Senapati, aka: Senāpati, Shenapati, Sena-pati; 11 Definition(s)


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

Shilpashastra (iconography)

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.

Source: Wisdom Library: Elements of Hindu Iconograpy
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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)

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.

Source: Wisdom Library: Dharma-śāstra
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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)

Senapati in Purana glossary... « previous · [S] · next »

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

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)”.

Source: Wisdom Library: Nāṭya-śāstra
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Natyashastra (नाट्यशास्त्र, nāṭyaśāstra) refers to both the ancient Indian tradition (śāstra) of performing arts, (nāṭya, 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 (nataka) and poetic works (kavya).

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Arthashastra (politics and welfare)

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.

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

General definition (in Jainism)

Senapati in Jainism glossary... « previous · [S] · next »

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.

Source: Google Books: Jainism: An Indian Religion of Salvation
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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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Languages of India and abroad

Pali-English dictionary

Senapati in Pali glossary... « previous · [S] · next »

senāpati : (m.) a general.

Source: BuddhaSasana: Concise Pali-English Dictionary
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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

Senapati in Marathi glossary... « previous · [S] · next »

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

Source: DDSA: The Molesworth Marathi and English Dictionary

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

--- OR ---

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

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

Senapati in Sanskrit glossary... « previous · [S] · next »

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: DDSA: The practical Sanskrit-English dictionary
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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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