Sharira, aka: Śarīra, Sarīra, Sarira, Śārīra; 17 Definition(s)


Sharira means something in Hinduism, Sanskrit, Jainism, Prakrit, Buddhism, Pali, 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 Śarīra and Śārīra can be transliterated into English as Sarira or Sharira, using the IAST transliteration scheme (?).

In Hinduism

Ayurveda (science of life)

Śārīra (शारीर) refers to “body”. The term is used throughout Āyurvedic literature such as the Suśruta-saṃhitā and the Caraka-saṃhitā. As an integral part of Āyurveda, the term also refers to the broad subject of “Anatomy” or “Physiology”. The literal translation of the word Śārīra is ‘that which decays’.

Source: Wisdom Library: Āyurveda and botany
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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Purana and Itihasa (epic history)

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

Śarīra (शरीर).—(body) Body is constituted of the five elements, earth, water, fire, air and sky (ether). What is solid or hard in the body is earth; liquid, is water; hot or burning, fire; what gives motion to the body is air and what are pores in the body is sky. (See full article at Story of Śarīra from the Puranic encyclopaedia by Vettam Mani)

Source: Puranic Encyclopaedia

Śarīra (शरीर).—A pupil of Vedamitra Śākalya.*

  • * Viṣṇu-purāṇa III. 4. 22.
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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Natyashastra (theatrics and dramaturgy)

1) Śarīra (शरीर) refers to “gestures of the limbs”. It is one of the three types of āṅgika “gestures” (physical representations), according to the Nāṭyaśāstra chapter 8. Āṅgika represents one of the four categories of representation (abhinaya), which are used in communicating the meaning of the drama and calling forth the sentiment (rasa). The term is used throughout nāṭyaśāstra literature.

2) Śārīra (शारिर, “bodily”) refers to the histrionic representation (abhinaya) through “the body” (śārīra), according to the Nāṭyaśāstra chapter 24. These representation are connected with the proper psychological states (bhāva) and sentiments (rasa) available for the subject matter of dramatic plays (nāṭya).

There are ten representations through which the body (śārīra) can be expressed:

  1. vākya (words),
  2. sūcā,
  3. aṅkura,
  4. śākhā,
  5. nāṭyāyita,
  6. nivṛttyaṅkura.
Source: Wisdom Library: Nāṭya-śāstra
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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Nyaya (school of philosophy)

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Śarīra (शरीर, “body”) refers to one of the twelve prameya (“objects of valid knowledge) according to the first chapter of Gautama’s Nyāyasūtra (2nd century CE). Prameya in turn represents the second of the sixteen padārthas (“categories”). Accordingly, “Śarīra is the locus of volition, senses and objects etc.”.

Source: Shodhganga: A study of Nyāya-vaiśeṣika categories
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Nyaya (न्याय, nyaya) refers to a school of Hindu philosophy (astika), drawing its subject-matter from the Upanishads. The Nyaya philosophy is known for its theories on logic, methodology and epistemology, however, it is closely related with Vaisheshika in terms of metaphysics.

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General definition (in Hinduism)

Śarīra (शरीर, ‘body’) is a word of frequent occurrence in Vedic literature. The interest of the Vedic Indians seems early to have been attracted to the consideration of questions connected with the anatomy of the body.

Thus a hymn of the Atharvaveda enumerates many parts of the body with some approach to accuracy and orderly arrangement. It mentions

  1. the heels (pārṣṇī),
  2. the flesh (māṃsa),
  3. the ankle-bones (gulphau),
  4. the fingers (aṅgulīḥ),
  5. the apertures (kha),
  6. the two metatarsi (uchlakau),
  7. the tarsus (pratiṣṭhā),
  8. the two knee-caps (aṣṭhīvantau),
  9. the two legs (jaṅghe),
  10. the two knee-joints (jānunoḥ sandhi).

Then comes above the

  1. two knees (jānū)
  2. the foursided (catuṣṭaya),
  3. pliant (śithira)
  4. trunk (kabandha).

