Shankha, aka: Saṅkhā, Saṅkha, Sankha, Śaṅkha, Śaṅkhā, Śāṅkha; 38 Definition(s)


Shankha means something in Buddhism, Pali, Hinduism, Sanskrit, Jainism, Prakrit, 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.

The Sanskrit terms Śaṅkha and Śaṅkhā and Śāṅkha can be transliterated into English as Sankha or Shankha, using the IAST transliteration scheme (?).

In Hinduism

Natyashastra (theatrics and dramaturgy)

Śaṅkha (शङ्ख, “conchshell”) is a Sanskrit word referring to a musical instrument, to be sounded during the ceremony of “laying the foundation” of the playhouse (nāṭyamaṇḍapa), according to the Nāṭyaśāstra 2.35-37.

Source: Wisdom Library: Nāṭya-śāstra

One of the saṃyutta-hastāni (Twenty-four combined Hands).—Śaṅkha (conch) : the thumbs of Śikhara hands are joined, andthe forefinger extended. Usage: conch.

Source: The mirror of gesture (abhinaya-darpana)
Natyashastra book cover
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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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Purana and Itihasa (epic history)

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Śaṅkha (शङ्ख, “conch”): a Musical Instrument.—The Ṛgveda does not refer to it; but the Jātakas mention it. In the epic war-scenes use of the śaṅkhas is very common, and we find in the Gītā the śaṅkhas of various warriors mentioned by name. Kauṭilya testifies to the use of śaṅkhas in war. The Vāyu-purāṇa, however, shows its use only in connection with the worship of Śiva by the Bhūtas.

Source: Google Books: Cultural History from the Vāyu Purāna

1) Śaṅkha (शङ्ख).—Considered to be a great, sublime treasure, found in Kubera’s court. Brahmadatta, King of Pāñcāla attained heaven as he used to give Śaṅkha to good brahmins. (Śānti Parva, Chapter 234 and Anuśāsana Parva, Chapter 137). Śaṅkha appeared on earth, according to one belief, from the bones of Śaṅkhacūḍa. (For details see under Tulasī, Para 2).

2) Śaṅkha (शङ्ख).—A nāga born to Kaśyapaprajāpati of Kadrū. The following information about it is from the Mahābhārata.

2) (i) Nārada once introduced Śaṅkha to Mātali, charioteer of Indra (Udyoga Parva, Chapter 103, Verse 12).

2) (ii) Śaṅkha was one of the chief nāgas which came to lead the soul of Balabhadra to Pātāla at the time of his death. (Mausala Parva, Chapter 4, Verse 7).

3) Śaṅkha (शङ्ख).—Son of the Virāṭa King.

(i) He was present at the wedding of Draupadī in the company of his brother Uttara and sister Uttarā. (Ādi Parva, Chapter 31, Verse 16).

(ii) He also came out to fight Duryodhana and others when they lifted the cows of the Virāṭa King. (Virāṭa Parva, Chapter 31, Verse 16).

(iii) On the first day of the great war he clashed with Bhūriśravas. (Bhīṣma Parva, Chapter 49, Verse 26).

(iv) He was killed in fighting with Droṇa at Kurukṣetra. (Bhīṣma Parva, Chapter 5, Verse 17).

(v) After death he got absorbed in the Viśvadevas. (Svargārohaṇa Parva, Chapter 5, Verse 17).

4) Śaṅkha (शङ्ख).—A maharṣi, who was the elder brother of Likhitamaharṣi. Likhita once punished Śaṅkha for plucking fruits from his garden without his permission. (For details see under Likhita).

5) Śaṅkha (शङ्ख).—A Kekaya prince. He and his four brothers were mahārathas on the side of the Pāṇḍavas. (Udyoga Parva, Chapter 171, Verse 15).

6) Śaṅkha (शङ्ख).—The asura called Hayagrīva. (See under Hayagrīva).

Source: Puranic Encyclopaedia

Śaṅkha (शङ्ख) refers to a “musical instruments” that existed in ancient Kashmir (Kaśmīra) as mentioned in the Nīlamatapurāṇa.—The Nīlamata says that the land of Kaśmīra was thronged with ever-sportive and joyful people enjoying continuous festivities. Living amidst scenes of sylvan beauty they played, danced and sang to express their joys, to mitigate their pains, to please their gods and to appease their demons.

The Nīlamata mentions Śaṅkha twice.

