Shesha, aka: Sesa, Śeṣa, Śeṣā; 18 Definition(s)

Introduction

Shesha 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 terms Śeṣa and Śeṣā can be transliterated into English as Sesa or Shesha, using the IAST transliteration scheme (?).

In Hinduism

Purana

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

Śeṣa (शेष):—One of the Nāgas that dwell on the Niṣadha mountain, according to the Vāyu-purāṇa.

Source: Google Books: Cultural History from the Vāyu Purāna

Śeṣa (शेष).—(ĀDIŚEṢA). Ananta. (q. v.) Additional information

(i) Ananta is the reposing bed of Viṣṇu. It is this Ananta who dislodged Mandara mountain at the time of Kṣīrābdhi mathana (churning of the ocean of milk) (Mahābhārata Ādi Parva, Chapter 18, Verse 8).

(ii) Ananta is the noblest of the nāgas. (Mahābhārata Ādi Parva, Chapter 35, Verse 2).

(iii) When there were mutual dissensions among the nāgas, Ananta visited holy places such as Puṣkara. (Mahābhārata Ādi Parva, Chapter 36, Verse 3).

(iv) Ananta obtained from Brahmā the boon to be able to stand firmly on Dharma. (Mahābhārata Ādi Parva, Chapter 36, Verse 17).

(v) Ananta carries and supports the earth at the behest of Brahmā. (Mahābhārata Ādi Parva, Chapter 36, Verse 18).

(vi) Ananta’s father is Kaśyapa and his mother is Kadrū. (Mahābhārata Ādi Parva, Chapter 65, Verse 41).

(vii) Balabhadra Rāma was born from a portion of Ananta. (Mahābhārata Ādi Parva, Chapter 67, Verse 152).

(viii) At the time of Tripuradahana, Ananta served as the axle of Śiva’s chariot. (Mahābhārata Droṇa Parva, Chapter 202, Verse 72). (See full article at Story of Śeṣa from the Puranic encyclopaedia by Vettam Mani)

Source: archive.org: Puranic Encyclopaedia

1a) Śeṣa (शेष).—The aṃśa of Hari: his bed;1 the force of Hari: personified;2 not finished yet chanting the glories of Viṣṇu;3 a Prajāpati;4 a chief of 1000 headed snakes, protected the chariot of Tripurāri;5 bed of Brahmam, (Viṣṇu) son of Kadru and Kaśyapa;6 of the Pātāla, shaken by Hiraṇyakaśipu;7 the Lord identified with;8 offerings to before house construction.9

  • 1) Bhāgavata-purāṇa VIII. 4. 20; III. 8. 23; V. 25. 11.
  • 2) Ib. X. 2. 8; VI. 16. 30.
  • 3) Ib. II. 7. 41.
  • 4) Brahmāṇḍa-purāṇa III. 1. 53; Vāyu-purāṇa 65. 53.
  • 5) Matsya-purāṇa 6. 39.
  • 6) Ib. 133. 62; 138. 39; 146. 22.
  • 7) Ib. 163. 57.
  • 8) Ib. 167. 53.
  • 9) Ib. 249. 15; 268. 17.

1b) (Ananta): a tāmasa form of Viṣṇu down below the Pātāla regions; with 1000 jewelled heads, purple garment, white necklace; in his hands are the plough and mace; worshipped by Lakṣmī and Vāruṇī; when the deluge sets in, he vomits venomed fire devouring the three worlds; Nāga maids adorn him with fragrant sandal paste; celestials and Asuras worship him; Gangā worshipped him and learnt from him astronomy and astrology; supports the whole earth with his head;1 the best of Nāgas;2 is Balarāma.3

  • 1) Viṣṇu-purāṇa II. 5. 13-27.
  • 2) Ib. III. 2. 51.
  • 3) Ib. V. 25. 1; 35. 3.