The two hips (śroṇī) and the two thighs (ūrū) are the props of the frame (kusindha).

Next come

  1. the breast-bone (uras),
  2. the cervical cartilages (grīvāḥ),
  3. the two breast pieces (stanau),
  4. the two shoulder-blades (kaphoḍau),
  5. the neck-bones (skandhau),
  6. and the backbones (pṛṣṭīḥ),
  7. the collar-bones (aṃsau),
  8. the arms (bāhū),
  9. the seven apertures in the head (sapta khāni śīrṣaṇi),
  10. the ears (karṇau),
  11. the nostrils (nāsike),
  12. the eyes (cakṣaṇī),
  13. the mouth (mukha),
  14. the jaws (hanū),
  15. the tongue (jihvā),
  16. the brain (mastiṣka),
  17. the forehead (lalāṭa),
  18. the facial bone (kakāṭikā),
  19. the cranium (kapāla),
  20. and the structure of the jaws (cityā hanvoḥ).

This system presents marked similarities with the later system of Caraka and Suśruta, which render certain the names ascribed to the several terms by Hoernle.

Source: Vedic index of Names and Subjects

In Jainism

General definition (in Jainism)

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Sarīra (सरीर, “body”) is a Prakrit technical term referring to “names derived from physical characteristics” and representing kind of a rule when deriving personal names for men, mentioned in the Aṅgavijjā chapter 26. This chapter includes general rules to follow when deriving proper names. The Aṅgavijjā (mentioning sarīra) is an ancient treatise from the 3rd century CE dealing with physiognomic readings, bodily gestures and predictions and was written by a Jain ascetic in 9000 Prakrit stanzas.

Sarīra names are qualitative. They are saṇḍa (bull), vikaḍa (terrible), kharaḍa (lowest), khallaḍa (bald) and vipiṇa (forest).

Source: Personal and geographical names in the Gupta inscriptions (jainism)

Śarīra (शरीर).—according to the 2nd-century Tattvārthasūtra 2.36-37, how many types of bodies (śarīra) are there? There five types of bodies namely gross (audārika), the transformable /protean (vaikriyika), the coveyance (āhāraka), the luminous (tejasa) and the kārmika bodies. The bodies are more and more subtle successively. Are these body perceptible by our sense organs (pañcendriya)? No. except the one body as each successive body is subtle than the previous one. Which is the type of body which is perceptible by our sense organs? The gross body (audārika) is perceptible by our sense organs.

Source: Encyclopedia of Jainism: Tattvartha Sutra 2: the Category of the living

Śarīra (शरीर, “body”) according to the 2nd-century Tattvārthasūtra 5.19.—The function of matter (pudgala) is to form the basis of the body (śarīra), the organs of speech (vāc), the mind (manas) and the respiration (prāṇa). What is the meaning of body (śarīra)? The entity which is created by the rise of name karmas and undergo the transformation i.e. decays of old parts / constituents and origin of new ones.

How many types of body (śarīra) are there? Body can be of five types, namely: gross, protean, conveyance, and luminous and kārmika.

Source: Encyclopedia of Jainism: Tattvartha Sutra 5: The category of the non-living

Śarīra (शरीर, “body”) according to the 2nd-century Tattvārthasūtra 7.12.—What is meant by body (śarīra)? The entity which is created due to the rise of special body-making karmas and then decays. Synonym for body is kāya. What is the nature of body and what is the result of contemplating on it? The nature of the body is transitory and full of misery and suffering. By contemplating on it one develops detachment from it.

Source: Encyclopedia of Jainism: Tattvartha Sutra 7: The Five Vows

Śarīra (शरीर, “body”) refers to “physique body-making karma” and represents one of the various kinds of Nāma, or “physique-making (karmas)”, which represents one of the eight types of Prakṛti-bandha (species bondage): one of the four kinds of bondage (bandha) according to the 2nd-century Tattvārthasūtra chapter 8. What is meant by the physique (śarīra) body-making (nāma) karmas? The karmas rise of which causes attainment of a body by the soul are called physique body-making karmas. 