Source: Nilamata Purana: a cultural and literary study

1a) Śaṅkha (शङ्ख).—A mountain on the base of Meru.*

  • * Bhāgavata-purāṇa V. 16. 26.

1b) An eminent Nāga of Pātāla;1 a Kādraveya nāga;2 a thousand-hooded snake.3

  • 1) Bhāgavata-purāṇa V. 24. 31; Vāyu-purāṇa 69. 70.
  • 2) Brahmāṇḍa-purāṇa III. 7. 34.
  • 3) Matsya-purāṇa 6. 39.

1c) To be killed by Kṛṣṇa.*

  • * Bhāgavata-purāṇa X. 37. 16.

1d) A mind-born son of Jaigīṣavya and Ekapāṭalā; attained heaven by tapas.*

  • * Brahmāṇḍa-purāṇa II. 30. 40; Vāyu-purāṇa 72. 19.

1e) A Yakṣa; a son of Puṇyajanī and Maṇibhadra.*

  • * Brahmāṇḍa-purāṇa III. 7. 123.

1f) One of the eight nidhis of Kubera.*

  • * Vāyu-purāṇa 41. 10.

1g) The conch of Viṣṇu;1 in Rāma's abhiṣeka;2 sounded by Kṛṣṇa on the eve of his battle with Indra.3 Was invoked to protect the baby Kṛṣṇa.4 Blowing of it indicated Kṛṣṇa's arrival in Ānarta; was a sign of auspiciousness;5 one of the gifts to please the planet moon;6 war music in the Tārakāmaya war;7 discovered at the confluence of the Tāmraparṇī and the ocean with pearls.8

  • 1) Viṣṇu-purāṇa IV. 15. 3.
  • 2) Ib. IV. 4. 100.
  • 3) Ib. V. 30. 56.
  • 4) Bhāgavata-purāṇa X. 6. 23.
  • 5) Ib. I. 11. 1 and 18.
  • 6) Matsya-purāṇa 57. 21; 93. 60.
  • 7) Ib. 135. 83; 136. 53; 138. 3; 149. 2; 174. 16; 177. 24; 192. 28.
  • 8) Vāyu-purāṇa 77. 25.

2) Śaṅkhā (शङ्खा).—The city of the second talam.*

  • * Vāyu-purāṇa 50. 21.

3) Saṅkha (सङ्ख).—A son of Maṇibhadra.*

  • * Vāyu-purāṇa 69. 155.
Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: The Purana Index

Śaṅkha (शङ्ख) is a name mentioned in the Mahābhārata (cf. I.31.8, I.35, I.177.8) and represents one of the many proper names used for people and places. Note: The Mahābhārata (mentioning Śaṅkha) is a Sanskrit epic poem consisting of 100,000 ślokas (metrical verses) and is over 2000 years old.

Source: JatLand: List of Mahabharata people and places
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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Ayurveda (science of life)

Śaṅkha (शङ्ख) is a Sanskrit word referring to the animal “conch snail”. The meat of this animal is part of the māṃsavarga (‘group of flesh’), which is used throughout Āyurvedic literature. The animal Śaṅkha is part of the sub-group named Vāriśaya, refering to animals “living in waters”. It was classified by Caraka in his Carakasaṃhitā sūtrasthāna (chapter 27), a classical Āyurvedic work. Caraka defined such groups (vargas) based on the dietic properties of the substance.

Source: Wisdom Library: Āyurveda and botany

Śaṅkha (शङ्ख)—Sanskrit word for an animal “conch” (Turbinella sp.). This animal is from the group called Kośastha (conchiferous: ‘those which have a shell’). Kośastha itself is a sub-group of the group of animals known as Ānupa (those that frequent marshy places).

The flesh of animals of the Shankha orders is sweet in taste and digestion, cooling in its potency, demulcent, and beneficial to stool and the Pittam. It destroys the deranged Vāyu and produces Kapham.

Source: Sushruta samhita, Volume I
Ayurveda book cover
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Āyurveda (आयुर्वेद, ayurveda) is a branch of Indian science dealing with medicine, herbalism, taxology, anatomy, surgery, alchemy and related topics. Traditional practice of Āyurveda in ancient India dates back to at least the first millenium BC. Literature is commonly written in Sanskrit using various poetic metres.

