Shikha, Śikhā, Śikha, Sikhā, Sikha: 16 definitions


Shikha means something in Hinduism, Sanskrit, Buddhism, Pali, 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 Śikhā and Śikha can be transliterated into English as Sikha or Shikha, using the IAST transliteration scheme (?).

In Hinduism

Natyashastra (theatrics and dramaturgy)

Source: Wisdom Library: Nāṭya-śāstra

1) Śikha (शिख) is the Sanskrit name of one of Bharata’s sons, mentioned in the Nāṭyaśāstra 1.26-33. After Brahmā created the Nāṭyaveda (nāṭyaśāstra), he ordered Bharata to teach the science to his (one hundred) sons. Bharata thus learned the Nāṭyaveda from Brahmā, and then made his sons study and learn its proper application. After their study, Bharata assigned his sons (eg., Śikha) various roles suitable to them.

2) Śikhā (शिखा) refers to a “tuft” or “lock” of hair on the crown of the head, three of which is the prescribed appearance for menials (ceṭa), according to Nāṭyaśāstra chapter 23. It is composed of the words kuñcita (curved) and mūrdhaja (hair of the head). Providing masks is a component of nepathya (costumes and make-up) and is to be done in accordance with the science of āhāryābhinaya (extraneous representation).

3) Sikhā (सिखा) is the name of a meter belonging to the Pratiṣṭhā or Supratiṣṭhā class of Dhruvā (songs) described in the Nāṭyaśāstra chapter 32:—“the metre which has in its feet of five syllables the second, the fourth and the last ones long, is sikhā”.

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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Purana and Itihasa (epic history)

Source: Wisdom Library: The Matsya-purāṇa

Śikhā (शिखा) is the name of a mind-born ‘divine mother’ (mātṛ), created for the purpose of drinking the blood of the Andhaka demons, according to the Matsya-purāṇa 179.8. The Andhaka demons spawned out of every drop of blood spilled from the original Andhakāsura (Andhaka-demon). According to the Matsya-purāṇa 179.35, “Most terrible they (eg., Śikhā) all drank the blood of those Andhakas and become exceedingly satiated.”

The Matsyapurāṇa is categorised as a Mahāpurāṇa, and was originally composed of 20,000 metrical verses, dating from the 1st-millennium BCE. The narrator is Matsya, one of the ten major avatars of Viṣṇu.

Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: The Purana Index

Śikha (शिख).—One of the four Vedic Brahman disciples of Śveta.*

  • * Vāyu-purāṇa 23. 117.
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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Vyakarana (Sanskrit grammar)

Source: Wikisource: A dictionary of Sanskrit grammar

Śikhā (शिखा).—One of the subdivisions of the artificial recitals of the Vedic texts.

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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)

Source: Shodhganga: a concise history of Sanskrit Chanda literature

1) Śikhā (शिखा) is a type of mātrāvṛtta (quantitative verse) described in the second chapter of Kedārabhaṭṭa’s Vṛttaratnākara. The Vṛttaratnākara is considered as most popular work in Sanskrit prosody, because of its rich and number of commentaries. Kedārabhaṭṭa (C. 950-1050 C.E.) was a celebrated author in Sanskrit prosody.

2) Śikhā (शिखा) is the name of a Sanskrit metre (chandas) defined by Bharata, to which Hemacandra (1088-1173 C.E.) assigned the alternative name of Uṣṇik in his auto-commentary on the second chapter of the Chandonuśāsana. Hemacandra gives these alternative names for the metres by other authorities (like Bharata), even though the number of gaṇas or letters do not differ.

3) Śikhā (शिखा) refers to one of the thirty mātrāvṛtta (quantitative verse) mentioned in the 331st chapter of the Agnipurāṇa. The Agnipurāṇa deals with various subjects viz. literature, poetics, grammar, architecture in its 383 chapters and deals with the entire science of prosody (eg., the śikhā metre) in 8 chapters (328-335) in 101 verses in total.