How many types of physique body-making (śarīra) karma are there? There are five types of body-name karmas, namely:

  1. physical /gross (audārika),
  2. protean (vaikriyika),
  3. conveyance (āhāraka),
  4. luminous (taijasa),
  5. karmic (kārmaṇa).
Source: Encyclopedia of Jainism: Tattvartha Sutra 8: Bondage of karmas
General definition book cover
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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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India history and geogprahy

Śarīra.—(SITI), person; individual. (EI 24; ML), corporeal relies of the Buddha. Note: śarīra is defined in the “Indian epigraphical glossary” as it can be found on ancient inscriptions commonly written in Sanskrit, Prakrit or Dravidian languages.

Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: Indian Epigraphical Glossary
India history book cover
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The history of India traces the identification of countries, villages, towns and other regions of India, as well as royal dynasties, rulers, tribes, local festivities and traditions and regional languages. Ancient India enjoyed religious freedom and encourages the path of Dharma, a concept common to Buddhism, Hinduism, and Jainism.

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Languages of India and abroad

Pali-English dictionary

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

sarīra : (nt.) the body.

Source: BuddhaSasana: Concise Pali-English Dictionary

Sarīra, (nt.) (Vedic śarīra) 1. the (physical) body D. I, 157; M. I, 157; S. IV, 286; A. I, 50; II, 41; III, 57 sq. , 323 sq.; IV, 190. Sn. 478, 584; Dh. 151; Nd1 181; J. I, 394 (six blemishes); II, 31; antimasarīra one who wears his last body, an Anāgāmin Sn. 624; S. I, 210; Dh. 400.—2. a dead body, a corpse D. II, 141, 164; M. III, 91.—3. the bones D. II, 164.—4. relics Vv 63, 32; VvA. 269.

—aṭṭhaka the bony framework of the body DhsA. 338. —ābhā radiation of light proceeding from the body, lustre SnA 16 (°ṃ muñcati to send forth), 41 (id.), 140 (id.). —kicca (1) funeral ceremonies, obsequies J. I, 180; II, 5; VvA. 76, 257; PvA. 74, 76, 162.—(2) “bodily function, ” satisfying the body’s wants J. II, 77; IV, 37. —davya (=dabba1) fitness of body, good body, beauty J. II, 137. —dhātu a body relic (of the Buddha) Mhvs 13, 167; VvA. 165, 269. —pabhā lustre of the body DhA. I, 106. —parikamma attending the body SnA 52. —maṃsa the flesh of the body J. III, 53. —vaṇṇa the (outward) appearance of the body Vism. 193. —valañja discharge from the body, fæces DhA. II, 55; IV, 46 (°ṭhāna). See valañja. —saṅghāta perfection of body Vism. 194. —saṇṭhāna constitution of the body, bodily form Vism. 193. (Page 698)

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

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śarīra (शरीर).—n (S) The body. 2 A covert term for pudendum virile vel muliebre. śa0 vēcaṇēṃ (parōpakārākaḍē) To spend or lay out one's body (as in philanthropic labors).

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śārīra (शारीर) [or शारीरक, śārīraka].—a (S) Corporeal, bodily, relating to the body.

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śārīra (शारीर) [or शारीरक, śārīraka].—n S (Science of the body.) A division of medicine comprehending anatomy and pathology. 2 The quaver (in singing). v ghē.

Source: DDSA: The Molesworth Marathi and English Dictionary

śarīra (शरीर).—n The body.

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śārīra (शारीर).—a Corporeal, bodily, phy- sical; as distinguished from mānasika, bauddhika. n The quaver (in singing).

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śārīra (शारीर).—n Anatomy.