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Pancaratra (worship of Nārāyaṇa)

Śaṅkha (शङ्ख, “conch”):—One of the nine symbols representing the cosmic principles of the universe, according to the Pāñcarātra literature. These nine weapons and ornaments symbolize the principles which they represent as the presiding deity. The Conch (śaṅkha) represents sāttvic ahaṃkāra (‘virtuous and rightous egoism’).

Source: Wisdom Library: Pāñcarātra

Śaṅkha (शङ्ख) or Śaṅkhamudrā is the name of a mudrā described in the Īśvarasaṃhitā 31.33.—Accordingly, “the left thumb shall be grasped with the right fist. The fingers in the left hand are to be placed on those of the right. The tip of the left forefinger shall mutually adhere face to face with the right. This is śaṅkhamudrā when it is on the back”. Mūdra (eg., Śaṅkha-mudrā) is so called as it gives joy to the tattvas in the form of karman for those who offer spotless worship, drive out the defects which move about within and without and sealing up of what is done.

Source: Isvara Samhita Vol 5

Śaṅkha (शङ्ख) and Padma are the two treasures (nidhis) which dharma bears. These are intended to help those people who pursue the right course conduct in order that the pursuits (kāma and artha) would have been fruitfully taken up by them. Kāma means desires in life. Artha means wealth or economic condition. Money is required to pursue these. The two measures Śaṅkha and Padma are thus helpful for them in pursuing these goals. The Viṣvaksena-aṃhitā (XX 87-88) mentions conch, discus and yellow cloth while describing dharma.

Source: Isvara Samhita Vol 1

The conch represents the first manifestation of articulate language—AUM—nāda-brahman. This monosyllable contains within itself all language and meaning in a potential state. It is the seed from which speech developed—the nutshell containing the whole of knowledge and wisdom. All matter is light and vibration. All the forms of the universe are effects of the primeval sonic vibration. Thus the conch is the symbol of the origin of exist e nce. Its shape is a spiral, starting at one point and evolving into ever increasing spheres. It comes from water, the first compact element. When blown it produces the sound AUM.

Source: SriMatham: Vaiṣṇava Iconology based on Pañcarātra Āgama
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Pancaratra (पाञ्चरात्र, pāñcarātra) represents a tradition of Hinduism where Narayana is revered and worshipped. Closeley related to Vaishnavism, the Pancaratra literature includes various Agamas and tantras incorporating many Vaishnava philosophies.

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Shilpashastra (iconography)

Śaṅkha is the ordinary chank shell which is almost always found in one of the hands of the images of Viṣṇu, The śaṅkha of Viṣṇu is known by the name of Pāñcajanya, being supposed to have been derived from the body of the asura named Pañcajana. It is declared to have been employed by Viṣṇu in war; by the blowing of this powerful conch-shell, he often struck terror into the hearts of his enemies. The conch, held in the hand with all the five fingers by its open end, or an ornamented one, having its head or spiral-top covered with a decorative meatl cap, surmounted by the head of a mythical lion, and having a cloth tied round it so that portions of it may hang on either side.

There are also tassels of pearls hanging on the sides. Curiously enough a śaṅkha of this description is show so as to be held between the first two fingers, which is indeed a difficult task to perform. In a few instances, attached to the lower end of the śaṅkha, there is a thick jewelled ribbon which is made to serve as a handle. Sometimes this ornamental variety of śaṅkha is shown with jvālās or flames of fire on the top and the sides.

Source: Google Books: Elements of Hindu iconography

The conch (Śaṅkha) in Viṣṇu’s upper left hand represents the first manifestation of articulate language— AUM— nāda Brāhman. This monosyllable contains within itself all language and meaning in a potential state. It is the seed from which speech developed — the nutshell containing the whole of wisdom.

All the forms of the universe are effects of the primeval sonic vibration. Thus the conch is the symbol of the origin of existence. Its shape is a spiral, starting at one point and evolving into ever increasing spheres. It comes from water, the first compact element. When blown it produces the sound AUM.

Source: Red Zambala: Hindu Icons and Symbols | Trinity

Śaṅkha (Conch) - In battle conveys the instruction of the commander to the troops. It represents the diffusion of the Dharma teachings and the proclamation of war upon the negative forces of the mind. Also creation through sound and the Prāṇava — AUM.