Śikhā also refers to one of the twelve ardhasama-varṇavṛtta (semi-regular syllabo-quantitative verse) mentioned in the 333rd chapter of the Agnipurāṇa.

4) Śikhā (शिखा) refers to one of the thirty-four mātrāvṛtta (quantitative verse) mentioned in the Garuḍapurāṇa. The Garuḍapurāṇa also deals with the science of prosody (eg., the śikhā) in its six chapters 207-212. The chapters comprise 5, 18, 41, 7 and 9 verses respectively.

Chandas book cover
context information

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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Pancaratra (worship of Nārāyaṇa)

Source: Isvara Samhita Vol 5

Śikhā (शिखा) or Śikhāmudra is the name of a mudrā described in the Īśvarasaṃhitā 24.21-23.—Accordingly, “Two fingers beginning with the thumb and ending with the little finger, when formed separately into a casket with space in between, shall be in the small finger and other would respectively be the mudrās of śiras, śikhā, kavaca, (tanutrāt), protecting the body, astra and netra)”. Mūdra (eg., Śikhā-mudrā) is so called as it gives joy to the tattvas in the form of karman for those who offer spotless worship, drive out the defects which move about within and without and sealing up of what is done.

Pancaratra book cover
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Pancaratra (पाञ्चरात्र, pāñcarātra) represents a tradition of Hinduism where Narayana is revered and worshipped. Closeley related to Vaishnavism, the Pancaratra literature includes various Agamas and tantras incorporating many Vaishnava philosophies.

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Vaishnavism (Vaishava dharma)

Source: Pure Bhakti: Arcana-dipika - 3rd Edition

Śikhā (शिखा) refers to:—A tuft of hair situated on the top back part of the head. (cf. Glossary page from Arcana-dīpikā).

Vaishnavism book cover
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Vaishnava (वैष्णव, vaiṣṇava) or vaishnavism (vaiṣṇavism) represents a tradition of Hinduism worshipping Vishnu as the supreme Lord. Similar to the Shaktism and Shaivism traditions, Vaishnavism also developed as an individual movement, famous for its exposition of the dashavatara (‘ten avatars of Vishnu’).

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General definition (in Hinduism)

Source: Vedic index of Names and Subjects

Śikhā (शिखा) denotes in the Śatapatha-brāhmaṇa (i. 3. 3. 5) the ‘knot of hair worn on the top of the head. Wearing the top-knot unloosened was the sign of mourning in the case of women and men alike.

Languages of India and abroad

Pali-English dictionary

Source: BuddhaSasana: Concise Pali-English Dictionary

sikhā : (f.) crest; top-knot; a flame.

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

Sikhā, (f.) (Vedic śikhā) point, edge M. I, 104; crest, topknot DA. I, 89; J. V, 406; of a flame Dh. 308; DhsA. 124; of fire (aggi°) Sn. 703; J. V, 213; (dhūma°) J. VI, 206; of a ray of light J. I, 88; in the corn trade, the pyramid of corn at the top of the measuring vessel DA. I, 79; °-bandha top-knot D. I, 7; vātasikhā (tikkhā a raging blast) J. III, 484; susikha (adj.) with a beautiful crest Th. 1, 211 (mora), 1136. (Page 708)

Pali book cover
context information

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

Source: DDSA: The Molesworth Marathi and English Dictionary

śikhā (शिखा).—f (S) The tuft or lock left on the crown of the head at tonsure. 2 The crest, comb, plume, topknot (of a cock, peacock, horse): crest or top generally. 3 A plume or crest; as put on the heads of horses &c. 4 A spire of flame. 5 (For darbhaśikhā q. v.) A plague, pest, torment, trouble. śikhā māgēṃ lāgaṇēṃ g. of s. or in. con. To have some affliction or evil constantly pursuing us.

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sīkha (सीख).—See under śī.