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

Śarīra (शरीर).—[śṝ-īran Uṇ.4.31]

1) The body (of animate or inanimate objects); शरीरमाद्यं खलु धर्मसाधनम् (śarīramādyaṃ khalu dharmasādhanam) Ku.5.33.

2) The constituent element; शरीरं तावदिष्टार्थव्यवच्छिन्ना पदावली (śarīraṃ tāvadiṣṭārthavyavacchinnā padāvalī) Kāv.1.1; शरीरमसि संसारस्य (śarīramasi saṃsārasya) U.7.

3) Bodily strength.

4) A dead body.

5) One's own person, individual soul (jīvātmā); यथा यथा मनस्तस्य दुष्कृतं कर्म गर्हति । तथा तथा शरीरं तत्तेनाधर्मेण मुच्यते (yathā yathā manastasya duṣkṛtaṃ karma garhati | tathā tathā śarīraṃ tattenādharmeṇa mucyate) || Ms.11.229.

Derivable forms: śarīram (शरीरम्).

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Śārīra (शारीर).—a. (- f.) [शरीरस्येदम् अण् (śarīrasyedam aṇ)]

1) Relating to the body, bodily, corporeal.

2) Incorporate, embodied.

-raḥ, -ram 1 The incorporate or embodied spirit (jīvātman); human or individual soul.

2) A bull.

3) A kind of drug.

4) Excrement; विनाद्भिरप्सु वाप्यार्तः शारीरं संनिवेश्य च (vinādbhirapsu vāpyārtaḥ śārīraṃ saṃniveśya ca) Ms.11.22.

-ram Bodily constitution.

2) (In medic.) the science of the body and its parts; anatomy.

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Sarira (सरिर).—Water; cf. सलिल (salila).

Derivable forms: sariram (सरिरम्).

See also (synonyms): sarila.

Source: DDSA: The practical 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 247 related definition(s) that might help you understand this better. Below you will find the 15 most relevant articles:

Sūkṣmaśarīra (सूक्ष्मशरीर).—n. (-raṃ) The subtle body invested by and the archetype of the gros...
Liṅgaśarīra (लिङ्गशरीर).—the subtle frame or body; see लिङ्ग (liṅga) (13) above. Derivable form...
Sthūlaśarīra (स्थूलशरीर).—the grosser or material and perishable body (opp. sūkṣma or liṅga-śar...
Ekaśarīra (एकशरीर).—mfn. (-raḥ-rā-raṃ) 1. Consanguineous, of one body or blood. 2. Of one or th...
Śarīrasaṃpatti (शरीरसंपत्ति).—f. the prosperity of body, (good) health. Derivable forms: śarīra...
Śarīrasaṃbandha (शरीरसंबन्ध).—relation by marriage. Derivable forms: śarīrasaṃbandhaḥ (शरीरसंबन...
Śarīradaṇḍa (शरीरदण्ड).—m. (-ṇḍaḥ) Corporal punishment.
Śarīrakarṣaṇa (शरीरकर्षण).—n. (-ṇaṃ) Emaciating or afflicting the body. E. śarīra and karṣaṇa a...
Śarīrapāka (शरीरपाक).—m. (-kaḥ) Decay, emaciation. E. śarīra, and pāka a ripening.
Śarīrayātrā (शरीरयात्रा).—f. (-trā) Subsistence, support. E. śarīra, and yātrā going.
Śarīrasaṃskāra (शरीरसंस्कार).—m. (-raḥ) Purification of the body by various ceremonies at conce...
Śarīrapatana (शरीरपतन).—n. (-naṃ) Death.
Śarīrayaṣṭi (शरीरयष्टि).—f. a slender body, slim or delicate figure. Derivable forms: śarīrayaṣ...
Kāraṇaśarīra (कारणशरीर).—(in Vedānta phil.) the inner rudiment of the body, causal frame.Deriva...
Śarīrasthāna (शरीरस्थान).—the doctrine about the human body. Derivable forms: śarīrasthānam (शर...

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