Shakuni, Sakuṇī, Sakuni, Śakuni, Śakunī, Śākuni, Śākunī: 30 definitions


Shakuni means something in Buddhism, Pali, Hinduism, Sanskrit, Marathi, Hindi. 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 Śakuni and Śakunī and Śākuni and Śākunī can be transliterated into English as Sakuni or Shakuni, using the IAST transliteration scheme (?).

In Hinduism

Purana and Itihasa (epic history)

Source: Wisdom Library: The Matsya-purāṇa

Śakunī (शकुनी) is the name of a mind-born ‘divine mother’ (mātṛ), created for the purpose of drinking the blood of the Andhaka demons, according to the Matsya-purāṇa 179.8. The Andhaka demons spawned out of every drop of blood spilled from the original Andhakāsura (Andhaka-demon). According to the Matsya-purāṇa 179.35, “Most terrible they (e.g., Śakunī) all drank the blood of those Andhakas and become exceedingly satiated.”

The Matsyapurāṇa is categorised as a Mahāpurāṇa, and was originally composed of 20,000 metrical verses, dating from the 1st-millennium BCE. The narrator is Matsya, one of the ten major avatars of Viṣṇu.

Source: Puranic Encyclopedia

1) Śakuni (शकुनि).—A serpent born in the Dhṛtarāṣṭra dynasty. It was burnt to death at the serpent yajña conducted by Janamejaya. (Ādi Parva, Chapter 57, Verse 16). (See full article at Story of Śakuni from the Puranic encyclopaedia by Vettam Mani)

2) Śakuni (शकुनि).—An asura who was the son of Hiraṇyākṣa and brother of Śambara, Trimūrdhā, Śaṅku and Ārya. (Agni Purāṇa, Chapter 19).

3) Śakuni (शकुनि).—A king born in the dynasty of Bharata, son of Duṣyanta. Śakuni was Bhīmaratha’s son and father of Urudbhi. (Bhāgavata, 9th Skandha).

4) Śakuni (शकुनि).—A son of Ikṣvāku. (For details see under Viśvakarmā, Para 2).

5) Śakuni (शकुनि).—A maharṣi to whom were born nine sons called Dhruva, Śāli, Budha, Tāra, Jyotiṣmān, Nirmoha, Jitakāma, Dhyānakāṣṭha, and Guṇādhika. The first five of them led householder’s life while the last four took to Sannyāsa even as children. (Padma Purāṇa Ādikhaṇḍa, Chapter 31).

6) Śakuni (शकुनि).—The notorious uncle of Duryodhana. Son of King Subala of Gāndhāra and brother of Gāndhārī. Śakuni, staying at Hastināpura, pulled the strings for all the evil actions of Duryodhana. It was Śakuni’s hands, which worked in the background in driving the Pāṇḍavas out of the kingdom and in denuding Pāñcālī of her clothes. It was also his evil tactics, which tore asunder all chances of conciliation with the Pāṇḍavas on their return from the forest and thus led to the great war that lasted for eighteen days. At last he was killed by Sahadeva during the war. (Śalya Parva, Chapter 28, Verse 61). A resume of the part played by Śakuni in the Bhārata story is given below:

It was with his help that Duryodhana defeated Dharmaputra in the foul game of dice. (Ādi Parva, Chapter 61, Verse 50).

7) Śākuni (शाकुनि).—A maharṣi, who lived in Madhu forest. Of the nine sons of Śākuni, Dhruva, Śīla, Budha and Tāra were house-holders and agnihotris (those who sacrificed offerings in fire). (Padma Purāṇa, Svarga Khaṇḍa 81).

Source: Nilamata Purana: a cultural and literary study

Śakunī (शकुनी) is the name of a Goddess that was once worshipped in ancient Kashmir (Kaśmīra) as mentioned in the Nīlamatapurāṇa.—These Goddesses (e.g., Śakunī) form the shining galaxy of female deities worshipped by the people of Kaśmīra.

Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: The Purana Index

1a) Śakuni (शकुनि).—(saubala) a prince of Gāndhāra and an evil adviser to Duryodhana; joined him in insulting Vidura; attacked the northern gate of Mathurā, and the eastern gate of Gomanta when they were besieged by Jarāsandha.*

  • * Bhāgavata-purāṇa III. 1. 14; 3. 13; VII. 2. 18; X. 50. 11 [7]; 52. 11. [6].