Source: Red Zambala: Hindu Icons and Symbols | Introduction

Śaṅkha (शङ्ख, “conch”) refers to one of the several “attributes” (āyudha) or “accessories” of a detiy commonly seen depicted in Hindu iconography, defined according to texts dealing with śilpa (arts and crafs), known as śilpaśāstras.—Śaṅkha is the ordinary conch, which is almost always found in one of the hands of the images of Viṣṇu. The conch is either plain, held in the hand with all the five fingers by its open end, or an ornamented one, having its head or spiral-top covered with a decorative metal cap, surmounted by the head of a mythical lion, and having a cloth tied round it so that portions of it may hang on either side. In a few instances, attached to the lower end of the śaṅkh, there is a thick-jeweled ribbon, which is made to serve as a handle. Sometimes this ornamental variety of śaṅkha is shown with jvālā or flames of fire on the top and the sides.

Source: Shodhganga: The significance of the mūla-beras (śilpa)
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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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Vastushastra (architecture)

Śaṅkha (शङ्ख):—The Sanskrit name for a classification of a ‘temple’, according to the Agnipurāṇa, featuring a list of 45 temple types. It is listed under the group named Kailāśa, featuring circular-shaped temples. This list represents the classification of temples in North-India.

Source: Wisdom Library: Vāstu-śāstra
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Vastushastra (वास्तुशास्त्र, vāstuśāstra) refers to the ancient Indian science (shastra) of architecture (vastu), dealing with topics such architecture, sculpture, town-building, fort building and various other constructions. Vastu also deals with the philosophy of the architectural relation with the cosmic universe.

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Chandas (prosody, study of Sanskrit metres)

Shankha in Chandas glossary... « previous · [S] · next »

Śaṅkha (शङ्ख) refers to one of the eight kinds of daṇḍaka according to Kavikarṇapūra (C. 16th century) in his Vṛttamālā 61. Kavikarṇapūra was an exponent on Sanskrit metrics belongs to Kāmarūpa (modern Assam). Accordingly, “If there exist fourteen ra-s after two na-s, then it is Śaṅkha”.

Source: Shodhganga: a concise history of Sanskrit Chanda literature
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Chandas (छन्दस्) refers to Sanskrit prosody and represents one of the six Vedangas (auxiliary disciplines belonging to the study of the Vedas). The science of prosody (chandas-shastra) focusses on the study of the poetic meters such as the commonly known twenty-six metres mentioned by Pingalas.

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Shaivism (Shaiva philosophy)

Śaṅkha (शङ्ख) or Śaṅkhaśabda refers to the “sounds of a conch-shell” and represents one of the ten kinds of sounds (śabda) according to Jayaratha (author of the 13th century commentary Tantrālokaviveka on Abhinavagupta’s Tantrāloka) and the Haṃsa-upaniṣad. Jayaratha cites the Brahmayāmala passage giving this order of the ten sounds (eg., Śaṅkha).

Source: The Yoga of the Mālinīvijayottaratantra
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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.

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General definition (in Hinduism)

Śankha (शंख): Shankha is the divine Counch or sea shell, which is one of the insignia in the Hindu God Vishnu's hands. The sound emitted from Shankha when blown, is too divine, that is used for regular rituals for Vishnu. Śankha was also the name of one of sons of King Virata who was killed in Mahabharata.

Source: WikiPedia: Hinduism

Śaṅkha (शङ्ख).—A son of King Viraṭa. He was killed Droṇa during the Kurukṣetra war; the conchshell held by Lord Viṣṇu.

Source: ISKCON Press: Glossary

Śaṅkha (शङ्ख, “conch”) is the central object of Śaṅkhapūjā (“worship of the conch”), representing one of the various preparatory rites performed before pūjā (ritualistic worship of a deity) which aim at the purification of the devotee.—[During śaṅkhapūjā], several verses are recited describing the deities moon, Varuna, Prajapati and the rivers Gaṅga and Sarasvatī as staying at different parts of the conch (śaṅkha). The water which it contains is identified with that of the sacred rivers in the three worlds. it is remembered that the conch is one of fourteen items which appeared at the time of the churning of the ocean for nectar (amṛtamanthana) and was taken by Viṣṇu who holds it as one of his attributes. An imitation of the famous Gāyatrī (= Sāvitrī) verse eulogizes the conch by identifying it with the conch Pañcajanya, which Kṛṣṇa obtained after conquering the demon Pañcajana is recited.

