Shanmukha, aka: Ṣaṇmukha; 5 Definition(s)


Shanmukha means something in 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 Ṣaṇmukha can be transliterated into English as Sanmukha or Shanmukha, using the IAST transliteration scheme (?).

In Hinduism

Śilpaśāstra (iconography)

Ṣaṇmukha (one of the aspects of Subrahmaṇya, according to the Kumāra-tantra). The colour of Ṣaṇmukha should be that of kuṅkuma (saffron) and he should be seated on the peacock. As his name indicates he should have six faces, twelvy eyes and twelve arms; in the right hands he should have the śakti, bāṇa, the khaḍga, dhvaja, gadā and abhaya; and in the left ones dhanus, vajra, padma, kaṭaka-hasta and varada (and one more object which is perhaps the kheṭaka). Ṣaṇmukha is here mentioned as the nephew of Viṣṇu. The Śrītatvanidhi mentions the śaṅkha, chakra, kukkuṭa, pāśa and hala as among the objects held by the hands of Ṣaṇmukha. It als states that on either side of Ṣaṇmukha there should be standing two devīs called Jayā and Vijayā.

(Source): Wisdom Library: Elements of Hindu Iconograpy

As Ṣaṇmukha (or Subrāmaṇya) Murugan is married to two wives:—

  1. Valli (“the earth”), who represents the casual or informal means of progress and growth.
  2. Devasenā (“army of the gods”) or Devakunjari (“divine celestial elephant”) — these names are suggestive of ability and power of action.
(Source): Red Zambala: Hindu Icons and Symbols | Inner Circle IV
Śilpaśāstra book cover
context information

Śilpaśāstra (शिल्पशास्त्र, shilpa-shastra) represents the ancient Indian science of creative arts such as sculpture, iconography and painting. Closely related to Vāstuśāstra (architecture), they often share the same literature.

Discover the meaning of shanmukha or sanmukha in the context of Shilpashastra from relevant books on Exotic India


1a) Ṣaṇmukha (षण्मुख).—(Kumāra); anecdotes of, in the skāndapurāṇa;1 a leader in the battle of Tripuram;2 all the wives of the seven seers except Arundhatī served Kumāra as mothers. Hence the six-faced.3

  • 1) Brahmāṇḍa-purāṇa III. 10. 42; Matsya-purāṇa 53. 42.
  • 2) Ib. 136. 68; 137. 32; 159. 3; 160. 11 and 28.
  • 3) Vāyu-purāṇa 72. 40.

1b) A name of Vighneśvara.*

  • * Brahmāṇḍa-purāṇa IV. 44. 68.
(Source): Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: The Purana Index
Purāṇa book cover
context information

The Purāṇas (पुराण, purana) refers to Sanskrit literature preserving ancient India’s vast cultural history, including historical legends, religious ceremonies, various arts and sciences. The eighteen mahāpurāṇas total over 400,000 ślokas (metrical couplets) and date to at least several centuries BCE.

Languages of India and abroad

Marathi-English dictionary

sanmukha (सन्मुख).—a (S) Fronting, facing, opposite to.

(Source): DDSA: The Molesworth Marathi and English Dictionary

sanmukha (सन्मुख).—a Fronting, opposite to.

(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.

Relevant definitions

Search found 14 related definition(s) that might help you understand this better. Below you will find the 15 most relevant articles:

Ṣanmukhamudrā (षन्मुखमुद्रा, “six-faced seal”) is a Sanskrit word referring to a...
Murugan (मुरुगन्).—Lord Murugan is praised as a great Siddha of Bāla-varga group. He rides on t...
kumāra (कुमार).—m A boy under 5 years of age. A prince; esp. the heir-apparent.
Skanda (स्कन्द) is the name of a gaṇa (attendant of Śiva), mentioned in the Skandapurāṇa 4.2.53...
Subrahmaṇya (सुब्रह्मण्य).—Sculptures of Subrahmaṇya are found in good numbers and are of late ...
stōtra (स्तोत्र).—n Praise. A hymn.
mahēśa (महेश).—m śiva the third deity of the Hindu traid.
śāmaka (शामक).—a A term of vaidyaśāstra. That calms, composes, allays, lulls; as pittaśāmaka, v...
pātaḍēṃ (पातडें).—n An almanao The apparatus or articles of one's oocupation or busi- ness.
Skandapurāṇa (स्कन्दपुराण).—One among the eighteen Purāṇas; the mahā-purāṇa of 81,000 verses de...
Shanmukhi, from षण्मुख (ṣaṇmukha), having six mouths or faces. The term is composed of two S...
Hands that indicate the forms which accord with the character and actions of Brahmā and othe...
Śarīrapālakā (शरीरपालका).—Besides the parivāra-devatās mentioned above, the temple of ...
Skandamantra (स्कन्दमन्त्र).—Before any dramatic performance (nāṭya) takes place, gods...

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