1b) Father of Asura Vṛka; took part in the Devāsura war between Bali and Indra.*

  • * Bhāgavata-purāṇa VIII. 10. 20; X. 88. 14.

1c) A son of (Ekā) Daśaratha and father of Karambhi (aka).*

  • * Bhāgavata-purāṇa IX. 24. 4-5; Brahmāṇḍa-purāṇa III. 70. 44; Vāyu-purāṇa 95. 43; Viṣṇu-purāṇa IV. 12. 41.

1d) A son of Vikukṣi.*

  • * Brahmāṇḍa-purāṇa III. 63. 9.

1e) A son of Sanadvāja; father of Svāgata.*

  • * Brahmāṇḍa-purāṇa III. 64. 20.

1f) A son of Danu*

  • * Matsya-purāṇa 6. 17.

1g) A son of Dṛḍharatha and father of Karambha.*

  • * Matsya-purāṇa 44. 42.

1h) Had 500 brothers who were rulers of Uttarāpathadeśa; of these 48 had sovereignty over the south; all sons of Ikṣvāku.*

  • * Vāyu-purāṇa 88. 9.

1i) A son of Sutadvāja.*

  • * Vāyu-purāṇa 89. 20.

2a) Śakunī (शकुनी).—A daughter of Bali.*

  • * Brahmāṇḍa-purāṇa III. 5. 43; Vāyu-purāṇa 67. 84.

2b) The wife of Nāka.*

  • * Brahmāṇḍa-purāṇa III. 59. 13; Vāyu-purāṇa 84. 13.

2c) A mind-born mother.*

  • * Matsya-purāṇa 179. 12.
Source: JatLand: List of Mahabharata people and places

Śakuni (शकुनि) is a name mentioned in the Mahābhārata (cf. I.52.14, I.61.72) and represents one of the many proper names used for people and places. Note: The Mahābhārata (mentioning Śakuni) is a Sanskrit epic poem consisting of 100,000 ślokas (metrical verses) and is over 2000 years old.

Śakuni is also mentioned in the Mahābhārata (cf. I.52.14, I.57, I.63.94, I.63) and represents one of the many proper names used for people and places.

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.

Discover the meaning of shakuni or sakuni in the context of Purana from relevant books on Exotic India

Vaishnavism (Vaishava dharma)

Source: ISKCON Press: Glossary

Śakuni (शकुनि).—The evil brother of Gāndhārī and notorious friend of Duryodhana. He master-minded the great gambling match that sent the Pāṇḍavas into exile for 13 years. In the great Kurukṣetra war he was killed by Sahadeva.

Vaishnavism book cover
context information

Vaishnava (वैष्णव, vaiṣṇava) or vaishnavism (vaiṣṇavism) represents a tradition of Hinduism worshipping Vishnu as the supreme Lord. Similar to the Shaktism and Shaivism traditions, Vaishnavism also developed as an individual movement, famous for its exposition of the dashavatara (‘ten avatars of Vishnu’).

Discover the meaning of shakuni or sakuni in the context of Vaishnavism from relevant books on Exotic India

Shaktism (Shakta philosophy)

Source: Google Books: Manthanabhairavatantram

Śakunī (शकुनी) is the name of the Goddess associated with Pūrṇagiri, one of the sacred seats (pīṭha), according to chapter 10 of the according to the Kularatnoddyota, one of the earliest Kubjikā Tantras.—The Mother and Lord derive their names simply from that of the seat they govern. The goddesses of the seats are those Kubjikā meets there in the course of her tour described in the first chapters of the Kubjikāmatatantra. The names of their male counterparts are not the same as those listed there. But they do coincide with those in the version found in the Ṣaṭsāhasrasaṃhitā. We notice that they occasionally appear, as the goddesses [i.e., Śakunī] do, in the mantras invoking the sacred seats in some of the numerous forms of the Krama.

Source: Kamakoti Mandali: The Yoginis of Narasimha Vyuha

Śakunī (शकुनी) is the name of a Mātṛkā-Śakti created by Mahārudra in order to control the plague of demons created by Andhakāsura.—Accordingly, Andhaka-Asura tried to kidnap Umā (Devī Pārvatī), and was fiercely attacked by Mahārudra who shot arrows at him from his mahāpināka. when the arrows pierced the body of Andhakāsura, drops of blood fell to earth and from those drops, thousands of Andhakas arose. To control this plague of demons, Mahārudra created Mātṛkā-Śaktis [viz., Śakunī] and ordered them to drink the blood of the demons and drain them dry.