Source: ACHC: Smarta Puja

In Buddhism

Theravada (major branch of Buddhism)

(also see Saknha Sutta)

1. Sankha. The Bodhisatta, born as a brahmin in Molininagara (Benares). See the Sankha Jataka.

2. Sankha. The Bodhisatta, born as a setthi of Rajagaha. See the Agampadana Jataka.

3. Sankha. A future king, who will be the Cakka vatti of Ketumati at the time of the appearance of Metteyya Buddha in the world. He will raise up again the palace of King Mahapanada and live there. But later he will give it to the Order and become an arahant. D.iii.75f.; Anagat. p. 42 (vs. 10).

According to the Commentary (DA.iii.856), he was one of two cane workers (nalakara), father and son, who made a hut for a Pacceka Buddha. After death, both were born in heaven. The son became Mahapanada, and, later, Bhaddaji. The father is in the deva world and will be reborn as Sankha. Mahapanadas palace still remains un destroyed, ready for his use.

4. Sankha. A Naga king; a previous birth of Rahula. SNA.i.341; but elsewhere (e.g., SA.iii.26) he is called Palita. See Palita.

5. Sankha. One of the treasure troves which arose from the earth for the use of the Bodhisatta in his last lay life. These appeared on the day of his birth. DA.i.284.

6. Sankha. The Bodhisatta born as a brahmin in Takkasila. He was the father of Susima. See the Sankha Jataka (2).

7. Sankha. A general of Kittisirimegha; he lived in Badalatthali. The king entrusted him with the celebrations in connection with the upanayana ceremony of Parakkamabahu (afterwards Parakkamabahu I.). When Parakkamabahu returned to Badalatthali in his tour of preparation, Sankha welcomed him and paid him all honour. But Parakkamabahu proved treacherous and had him slain. Cv.lxiv.8f., 22f.; lxv.13f, 27f.

8. Sankha. A Singhalese general who maintained a stronghold in Gahgadoni in the Manimekhala district, while Magha ruled in the capital. Cv.lxxxi.7f.

Source: Pali Kanon: Pali Proper Names
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Theravāda is a major branch of Buddhism having the the Pali canon (tipitaka) as their canonical literature, which includes the vinaya-pitaka (monastic rules), the sutta-pitaka (Buddhist sermons) and the abhidhamma-pitaka (philosophy and psychology).

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Tibetan Buddhism (Vajrayana or tantric Buddhism)

Śaṅkha (शङ्ख).—Serpent deity (nāga) of the north-western cremation ground.—Śaṅkha is also listed as Śaṅkhapāla (Guhyasamayasādhanamālā 34). In Śmaśānavidhi 19, there is a very brief descirption of him as yellow, with spots on his hood (kalaṅkita), or a tilaka.

Source: Google Books: Vajrayogini

Śaṅkha (शङ्ख) is the name of a serpent (nāga) associated with Kilakilārava: the north-western cremation ground (śmaśāna) according to the Vajravārāhī-sādhana by Umāpatideva as found in te Guhyasamayasādhanamālā. As a part of this sādhana, the practicioner is to visualize a suitable dwelling place for the goddess inside the circle of protection which takes the form of eight cremation grounds.

These nāga-kings (eg., Śaṅkha) are variously known as nāgarāja, nāgeśa, nāgendra and bhujageśa and are depicted as wearing white ornaments according to Lūyīpāda’s Śmaśānavidhi. They have human tosos above their coiled snaketails and raised hoods above their heads. They each have their own color assigned and they bear a mark upon their raised hoods. They all make obeisance to the dikpati (protector) who is before them and are seated beneath the tree (vṛkṣa).

The Guhyasamayasādhanamālā by Umāptideva is a 12th century ritualistic manual including forty-six Buddhist tantric sādhanas. The term sādhana refers to “rites” for the contemplation of a divinity.

Source: Wisdomlib Libary: Vajrayogini
Tibetan Buddhism book cover
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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.

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Mahayana (major branch of Buddhism)

1) Śaṅkha (शङ्ख, “conch”) refers to a type of jewel (ratna), into which the universe was transformed by the Buddha’s miraculous power (ṛddhibala) according to the 2nd century Mahāprajñāpāramitāśāstra (chapter XV). Accordingly, “Conch (śaṅkha) comes from insects”. Also, “These jewels (eg, śaṅkha) are of three types, Human jewels (manuṣya-ratna), Divine jewels (divya-ratna) and Bodhisattva jewels (bodhisattva-ratna). These various jewels remove the poverty (dāridrya) and the suffering (duḥkha) of beings”.