1c) The Nāga, King of Pātālam. Follows the Vaiṣṇava policy;1 described as in Pātalam.2

  • 1) Brahmāṇḍa-purāṇa II. 17. 34; 20. 54-5; III. 7. 32; 8. 13; 36. 53, 57; IV. 33. 36; Vāyu-purāṇa 45. 53; 46. 34; 50. 53; 70. 12; 99. 366.
  • 2) Vāyu-purāṇa 50. 46-53.
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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Rasashastra (chemistry and alchemy)

The (cosmic) serpent Śeṣa (शेष, “Remains,” “Residue”) who upholds the golden egg of the universe on his many hoods and whose coiled body is composed of the dregs, the calcinated residue of past creations. Of what sort of residue is Śeṣa composed? According to the Purāṇas, the cosmic dissolution or reabsorption (pralaya) that occurs at the end of a great age (mahāyuga) of some 4,320,000 human years is a two-phase process:

First phase:—The first of these is a universal conflagration, in which Śiva, in his destructive Kālāgnirudra form, incinerates all the gross, inert matter locatedinside the cosmic egg (while preserving the subtle souls of liberated beingsin the ether of the highest levels of the cosmic egg, well above the conflagration).

Second phase:— Then follows a great rain and flood, the true dissolution, whichextinguishes the fire and immerses the world in a great ocean. There remains a calcinated or ashen residue from the fire, however, which sinks to the bottom of the ocean of dissolution, to coalesce into the serpent Śeṣa, at the bottom of the cosmic egg.

Source: Google Books: The Alchemical Body
Rasashastra book cover
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Rasashastra (रसशास्त्र, rasaśāstra) is an important branch of Ayurveda, specialising in chemical interactions with herbs, metals and minerals. Some texts combine yogic and tantric practices with various alchemical operations. The ultimate goal of Rasashastra is not only to preserve and prolong life, but also to bestow wealth upon humankind.

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Katha (narrative stories)

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

Śeṣa (शेष).—Name of a Nāga mentioned by Soḍḍhala.—The aged Śeṣa bears the wide-spread earth at ease, as if it is a bunch of flowers. Śeṣa-nāga was a mythical figure, the personification of a serpent and the king of Nāgas. His body formed the couch of Viṣṇu, resting on, the waters of the milky ocean, while his thousand hoods were the god’s canopy. He is also supposed to be supporting the earth on his hoods. The many-hocded cobra was used as a rope for the churning of the ocean. He now accompanies both Śiva and Viṣṇu and is worshipped throughout the country on a particular festival day of his own, the Nāga-pañcamī.

Source: Shodhganga: A critical appreciation of soddhalas udayasundarikatha
Katha book cover
context information

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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Shaktism (Shakta philosophy)

Śeṣa (शेष) refers to one of the 53 gods to be worshipped in the western quarter and given pāyasa (rice boiled in milk) according to the Vāstuyāga rite in Śaktism (cf. Śāradātilaka-tantra III-V). The worship of these 53 gods happens after assigning them to one of the 64 compartment while constructing a Balimaṇḍapa. Vāstu is the name of a prodigious demon, who was killed by 53 gods (eg., Śeṣa).

Source: Wisdom Library: Śāktism
Shaktism book cover
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Shakta (शाक्त, śākta) or Shaktism (śāktism) represents a tradition of Hinduism where the Goddess (Devi) is revered and worshipped. Shakta literature includes a range of scriptures, including various Agamas and Tantras, although its roots may be traced back to the Vedas.

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Kavya (poetry)

Shesha in Kavya glossary... « previous · [S] · next »

Śeṣa (शेष) is the name of an important person (viz., an Ācārya or Kavi) mentioned in Rājaśekhara’s 10th-century Kāvyamīmāṃsā.—One of the eighteen disciples of Kāvya-puruṣa, who is the composer of Śabdaśleṣa adhikaraṇa.

Source: Shodhganga: The Kavyamimamsa of Rajasekhara
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Kavya (काव्य, kavya) refers to Sanskrit poetry, a popular ancient Indian tradition of literature. There have been many Sanskrit poets over the ages, hailing from ancient India and beyond. This topic includes mahakavya, or ‘epic poetry’ and natya, or ‘dramatic poetry’.