Source: Kamakoti Mandali: Nrisimha matrika-mandala

Śākunī (शाकुनी) refers to one of the various Mātṛkā-Śaktis created by Rudra in order to destroy the clones that spawned from Andhaka’s body.—Accordingly, [...] Andhakāsura attempted to abduct Girājanandinī (Pārvatī) and thus ensued a fierce battle between Andhakāsura and the great Rudra, the Lord of Umā. Like raktabīja, every drop of blood that fell from the body of Andhaka created another Asura like him and in no time, the entire world was filled with Andhakas. To destroy the growing number of Andhakas, Rudra created innumerable Mātṛkā-Śaktis [viz., Śākunī]. These Śaktis of immense power at once began to drink every drop of blood that flowed from the body of Andhaka, but they could still not effectively contain the emergence of more and more demons.

Shaktism book cover
context information

Shakta (शाक्त, śākta) or Shaktism (śāktism) represents a tradition of Hinduism where the Goddess (Devi) is revered and worshipped. Shakta literature includes a range of scriptures, including various Agamas and Tantras, although its roots may be traced back to the Vedas.

Discover the meaning of shakuni or sakuni in the context of Shaktism from relevant books on Exotic India

General definition (in Hinduism)

Source: Wisdom Library: Hinduism

Brother of Gandhari (wife of Dhritarashtra, father of the Kauravas). He won the kingdom of the Pandavas (for his nephew Duryodhana) by challenging Yudhisthira to a rigged game of dice.

Source: Vedic index of Names and Subjects

Śakuni (शकुनि, ‘bird’) is used practically like Śakuna, but with a much clearer reference to divination. It was smaller than the Śyena or Suparṇa, gave signs, and foretold ill-luck. When it is mentioned4 in the list of sacrificial victims at the Aśvamedha (‘horse sacrifice’), a special species must be meant: later the falcon is so called, but the ‘raven’ may be intended; the commentator on the Taittirīya-saṃhitā thinks that it is the ‘crow’.

Source: Apam Napat: Indian Mythology

Shakuni was the brother of Gandhari. He was very fond of his nephew Duryodhana. He won the Pandava's half of the kingdom for his nephew, as a wager in a rigged game of dice. The dice that were used were made with Shakuni's father's thigh bones and would always do his bidding.

Source: WikiPedia: Hinduism

Shakuni (शकुनि): Shakuni was the brother of Gandhari. He was very fond of his nephew Duryodhana. He won the Pandavas' half of the kingdom for his nephew, as a wager in a rigged game of dice.

In Buddhism

Tibetan Buddhism (Vajrayana or tantric Buddhism)

Source: Wisdom Library: Tibetan Buddhism

Śakunī (शकुनी) refers to one of the various Mātṛs and Mahāmātṛs mentioned as attending the teachings in the 6th century Mañjuśrīmūlakalpa: one of the largest Kriyā Tantras devoted to Mañjuśrī (the Bodhisattva of wisdom) representing an encyclopedia of knowledge primarily concerned with ritualistic elements in Buddhism. The teachings in this text originate from Mañjuśrī and were taught to and by Buddha Śākyamuni in the presence of a large audience (including Śakunī).

Tibetan Buddhism book cover
context information

Tibetan Buddhism includes schools such as Nyingma, Kadampa, Kagyu and Gelug. Their primary canon of literature is divided in two broad categories: The Kangyur, which consists of Buddha’s words, and the Tengyur, which includes commentaries from various sources. Esotericism and tantra techniques (vajrayāna) are collected indepently.

Discover the meaning of shakuni or sakuni in the context of Tibetan Buddhism from relevant books on Exotic India

Mahayana (major branch of Buddhism)

Source: Bulletin of the French School of the Far East (volume 5)

Śakuni (शकुनि) [?] (in Chinese: Chö-kieou-ni) is the name of an ancient kingdom associated with Mṛgaśiras or Mṛgaśirasnakṣatra, as mentioned in chapter 18 of the Candragarbha: the 55th section of the Mahāsaṃnipāta-sūtra, a large compilation of Sūtras (texts) in Mahāyāna Buddhism partly available in Sanskrit, Tibetan and Chinese.—Chapter 18 deals with geographical astrology and, in conversation with Brahmarāja and others, Buddha explains how he entrusts the Nakṣatras [e.g., Mṛgaśiras] with a group of kingdoms [e.g., Śakuni] for the sake of protection and prosperity.