2) Śaṅkha (शङ्ख) and Likhita were two brothers according to the Vinaya of the Mūlasarvāstivādin mentioned in a footnote at the 2nd century Mahāprajñāpāramitāśāstra (chapter XXVIII). Accordingly, “Not far from the city of Vārāṇasī, two brothers lived as hermits in the forest; one was called Chang k’ie (Śaṅkha), the other Li k’i to (Likhita). The latter drank all the water from his brother’s flask so that he had nothing to drink when he went out to beg. Likhita was accused before the king of having stolen the water from his brother. The king, who was leaving for the hunt, ordered him to wait without moving, then he forgot about him for six days”.

Note: For Śaṅkha and Likhita, see also a story in Ken pen chouo… yao che, T 1448, k. 16, p. 77c, which shows striking resemblance to Chavannes, Contes, no. 79, and the Mātaṅgajātaka of the Pāli Jātaka, IV, p. 376 seq.

Source: Wisdom Library: Maha Prajnaparamita Sastra
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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General definition (in Buddhism)

One of the Eight Auspicious Symbols

The right turning white conch shell, representing the beautiful, deep, melodious, interpenetrating and pervasive sound of the Buddhadharma which being appropriate to different natures, predispositions and aspirations of disciples, awakens them from the deep slumber of ignorance and urges them to accomplish their own welfare and the welfare of others;

In Hinduism the Conch is an attribute of Vishnu as is the Wheel. Vaishnavism holds that Shakyamuni Buddha is an avatar of Vishnu.

The conch shell is thought to have been the original horn trumpet; ancient Indian mythical epics relate heroes carrying conch shells. The Indian god Vishnu is also described as having a conch shell as one of his main emblems; his shell bore the name Panchajanya meaning having control over the five classes of beings.

(Sanskrit: Sankha; Wylie: dung gyas kyil)

Source: WikiPedia: Buddhism

In Jainism

General definition (in Jainism)

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

Śaṅkha (शङ्ख) is the shorter name of Śaṅkhadvīpa, one of the continents (dvīpa) of the middle-world (madhyaloka) which is encircled by the ocean named Śaṅkhasamudra (or simply Śaṅkha), according to Jain cosmology. The middle-world contains innumerable concentric dvīpas and, as opposed to the upper-world (adhaloka) and the lower-world (ūrdhvaloka), is the only world where humans can be born.

Śaṅkha is recorded in ancient Jaina canonical texts dealing with cosmology and geography of the universe. Examples of such texts are the Saṃgrahaṇīratna in the Śvetāmbara tradition or the Tiloyapannatti and the Trilokasāra in the Digambara tradition.

Source: Wisdom Library: Jainism

Śaṅkha (शङ्ख) participated in the war between Rāma and Rāvaṇa, on the side of the latter, as mentioned in Svayambhūdeva’s Paumacariu (Padmacarita, Paumacariya or Rāmāyaṇapurāṇa) chapter 57ff. Svayambhū or Svayambhūdeva (8th or 9th century) was a Jain householder who probably lived in Karnataka. His work recounts the popular Rāma story as known from the older work Rāmāyaṇa (written by Vālmīki). Various chapters [mentioning Śaṅkha] are dedicated to the humongous battle whose armies (known as akṣauhiṇīs) consisted of millions of soldiers, horses and elephants, etc.

Source: Een Kritische Studie Van Svayambhūdeva’s Paümacariu
General definition book cover
context information

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

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

saṅkha : (m.) a chank; a conch shell. || saṅkhā (f.) enumeration; calculation; a number; definition.

Source: BuddhaSasana: Concise Pali-English Dictionary

Saṅkhā, (f.) & Saṅkhyā (f.) (fr. saṃ+khyā) 1. enumeration, calculation, estimating D. II, 277; M. I, 109; Miln. 59 ‹-› 2. number Dāvs. I, 25.—3. denomination, definition, word, name (cp. on term K. S. I. 321) S. III, 71 sq.; IV, 376 sq.; Nd2 617 (=uddesa gaṇanā paññatti); Dhs. 1306; Miln. 25.—saṅkhaṃ gacchati to be styled, called or defined; to be put into words D. I, 199, 201; Vin. II, 239; M. I, 190, 487; A. I, 68, 244=II. 113; Pug. 42; Nett 66 sq.; Vism. 212, 225, 235, 294 (khy); SnA 167 (khy); DhsA. 11 (khy). saṅkhaṃ gata (cp. saṅkhāta) is called DA. I, 41 (uyyānaṃ Ambalaṭṭhikā t’eva s. g.). saṅkhaṃ na upeti (nopeti) cannot be called by a name, does not count, cannot be defined It. 54; Sn. 209, 749, 911, 1074; Nd1 327; Nd2 617. (Page 664)