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Vyakarana (Sanskrit grammar)

Śeṣa (शेष).—(l) any other senses than what are given above; cf. शेषे (śeṣe) P.IV.2.92; (2) surname of a reputed family of grammarians belonging to Southern India which produced many grammarians, from the fifteenth century to the eighteenth century. Ramacandra Sesa was the first grammarian in the family who wrote the Prakriyakaumudi in the fifteenth century. His descendants developed the system of studying grammar by the study of topics as given in the Prakriya Kaumudi and wrote several works of the nature of glosses and comments.

Source: Wikisource: A dictionary of Sanskrit grammar
context information

Vyakarana (व्याकरण, vyākaraṇa) refers to Sanskrit grammar and represents one of the six additional sciences (vedanga) to be studied along with the Vedas. Vyakarana concerns itself with the rules of Sanskrit grammar and linguistic analysis in order to establish the correct context of words and sentences.

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Chandas (prosody, study of Sanskrit metres)

Śeṣā (शेषा) refers to one of the 130 varṇavṛttas (syllabo-quantitative verse) dealt with in the second chapter of the Vṛttamuktāvalī, ascribed to Durgādatta (19th century), author of eight Sanskrit work and patronised by Hindupati: an ancient king of the Bundela tribe (presently Bundelkhand of Uttar Pradesh). A Varṇavṛtta (eg., śeṣā) refers to a type of classical Sanskrit metre depending on syllable count where the light-heavy patterns are fixed.

Source: Shodhganga: a concise history of Sanskrit Chanda literature
Chandas book cover
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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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Itihasa (narrative history)

Śeṣa (शेष) is a name mentioned in the Mahābhārata (cf. I.31.5, I.35, I.35.5, I.36, I.59.40, I.65, I.61.91) and represents one of the many proper names used for people and places. Note: The Mahābhārata (mentioning Śeṣa) 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
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Itihasa (इतिहास, itihāsa) refers to ‘epic history’ and represents a branch of Sanskrit literature which popularly includes 1) the eighteen major Puranas, 2) the Mahabharata and 3) the Ramayana. It is a branch of Vedic Hinduism categorised as smriti literature (‘that which is remembered’) as opposed to shruti literature (‘that which is transmitted verbally’).

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General definition (in Hinduism)

Śeṣa (शेष).—In the Harivaṃśa, Śeṣa is spoken of as “son of Śiva”. In the Mahābhārata VII.57.70. we find mention of two Nāgas paying obeisance to Śiva. Śiva is described as wearing snake garment. It is stated that Śeṣa was made the axil of Śiva’s chariot, Elāpatra and Puṣpadanta were made aṇi, Takṣaka was made rope and Vāsuki was made the string of the bow.

Source: archive.org: Nilamata Purana: a cultural and literary study (h)

In Hindu (post-Vedic) tradition, Shesha is the king of all Nāgas (serpent deities), one of the primal beings of creation, and according to the Bhagavata Purana, an avatar of the Supreme God known as Narayana. He is also known as Balarama, Laxmana and Sankarshana.

His name means "that which remains", from the Sanskrit root śiṣ, because when the world is destroyed at the end of the kalpa, Shesha remains as he is.

In the Puranas, Sheshanaga is said to hold all the planets of the Universe on his hoods and to constantly sing the glories of Vishnu from all his mouths. He is sometimes referred to as Ananta Shesha which translates as endless-Shesha or as Adishesha which means the first Shesha. It is said that when Adishesa uncoils, time moves forward and creation takes place. When he coils back, the universe ceases to exist.

As per the Mahabharata, Shesha was born to sage Kaśyapa and his wife Kadru. Kadru gave birth to a thousand snakes, of which Shesha was the eldest. After Shesha, were born Vāsuki, Airāvata and Takṣaka, in order. A lot of Śeṣa’s brothers were cruel in nature and were bent upon inflicting harm on others. They were even unkind to Garuda, who was Kaśyapa’s son through Vinatha, sister of Kadru. (Kadru and Vinatha were daughters of Daksha). Śeṣa, disgusted by the cruel acts of his brothers, left his mother and kin, and took to austere penances. He lived on air, and meditated in various places including Gandhamadhana, Badrikāshrama, Gokarna, Pushkara and Himalayas

etymology: Shesha (IAST: Śeṣa, Devanagari: शेष), also known as Sheshanaga (IAST: Śeṣanāga, Devanagari: शेषनाग) or Adishesha (IAST: Ādi Śeṣa, Devanāgarī: आदिशेष)

Source: WikiPedia: Hinduism

In Buddhism

Theravada (major branch of Buddhism)

Sesa means remaining.

