Shankhapala, aka: Sankhapala, Śaṅkhapāla, Saṅkhapāla, Shankha-pala; 8 Definition(s)


Shankhapala means something in Buddhism, Pali, Hinduism, Sanskrit, 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 term Śaṅkhapāla can be transliterated into English as Sankhapala or Shankhapala, using the IAST transliteration scheme (?).

In Hinduism


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

Śaṅkhapāla (शङ्खपाल).—The Nāga presiding over the month of Nabhasya;1 a 1000 hooded snake; lives with the sun for a part of a year;2 with the sun in Āvaṇi and Puraṭṭāśi;3 with the sun in the Bhādrapada month.4

  • 1) Bhāgavata-purāṇa XII. 11. 38; Brahmāṇḍa-purāṇa II. 23. 9; IV. 20. 54.
  • 2) Matsya-purāṇa 6. 40; 126. 10.
  • 3) Vāyu-purāṇa 52. 10.
  • 4) Viṣṇu-purāṇa II. 10. 10.
Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: The Purana Index
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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Katha (narrative stories)

Shankhapala in Katha glossary... « previous · [S] · next »

Śaṅkhapāla (शङ्खपाल) is the name of a Nāga king (nāgarāja), according to the Kathāsaritsāgara, chapter 104. Accordingly, as one Brāhman said to another: “... I reached [from the Niṣadha country] in course of time the city of Śaṅkhapura not far from here, where there is a great purifying lake of clear water, sacred to Śaṅkhapāla, King of the Nāgas, and called Śaṅkhahrada”.

The Kathāsaritsāgara (‘ocean of streams of story’), mentioning Śaṅkhapāla, is a famous Sanskrit epic story revolving around prince Naravāhanadatta and his quest to become the emperor of the vidyādharas (celestial beings). The work is said to have been an adaptation of Guṇāḍhya’s Bṛhatkathā consisting of 100,000 verses, which in turn is part of a larger work containing 700,000 verses.

Source: Wisdom Library: Kathāsaritsāgara

Śaṅkhapāla (शङ्खपाल).—One of the eight kulas (‘families’) of nāgas mentioned by Soḍḍhala in his Udayasundarīkathā. Śaṅkhapāla, and other nāgas, reside in pātāla (the nether world) and can assume different forms at will. Their movement is unobstructed in the all the worlds and they appear beautiful, divine and strong.

The Udayasundarīkathā is a Sanskrit work in the campū style, narrating the story of the Nāga princess Udayasundarī and Malayavāhana, king of Pratiṣṭhāna. Soḍḍhala is a descendant of Kalāditya (Śilāditya’s brother) whom he praises as an incarnation of a gaṇa (an attendant of Śiva).

Source: Wisdomlib Libary: Kathā

Śaṅkhapāla (शङ्खपाल).—Name of a Nāga mentioned by Soḍḍhala.—Śaṅkhapāla seems to be the same as the father of Śaṅkhacūḍa, the serpent who was given protection by Jimūtavāhana, the hero of the drama, Nāgānanda.

Source: Shodhganga: A critical appreciation of soddhalas udayasundarikatha
Katha book cover
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Katha (कथा, kathā) refers to narrative Sanskrit literature often inspired from epic legendry (itihasa) and poetry (mahākāvya). Some Kathas reflect socio-political instructions for the King while others remind the reader of important historical event and exploits of the Gods, Heroes and Sages.

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In Buddhism

Theravada (major branch of Buddhism)

Shankhapala in Theravada glossary... « previous · [S] · next »

1. Sankhapala. The Bodhisatta born as a Naga king. See the Sankhapala Jataka. Sankhapala is evidently a generic name for the Nagas of that world.

2. Sankhapala. A king of Ekabala. Mahosadha (q.v.), hearing that he was collecting arms and assembling an army, sent a parrot to find out about it. The parrot reported that there was no reason to fear Sankhapala.

3. Sankhapala. A lake in the Mahimsakarattha. It was the residence of the Naga king, Sankhapala. From the lake rose the river Kannapenna. J.v.162.

4. Sankhapala Thera. A pupil of Buddhadatta, to whom he dedicated his Vinaya Vinicchaya. Gv. 40; P.L.C. 109.

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)

Śaṅkhapāla (शङ्खपाल) is another name for Śaṅkha: the 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
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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Languages of India and abroad

Marathi-English dictionary

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

śaṅkhapāḷa (शंखपाळ).—m (śaṅkhapāla S Serpent of Patal.) A creature of the serpent-tribe. 2 m f A kind of lizard.

Source: DDSA: The Molesworth Marathi and English Dictionary
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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

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

Śaṅkhapāla (शङ्खपाल).—

1) an epithet of the sun.

2) a kind of sweetmeat (Mar. śaṃkarapāḷe).

3) a kind of snake.

Derivable forms: śaṅkhapālaḥ (शङ्खपालः).

Śaṅkhapāla is a Sanskrit compound consisting of the terms śaṅkha and pāla (पाल).

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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