Shilahara, aka: Śilāhāra; 2 Definition(s)


Shilahara means something in Hinduism, Sanskrit, the history of ancient India. 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 Śilāhāra can be transliterated into English as Silahara or Shilahara, using the IAST transliteration scheme (?).

In Hinduism

Katha (narrative stories)

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

Śīlahara (शीलहर) is the son of a merchant (vaṇij) from Kauśāmbī, according to the Kathāsaritsāgara, chapter 58. Accordingly, “... and she [Candraśrī] beheld from a window a merchant’s handsome son, of the name of Śīlahara, and she sent her female friend to invite him to her house, and there she used to have assignations with him in secret”.

The story of Śīlahara was narrated by Tapantaka to Naravāhanadatta in order to instruct him that he should “never repose any confidence at all in women, for they are all light, even those that, being married or unmarried, dwell in their father’s house, as well as those that are courtesans by profession”. Also that “the way of a woman’s heart truly hard to understand; they fall in love with strange men, and die when separated from their husbands”.

The Kathāsaritsāgara (‘ocean of streams of story’), mentioning Śīlahara, is a famous Sanskrit epic story revolving around prince Naravāhanadatta and his quest to become the emperor of the vidyādharas (celestial beings). The work is said to have been an adaptation of Guṇāḍhya’s Bṛhatkathā consisting of 100,000 verses, which in turn is part of a larger work containing 700,000 verses.

Source: Wisdom Library: Kathāsaritsāgara
Katha book cover
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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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India history and geogprahy

Śilāhāra (शिलाहार) or Śilāra refers to a royal dynasty, whose geneology (line of kings) is mentioned in the “Prince of Wales museum plates of Chadvaideva”.—Accordingly, its origins have been described as follows: “There lived the Vidyādhara named Jīmutavāhana, the son of Jīmutakētu, who, by his own deeds, surpassed the fame of others, who became enriched by his policy and valour−the illustrious one who, by surrendering his own body, rescued serpents... Having heard about him who endeared himself (to the gods) in heaven,... the forbears (of the Śilāhāras) resorted to him for (their) birth out of regard for (his) merits... The forbears (of the Śilāhāras) in the guise of Śīlāra, protected the ocean which had been terrified by the arrow of Paraśurāma, and since then have obtained that name (viz. Śīlāra)”.

The Śilāhāras treated impartially the followers of all the three religious, Hindu, Buddhist and Jaina, and their sects, and constructed temples of all these faiths. Their feudatories, officers, merchants and the general public imitated them. We have given detailed information about them in the Chapter on Religious Condition. Very few of these religious structures are in a good condition at present. Only the remains of some are now extant, while others have disappeared. We propose to describe briefly some of those that are still extant.

Source: What is India: Inscriptions of the Śilāhāras
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.

Discover the meaning of shilahara or silahara in the context of India history from relevant books on Exotic India

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