Source: Buddhist Information: A Survey of Paramattha Dhammas
context information

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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Languages of India and abroad

Pali-English dictionary

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

sesa : (adj.) remaining; left.

Source: BuddhaSasana: Concise Pali-English Dictionary

Sesa, (fr. śiṣ) remaining, left D. II, 48; Sn. 217, 354; J. II, 128; (nt.) remainder PvA. 14, 70; °-ka the same Mhvs 10, 36; 22, 42; 25, 19. (Page 724)

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

śēṣa (शेष).—m (S) The king of the serpent-race, as a large, thousand-headed snake, at once the couch and canopy of Vishn̤u, and the upholder of the world, which rests on one of its heads.

--- OR ---

śēṣa (शेष).—m (S) Remnant, remainder, residue, rest. Ex. rōgaśēṣa, ṛṇaśēṣa, agniśēṣa, śatruśēṣa (ṭhēvūṃ nayē) Leave no remainder--of a disease--of a debt--of a fire--of an enemy.

--- OR ---

sēsa (सेस) [or सेंस, sēṃsa].—f Provincial and vulgar for śēja.

Source: DDSA: The Molesworth Marathi and English Dictionary

śēṣa (शेष).—m Remnant, rest. The king of the serpent-race.

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

Search found 181 related definition(s) that might help you understand this better. Below you will find the 15 most relevant articles:

Vakyashesha
Vākyaśeṣa (वाक्यशेष).—1) the remainder of a speech, an unfinished or incomplete sentence; सदोषा...
Ananta-shesha
Anantaśeṣa (अनन्तशेष) is the name of the serpent with a thousand heads upon which Vishnu rec...
Sheshajati
Śeṣajāti (शेषजाति).—f. assimilation of residues; (in alg.) reduction of fractions of residues. ...
Ekashesha
Ekaśeṣa (एकशेष).—'the remainder of one', a species of Dvandva compound in which one of two or m...
Ayuhshesha
Āyuḥśeṣa (आयुःशेष).—1) remainder of life; °शेषतया (śeṣatayā) Pt.1; °जीवित (jīvita) Pt.4 being d...
Adhimasashesha
Adhimāsaśeṣa (अधिमासशेष).—Residue relating to the intercalary month, adhimāsa. Note: Adhimāsa-ś...
Kathashesha
Kathāśeṣa (कथाशेष).—a. see कथावशेष (kathāvaśeṣa).Kathāśeṣa is a Sanskrit compound consisting of...
Sheshanaga
Śeṣanāga (शेषनाग).—An expansion of Lord Balarāma or Saṅkarṣaṇa who takes the form of a...
Ayuh Shesha
āyuḥ śēṣa (आयुः शेष).—a S That is on the point of death.--- OR --- āyuḥ śēṣa (आयुः शेष).—m (S) ...
Liptashesha
Liptāśeṣa (लिप्ताशेष).—The residue of the minute. Note: Liptā-śeṣa is a Sanskrit technical term...
Ardhashesha
Ardhaśeṣa (अर्धशेष).—a. having only a half left. Ardhaśeṣa is a Sanskrit compound consisting of...
Asthishesha
Asthiśeṣa (अस्थिशेष).—a. [asthimātraṃ śeṣo'sya] very lean, reduced to skeleton. Asthiśeṣa is a ...
Bhakshitashesha
Bhakṣitaśeṣa (भक्षितशेष).—leavings, remnants of food.Derivable forms: bhakṣitaśeṣaḥ (भक्षितशेषः...
Alekhyashesha
Ālekhyaśeṣa (आलेख्यशेष).—a. having nothing left but a painting, i. e. deceased, dead; आलेख्यशेष...
Madhushesha
Madhuśeṣa (मधुशेष).—wax. Derivable forms: madhuśeṣam (मधुशेषम्).Madhuśeṣa is a Sanskrit compoun...

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