Source: A Study and Translation of the Gaganagañjaparipṛcchā

Śakuni (शकुनि) refers to “birds”, according to the Gaganagañjaparipṛcchā: the eighth chapter of the Mahāsaṃnipāta (a collection of Mahāyāna Buddhist Sūtras).—Accordingly, after the exposition of the dharma, ‘A Chapter of the Collection of Dharma’ (dharmasaṃgraha), was taught: “[...] The following verses issued from the sound of musical instruments: ‘[...] (192) The water in the ocean of three thousandfold worlds is measurable, a bird-track (śakuni-pada) in the sky in ten directions is expressible, and someone can have the same thought as all living beings; but the great qualities of the son of the Sage are inexhaustible. [...]’”.

Mahayana book cover
context information

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.

Discover the meaning of shakuni or sakuni in the context of Mahayana from relevant books on Exotic India

Languages of India and abroad

Pali-English dictionary

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

sakuṇī : (f.) a she-bird.

Pali book cover
context information

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.

Discover the meaning of shakuni or sakuni in the context of Pali from relevant books on Exotic India

Marathi-English dictionary

Source: DDSA: The Molesworth Marathi and English Dictionary

śakuni (शकुनि).—m S The eighth of the periods called karaṇa. 2 The name of the maternal uncle of the kaurava princes. Hence śakunimāmā A term for an old treacherous or officious relative whose counsels tend to ruin.

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

śakuni (शकुनि).—m The name of the maternal uncle of the kaurava princes. Hence śakunimāmā

context information

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.

Discover the meaning of shakuni or sakuni in the context of Marathi from relevant books on Exotic India

Sanskrit dictionary

Source: DDSA: The practical Sanskrit-English dictionary

Śakuni (शकुनि).—[śak-uni]

1) A bird; तरुशकुनिकुरङ्गान् मैथिली यानपुष्यत् (taruśakunikuraṅgān maithilī yānapuṣyat) Uttararāmacarita 3.25; Manusmṛti 12.63.

2) A vulture, kite or eagle.

3) A cock.

4) Name of a son of Subala, king of Gāndhāra and brother of Gāndharī, wife of Dhṛtarāṣṭra; he was thus the maternal uncle of Duryodhana whom he assisted in many of his wicked schemes to exterminate the Pāṇḍavas. The name is now usually applied to an old wicked-minded relative whose counsels tend to ruin.

5) Name of a demon killed by Kṛṣṇa.

Derivable forms: śakuniḥ (शकुनिः).

--- OR ---

Śakunī (शकुनी).—

1) A hen-sparrow.

2) A kind of bird.

Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: Edgerton Buddhist Hybrid Sanskrit Dictionary

Śakuni (शकुनि).—name of a cakravartin (of the race of Mahāsaṃ-mata): Mahāvyutpatti 3564.

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

Śakuni (शकुनि).—m.

(-niḥ) 1. A bird. 2. The meternal uncle of the Kaurava princes, and counsellor or Duryodhana. 3. One of the astronomical periods called Karanas. 4. The Indian kite or eagle, (Falco cheela.) f. (-nī) A hen-sparrow. E. śak to be able, uni Unadi aff.

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

Śakuni (शकुनि).—[śak + uni] (see the last), I. m. 1. A bird, [Pañcatantra] iii. [distich] 140. 2. The Indian kite, Falco cheela. 3. A surname of the Aśvins, Mahābhārata 1, 723. 4. A proper name. [Indralokāgamana] 3, 9. Ii. f. , A hensparrow.

— Probably akin to [Old Norse.] haukr; Danish, hog; [Old High German.] habuh; A. S. hafoe.

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

Śakuni (शकुनि).—[masculine] = śakuna, [Name] of a serpent-demon etc., [feminine] śakunī a female bird.

--- OR ---

Śākuni (शाकुनि).—[masculine] = [preceding] [masculine]

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

1) Śakunī (शकुनी):—[from śakuna] a f. See [column]3

2) Śakuni (शकुनि):—[from śakuna] m. a bird ([especially] a large bird, [cf. Lexicographers, esp. such as amarasiṃha, halāyudha, hemacandra, etc.] = gridhra or cilla [according to] to some ‘a cock’), [Ṛg-veda] etc. etc.

