers (niyoga) of the Bāhattaraniyogādhipati circle, according to the Inscriptional glossary of Andhra Pradesh (Śāsana-śabdakośāmu). The bāhattaraniyoga-adhipati is the highest executive officer of this circle (including a Senāpati). For example: During the reign of Gaṇapatideva, the area extending between Pānagal to Mārjavāḍi was entrusted to Gaṇḍapeṇḍāru Gangayasāhiṇi as Bāhattaraniyogādhipati. Later on, this office was entrusted to Kāyastha Jannigadeva.

Arthashastra book cover
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Arthashastra (अर्थशास्त्र, arthaśāstra) literature concerns itself with the teachings (shastra) of economic prosperity (artha) statecraft, politics and military tactics. The term arthashastra refers to both the name of these scientific teachings, as well as the name of a Sanskrit work included in such literature. This book was written (3rd century BCE) by by Kautilya, who flourished in the 4th century BCE.

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Jyotisha (astronomy and astrology)

Source: Wisdom Library: Brihat Samhita by Varahamihira

Senāpati (सेनापति) refers to the “commander-in-chief”, according to the Bṛhatsaṃhitā (chapter 3), an encyclopedic Sanskrit work written by Varāhamihira mainly focusing on the science of ancient Indian astronomy astronomy (Jyotiṣa).—Accordingly, “If, when the rays are turned away from the earth the colour of the sun be that of copper the commander-in-chief [i.e., senāpati] dies; if it be green or yellow the king’s son dies; if it be white the royal chaplain dies. If the sun (āditya) be variegated in colour or of the colour of smoke there will be either immediate rain or mankind will suffer from robbers and from weapons”.

Jyotisha book cover
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Jyotisha (ज्योतिष, jyotiṣa or jyotish) refers to ‘astronomy’ or “Vedic astrology” and represents the fifth of the six Vedangas (additional sciences to be studied along with the Vedas). Jyotisha concerns itself with the study and prediction of the movements of celestial bodies, in order to calculate the auspicious time for rituals and ceremonies.

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In Buddhism

Mahayana (major branch of Buddhism)

Source: Wisdom Library: Maha Prajnaparamita Sastra

Senāpati (सेनापति) refers to the “general” (of an army), according to Mahāprajñāpāramitāśāstra (chapter 31).—Accordingly, “[...] [If there is no self, then who controls the mind?]—[Question (1)]—There must be an Ātman. Why? If the mind (citta) controls the body (kāya), there also must be an ātman to control the mind. In the same way that the master of a kingdom (rāṣṭreśvara) controls the general (senāpati) and the general controls the soldiers (patti), there must be an ātman to control the mind, and there must be a mind to control the body so that it may enjoy the five objects of enjoyment (pañcakāmaguṇa). [...]”.

Source: De Gruyter: A Buddhist Ritual Manual on Agriculture

Senāpati (सेनापति) refers to the “(great) leader (of Yakṣas)”, according to the Vajratuṇḍasamayakalparāja, an ancient Buddhist ritual manual on agriculture from the 5th-century (or earlier), containing various instructions for the Sangha to provide agriculture-related services to laypeople including rain-making, weather control and crop protection.—Accordingly, [After the Brahmin Viṣṇudatta summoned and enraged a Nāga]: “Then Vajrapāṇi, the great leader of Yakṣas [i.e., mahā-yakṣa-senāpati], addressed the Bhagavān, ‘Look, Bhagavān, clearly all crops have been destroyed by the harmful Nāga. How will there be shelter for all beings in the last time, in the last age, after you have departed? Therefore let the Bhagavān speak about the protection of crops and the averting of Nāgas for the sake of all crops. [Thus] all crops will be provided, protected and increased’”.

Mahayana book cover
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Mahayana (महायान, mahāyāna) is a major branch of Buddhism focusing on the path of a Bodhisattva (spiritual aspirants/ enlightened beings). Extant literature is vast and primarely composed in the Sanskrit language. There are many sūtras of which some of the earliest are the various Prajñāpāramitā sūtras.

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In Jainism

General definition (in Jainism)

Source: Google Books: Jainism: An Indian Religion of Salvation

Senāpati (सेनापति, “commander”).—One of the fourteen gems (ratna) serving the Cakravartin;—The senāpati is the commander of a Cakravartī. He is a reliable and an uncorruptible servant of his master, alert and far-sighted, commanding the language of the Yavanas (Greeks) and the Mlecchas (barbarians) in word and script, well-versed in politics and art of life, a powerful figter and a clever strategist.

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 geography

Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: Indian Epigraphical Glossary

Senāpati.—(IE 8-3), leader of forces; mentioned separately along with Bal-ādhyakṣa; probably, a subordinate of the latter; the military governor of a district, according to some (HD); commander-in-chief (ASLV), also called Sarva-sainy- ādhikārin and Dalavāya, i. e. the chief officer in charge of the military department. See Bṛhaspati quoted by Viśvarūpa on Yājñavalkyasmṛti, I. 307; Ind. Ant., Vol. XV, p. 187. Puṣya- mitra, the founder of the Śuṅga dynasty, was called Senāpati even after his accession to the Maurya throne. See Sena-adhipa, etc.; cf. also Anusenāpati (EI 18). (IE 8-3), sometimes called Mahāpradhāna, Bāhattara- niyogādhiṣṭhāyaka, Paṭṭa-sāhana-adhipati, etc., additionally. Note: senāpati is defined in the “Indian epigraphical glossary” as it can be found on ancient inscriptions commonly written in Sanskrit, Prakrit or Dravidian languages.

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 mythology, zoology, 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

Pali-English dictionary

[«previous next»] — Senapati in Pali glossary
Source: BuddhaSasana: Concise Pali-English Dictionary

senāpati : (m.) a general.

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

Senāpati refers to: a general Vin. I, 233 sq.; Sn. 556; A. III, 38; IV, 79; J. I, 133; IV, 43; dhamma-° a general of the Dhamma Miln. 343; DhA. III, 305.

Note: senāpati is a Pali compound consisting of the words senā and pati.

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.

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Marathi-English dictionary

Source: DDSA: The Molesworth Marathi and English Dictionary

sēnāpati (सेनापति).—m (S) The commander of an army; the generalissimo or general.

Source: DDSA: The Aryabhusan school dictionary, Marathi-English

śēṇapāṭī (शेणपाटी).—f A basket for the removal of cowdung.

--- OR ---

sēnāpati (सेनापति).—m The commander of an army.

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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 dictionary

Source: DDSA: The practical Sanskrit-English dictionary

Senāpati (सेनापति).—

1) a general.

2) Name of Śiva.

3) Name of Kārtikeya.

4) A leader of ten पत्ति (patti) divisions; see पत्ति (patti).

Derivable forms: senāpatiḥ (सेनापतिः).

Senāpati is a Sanskrit compound consisting of the terms senā and pati (पति).

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

Senāpati (सेनापति).—m.

(-tiḥ) 1. A general, the commander of an army. 2. Kartikeya. E. senā an army and pati master.

Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: Benfey Sanskrit-English Dictionary

Senāpati (सेनापति).—m. 1. the general of an army, [Śākuntala, (ed. Böhtlingk.)] 24, 6. 2. Kārttikeya.

Senāpati is a Sanskrit compound consisting of the terms senā and pati (पति).

Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: Cappeller Sanskrit-English Dictionary

Senāpati (सेनापति).—[masculine] chief of an army, general.

Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: Monier-Williams Sanskrit-English Dictionary

1) Senāpati (सेनापति):—[=senā-pati] [from senā] m. the general of an a°, [Aitareya-brāhmaṇa] etc. etc.

2) [v.s. ...] Name of Kārttikeya, [cf. Lexicographers, esp. such as amarasiṃha, halāyudha, hemacandra, etc.]

3) [v.s. ...] of Śiva, [Mahābhārata]

4) [v.s. ...] of a son of Dhṛta-rāṣṭra, [ib.]

Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: Yates Sanskrit-English Dictionary

Senāpati (सेनापति):—[senā-pati] (tiḥ) 2. m. Idem.

[Sanskrit to German]

Senapati in German

context information

Sanskrit, also spelled संस्कृतम् (saṃskṛtam), is an ancient language of India commonly seen as the grandmother of the Indo-European language family (even English!). 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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Kannada-English dictionary

Source: Alar: Kannada-English corpus

Sēnāpati (ಸೇನಾಪತಿ):—[noun] = ಸೇನಾಧಿಪತಿ [senadhipati].

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Kannada is a Dravidian language (as opposed to the Indo-European language family) mainly spoken in the southwestern region of India.

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