Shanmukha, aka: Ṣaṇmukha, Shash-mukha; 7 Definition(s)

Introduction

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

Shilpashastra (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

Ṣaṇmukha (or Sanmukhan) is the name of deity as found depicted in the Subramanya Swamy Temple (or Subrahmaṇya Svāmi Temple) in Tiruchendur (or Tirucendur/Tirucentur), representing a sacred place for the worship of Murugan.—Ṣaṇmukha is found in samabhaṅga pose with six pairs of hands. A vel is placed in the right hand and the corresponding left hand is in varada. Valli and Deivānai are found on either side of the god. To the right of the main sanctum, there is the sannidhi for Murukan where he is found in standing posture. In front of this sannidhi there are images of a crow, a peacock and a Nandi.

Ṣaṇmukha is also depicted in the Subramanya Swamy Temple (or Subramaṇya Svāmi Temple) in Thiruparankundram or Parankundram (Paraṅkuṉṟam), another a sacred place for the worship of Murugan.—Ṣanmukhan (Ṣaṇmukha) is found with six heads and six pairs of hands in standing posture. Valli and Deivānai are found on the two sides of Ṣaṇmukha. Peacock is not seen in this sannidhi. In general, the emblems fitted to the hands of Ṣaṇmukha are twenty six in total. They are (i) Four mudrās: abhaya, varada, urū and kaṭi; (ii) Fifteen weapons: śakti, vajra, śūla, khaḍga, ketaka, cakra, śaṅkh, aṅkuśa, tomara (an iron club or javelin), pāśa, bāṇa, dhanuṣ, halā and danḍa; (iii) Seven others: kukkuṭa, kukkuṭadvaja, sruva, japamāla, āranim, pūrṇakuṃbha, nīlōtpala, puṣpabāṇa and ikṣucāpa (sugarcane bow). In dance, Ṣaṇmukha is represented in sama śiras and samapāda-sthānaka.

Source: Shodhganga: The significance of the mūla-beras (śilpa)
Shilpashastra book cover
context information

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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Purana and Itihasa (epic history)

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

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
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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Languages of India and abroad

Marathi-English dictionary

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

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.

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Relevant definitions

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