— or —

1) Saṅkha, 2 (etym. ?) a water plant (combd with sevāla) Miln. 35. See detail under paṇṇaka 2. (Page 664)

2) Saṅkha, 1 (cp. Vedic śaṅkha; Gr. kόgxos shell, measure of capacity, & kόxlos; Lat. congius a measure) a shell, conch; mother-of-pearl; a chank, commonly used as a trumpet D. I, 79; II, 297=M. I, 58; A. II, 117; IV, 199; Vv 8110; J. I, 72; II, 110; VI, 465, 580; Miln. 21 (dhamma°); DhA. I, 18. Combined with paṇava (small drum) Vism. 408; J. VI, 21; or with bheri (large drum) Miln. 21; Vism. 408.

—ûpama like a shell, i.e. white J. V, 396, cp. VI, 572. —kuṭṭhin a kind of leper; whose body becomes as white as mother-of-pearl DhA. I, 194, 195. —thāla mother of pearl, (shell-) plate Vism. 126 (sudhota°), 255. —dhama a trumpeter D. I, 259=M. II, 19; M. II, 207=S. IV, 322. —dhamaka a conch blower, trumpeter J. I, 284; VI, 7. —nābhi a kind of shell Vin. I, 203; II, 117. —patta motherof-pearl DhA. I, 387. —muṇḍika the shell-tonsure, a kind of torture M. I, 87; A. I, 47; II, 122. —mutta mother-ofpearl J. V, 380 (C expls as “shell-jewel & pearl-jewel”); VI, 211, 230. —likhita polished like mother-of-pearl; bright, perfect D. I, 63, 250; S. II, 219; A. V, 204; Vin. I, 181; Pug. 57; DA. I, 181; DhA. IV, 195. See also under likhita, & cp. Franke, Wiener Zeitschrift 1893, 357. —vaṇṇa pearl-white J. III, 477; M. I, 58=A. III, 324. —sadda the sound of a chank A. II, 186; Vism. 408; Dhs. 621. —silā “shell-stone, ” a precious stone, mother-of-pearl (?) Ud. 54; J. IV, 85; Pv. II, 64. Frequent in BSk. , e.g. AvŚ I. 184, 201, 205; Divy 291. (Page 663)

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

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

śaṅkha (शंख).—m (S) The conch-shell. Used in pouring water over an idol, in offering libations &c., and as a horn to blow at sacrifices and in battles. śaṅkha is the name for all univalve sea-shells of the general appearance of the conch, as śimpa is the general name for bivalves. 2 Conch-form lines at the extremities of the fingers. 3 A term of enhancement after an epithet expressing the clearness, limpidness, or translucency of. 4 Ten billions or a hundred billions. 5 One of the nine nidhi or treasures of Kuber. 6 A term for an unlettered and rude fellow. 7 The cheek-bone. śaṅkha karaṇēṃ To beat the mouth with the back of the hand (in crying for help or in lamentation). śaṅkha vājaṇēṃ g. of s. To be consumed, expended, exhausted.

Source: DDSA: The Molesworth Marathi and English Dictionary

śaṅkha (शंख).—m The conch-shell. An unlettered fellow. śaṅkha karaṇēṃ Beat the mouth with the back of the hand. śaṅkha vājaviṇēṃ Be consumed.

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

Śaṅkha (शङ्ख).—[śam-kha Uṇ.1.12]

1) The conch-shell, a shell; न श्वेतभावमुज्झति शङ्खः शिखिभुक्तमुक्तोऽपि (na śvetabhāvamujjhati śaṅkhaḥ śikhibhuktamukto'pi) Pt.4.11; शङ्खान् दध्मुः पृथक् पृथक् (śaṅkhān dadhmuḥ pṛthak pṛthak) Bg.1.18.

2) The bone on the forehead; शङ्खान्तरद्योति विलोचनं यत् (śaṅkhāntaradyoti vilocanaṃ yat) Ku.7.33; Rām.6. 48.1.

3) The temporal bone.

4) The part between the tusks of an elephant.

5) A hundred billions.

6) A military drum or other martial instrument.

7) A kind of perfume (nakhī).

8) One of the nine treasures of Kubera.

9) Name of a demon slain by Viṣṇu.

1) Name of the author of a Smriti (mentioned in conjunction with likhita q. v.).

11) A bracelet (made of conchshell); अवघ्नन्त्या प्रकोष्ठस्थाश्चक्रुः शङ्खाः स्वनं महत् (avaghnantyā prakoṣṭhasthāścakruḥ śaṅkhāḥ svanaṃ mahat) Bhāg.11. 9.6.

Derivable forms: śaṅkhaḥ (शङ्खः), śaṅkham (शङ्खम्).

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Śāṅkha (शाङ्ख).—The sound of a conch-shell.

Derivable forms: śāṅkham (शाङ्खम्).

Source: DDSA: The practical Sanskrit-English dictionary

Śaṅkha (शङ्ख).—mn.

(-ṅkhaḥ-ṅkhaṃ) The conch-shell used by the Hindus, in two ways especially; offering libations with it, or when perforated at one end blowing it as a horn at sacrifices: frequent mention of it occurs in the battle pieces of the poets, each hero being provided with a conch as his horn. m.

(-ṅkhaḥ) 1. One of Kuvera'S treasures. 2. The temple or temporal bone, sometimes comprising the frontal bone also. 3. A perfume, commonly Nak'hi, apparently a dried shell-fish. 4. A military drum. 5. One of the eight chiefs of the Nagas or serpents of Patala described as of a yellow colour. 6. An elephant’s cheek. 7. A large number, “a hundred billions.” 8. The name of a saint and legislator. 9. A poet, one of the nine ge'ns, &c. E. śam to pacify, &c., Unadi aff. kha .

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

Search found 189 related definition(s) that might help you understand this better. Below you will find the 15 most relevant articles:

Śaṅkhapāla (शङ्खपाल).—m. (-laḥ) 1. The sun. 2. A Naga or serpent of Patala. E. śaṅkha a conch, ...
Mahāśaṅkha (महाशङ्ख).—m. (-ṅkhaḥ) 1. A human bone. 2. The forehead. 3. A thousand millions. 4. ...
Śaṅkhanakha (शङ्खनख).—m. (-khaḥ) 1. A small shell. 2. A perfume, commonly nakhī. E. śaṅkha a co...
Śaṅkhadhvani (शङ्खध्वनि).—the sound of a conch (sometimes, but erroneously, used to denote a cr...
Śaṅkhadvīpa (शङ्खद्वीप) is one of the continents (dvīpa) of the middle-world (madhyaloka), enci...
Hemaśaṅkha (हेमशङ्ख).—m. (-ṅkhaḥ) Vishnu. E. hema gold, and śaṅkha a shell.
Śaṅkhapūjā (शङ्खपूजा) refers to the “worship of the conch” representing one of the various prep...
Śaṅkhaja (शङ्खज).—m. (-jaḥ) A large pearl, of the shape of a pigeon’s egg. E. śaṅkha a shell, a...
Śaṅkhadrāva (शङ्खद्राव).—a solvent for dissolving shells. Derivable forms: śaṅkhadrāvaḥ (शङ्खद्...
Śaṅkhodaka (शङ्खोदक).—the water poured into a conch-shell. Derivable forms: śaṅkhodakam (शङ्खोद...
Śaṅkhatīrtha (शङ्खतीर्थ).—A sacred place on the banks of the river Sarasvatī. (Śalya Parva, Cha...
Śaṅkhadhma (शङ्खध्म) or Śaṅkhadhmā (शङ्खध्मा).—m. a shell-blower, conchblower; शङ्खस्य तु ग्रहण...
Śaṅkhamukha (शङ्खमुख).—an alligator. Derivable forms: śaṅkhamukhaḥ (शङ्खमुखः).Śaṅkhamukha is a ...
Śaṅkhamaṇḍala (शङ्खमण्डल).—A type of sopāna, or, ‘staircase’ of a temple.—Śaṅkha...
Śaṅkhapura (शङ्खपुर) is the name of an ancient city, according to the Kathāsaritsāgara, chapter...

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