Source: DDSA: The Aryabhusan school dictionary, Marathi-English

śikhā (शिखा).—f The tuft left on the crown of the head at tonsure. The crest. A plume. A spire of flame.

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

Source: DDSA: The practical Sanskrit-English dictionary

Śikhā (शिखा).—[śī-khak tasya netvam pṛṣo°; Uṇ.5.24]

1) A lock of hair left on the crown of the head; शिखां मोक्तुं बद्धामपि पुनरयं धावति करः (śikhāṃ moktuṃ baddhāmapi punarayaṃ dhāvati karaḥ) Mu.3.3; Śi.4.5; Māl.1. 6; the hair of the head; आसिञ्चदम्ब वत्सेति नेत्रोदैर्दुहितुः शिखाः (āsiñcadamba vatseti netrodairduhituḥ śikhāḥ) Bhāg.3.22.25.

2) A crest, top-knot.

3) Tuft, plume.

4) Top, summit, peak; अधिरुह्य पुष्पभरनम्नशिखैः परितः परिष्कृततलां तरुभिः (adhiruhya puṣpabharanamnaśikhaiḥ paritaḥ pariṣkṛtatalāṃ tarubhiḥ) Ki.6.17.

5) Sharp end, edge, point or end in general; ईषदीषच्चुम्बितानि भ्रमरैः सुकुमार- केसरशिखानि (īṣadīṣaccumbitāni bhramaraiḥ sukumāra- kesaraśikhāni) Ś.1.4; Bv.1.2.

6) The end of a garment; तोयाधारपथाश्च वल्कलशिखानिष्यन्दरेखाङ्किताः (toyādhārapathāśca valkalaśikhāniṣyandarekhāṅkitāḥ) Ś.1.14.

7) A flame; प्रभामहत्या शिखयेव दीपः (prabhāmahatyā śikhayeva dīpaḥ) Ku.1.28; R.17.34; Ki.16.53.

8) A ray of light; ज्वलन्मणिशिखाश्चैनं वासुकि- प्रमुखा निशि (jvalanmaṇiśikhāścainaṃ vāsuki- pramukhā niśi) Ku.2.38.

9) A peacock's crest or comb.

1) A fibrous root.

11) A branch in general, especially one taking root.

12) The head or chief or anything.

13) The fever of love.

14) The point of the foot.

Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: Shabda-Sagara Sanskrit-English Dictionary

Śikhā (शिखा).—f.

(-khā) 1. Point, top in general. 2. A crest. 3. A peacock’s crest. 4. A lock of hair on the crown of the head. 5. Flame. 6. A radicating branch. 7. Any branch. 8. A plant, commonly Langaliya. 9. Chief, principal. 10. Fever, proceeding from libidinous excitement or love. 11. A ray of light. 12. The end of a garment. 13. A fibrous root. 14. The forepart of the foot. E. śīṅ to sleep, Unadi aff. kha, and the vowel made short.

Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: Benfey Sanskrit-English Dictionary

Śikhā (शिखा).—f. 1. Point, top, [Rāmāyaṇa] 3, 49, 34; end. [Śākuntala, (ed. Böhtlingk.)] [distich] 14; [Raghuvaṃśa, (ed. Stenzler.)] 16, 48 (at the end of a comp. adj.; Sch. filaments). 2. A crest, [Rāmāyaṇa] 3, 53, 60. 3. A peacock’s crest. 4. A lock of hair on the crown of the head, [Vikramorvaśī, (ed. Bollensen.)] [distich] 124 (head). 5. Flame, [Pañcatantra] i. [distich] 319. 6. A ray of light. 7. Chief. 8. A branch.

Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: Cappeller Sanskrit-English Dictionary

Śikha (शिख).—[masculine] [Name] of a serpent-demon; [feminine] śikhā (q.v.).

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Śikhā (शिखा).—[feminine] tuft or braid of hair, a peacock’s crest, flame, ray of light, top, point, summit, end.

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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