3) [v.s. ...] (in astronomy) Name of the first fixed karaṇa (q.v.), [Varāha-mihira’s Bṛhat-saṃhitā]

4) [v.s. ...] Name of a Naga, [Mahābhārata]

5) [v.s. ...] of an evil demon (son of Duḥ-saha), [Mārkaṇḍeya-purāṇa]

6) [v.s. ...] of an Asura (son of Hiraṇyākṣa and father of Vṛka), [Harivaṃśa; Purāṇa]

7) [v.s. ...] of the brother of queen Gāndhārī (and therefore the brother-in-law of Dhṛta-rāṣṭra and the Mātula or maternal uncle of the Kuru princes; as son of Subala, king of Gāndhāra, he is called Saubala; he often acted as counsellor of Duryodhana, and hence his name is sometimes applied to an old officious relative whose counsels ten to misfortune), [Mahābhārata; Harivaṃśa] etc. (cf. [Indian Wisdom, by Sir M. Monier-Williams 380])

8) [v.s. ...] of a son of Vikukṣi and grandson of Ikṣvāku, [Harivaṃśa]

9) [v.s. ...] of a son of Daśa-ratha, [ib.; Bhāgavata-purāṇa]

10) [v.s. ...] of the great-grandfather of Aśoka, [Rājataraṅgiṇī]

11) [v.s. ...] [dual number] Name of the Aśvins, [Monier-Williams’ Sanskrit-English Dictionary]

12) [v.s. ...] f(i or ī). See below.

13) Śakunī (शकुनी):—[from śakuna] b f. (of śakuna or ni, [column] 2) a female bird, [Mahābhārata; Harivaṃśa]

14) [v.s. ...] a hen-sparrow, [cf. Lexicographers, esp. such as amarasiṃha, halāyudha, hemacandra, etc.]

15) [v.s. ...] Turdus Macrourus, [cf. Lexicographers, esp. such as amarasiṃha, halāyudha, hemacandra, etc.]

16) [v.s. ...] Name of a female demon (sometimes identified with Durgā) causing a [particular] child’s disease (sometimes = pūtanā, and in this sense also śakuni), [Mahābhārata; Harivaṃśa]

17) Śākuni (शाकुनि):—[from śākuna] m. ‘a bird-catcher’ or ‘an augur’ [Viṣṇu-purāṇa]

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

Śakuni (शकुनि):—(niḥ) 2. m. A bird; astronomical period; uncle of the Kuru princes; kite or eagle. f. () A hen-sparrow.

Source: DDSA: Paia-sadda-mahannavo; a comprehensive Prakrit Hindi dictionary (S)

Śakuni (शकुनि) in the Sanskrit language is related to the Prakrit word: Sauṇi.

[Sanskrit to German]

Shakuni 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.

Discover the meaning of shakuni or sakuni in the context of Sanskrit from relevant books on Exotic India

Hindi dictionary

[«previous next»] — Shakuni in Hindi glossary
Source: DDSA: A practical Hindi-English dictionary

Śakunī (शकुनी):—(nm) an augur, a soothsayer.

context information


Discover the meaning of shakuni or sakuni in the context of Hindi from relevant books on Exotic India

Kannada-English dictionary

Source: Alar: Kannada-English corpus

Śakuni (ಶಕುನಿ):—

1) [noun] = ಶಕುಂತ - [shakumta -] 1, 3 & 4.

2) [noun] the bird Falco cheela of Falconidae family, with long, pointed wings and a short, curved, notched beak; the Bengal kite; the falcon.

3) [noun] name of a maternal uncle of Duryōdhana, a villainous character in Mahābhārata.

4) [noun] (fig.) a cunning, evil-minded, wicked fellow.

--- OR ---

Sakuni (ಸಕುನಿ):—[noun] = ಸಕುನ - [sakuna -] 2.

context information

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

Discover the meaning of shakuni or sakuni in the context of Kannada from relevant books on Exotic India

See also (Relevant definitions)

Relevant text

Related products

Help me keep this site Ad-Free

For over a decade, this site has never bothered you with ads. I want to keep it that way. But I humbly request your help to keep doing what I do best: provide the world with unbiased truth, wisdom and knowledge.

Let's make the world a better place together!

Like what you read? Consider supporting this website: