Shakuni, Sakuṇī, Sakuni, Śakuni, Śakunī, Śākuni: 19 definitions


Shakuni means something in Hinduism, Sanskrit, Buddhism, Pali, 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.

The Sanskrit terms Śakuni and Śakunī and Śākuni 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 (eg., 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 (eg., 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.

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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’).

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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.

Languages of India and abroad

Pali-English dictionary

[«previous (S) 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.

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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.

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Sanskrit-English dictionary

Source: DDSA: The practical Sanskrit-English dictionary

Śakuni (शकुनि).—[śak-uni]

1) A bird; तरुशकुनिकुरङ्गान् मैथिली यानपुष्यत् (taruśakunikuraṅgān maithilī yānapuṣyat) U.3.25; Ms.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).—n. of a cakravartin (of the race of Mahāsaṃ-mata): Mvy 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: 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]

context information

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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