Shilpa, Śilpa, Śilpā: 18 definitions


Shilpa means something in Hinduism, Sanskrit, Jainism, Prakrit, Marathi, Hindi. 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 Śilpa and Śilpā can be transliterated into English as Silpa or Shilpa, using the IAST transliteration scheme (?).

Alternative spellings of this word include Shilp.

Images (photo gallery)

In Hinduism

Shilpashastra (iconography)

Source: Shodhganga: The significance of the mūla-beras (śilpa)

Śilpa (शिल्प) designates any kind of art, a fine or mechanical art (64 such arts are enumerated), a skill in any art and crafts in the Indian tradition. Its origin is traced to the Vedas. Śilpa is a pervasive term and includes within the ambit of its meaning anything creative, imitative, ideational, or skilful which in one sense or the other involves dexterity of hand or mind or both. Śilpa also implies a technique, a ceremonial act, an artifact, indeed anything that either leads to or is a tangible product of some craft.

The śāstras that deal with the śilpa are the śilpaśāstras. Śilpaśāstra is the science of architecture. It also includes vāstu vidya or architecture applied to the construction of houses, fields, buildings of any kind (setu-bandha). The origin of this science has been attributed to Viśvakarma, the divine architect of gods.

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.

Discover the meaning of shilpa or silpa in the context of Shilpashastra from relevant books on Exotic India

Purana and Itihasa (epic history)

Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: The Purana Index

Śilpa (शिल्प).—Arts and Crafts;1 not seen in Puṣkaradvīpam;2 one living by śilpa, unfit for paṅkti bhojana;3 teaching in; punishment for non-performance of.4

  • 1) Matsya-purāṇa 220. 3; Vāyu-purāṇa 83. 63.
  • 2) Brahmāṇḍa-purāṇa II. 19. 122.
  • 3) Ib. III. 19. 33.
  • 4) Matsya-purāṇa 227. 6.
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.

Discover the meaning of shilpa or silpa in the context of Purana from relevant books on Exotic India

Jyotisha (astronomy and astrology)

Source: Wisdom Library: Brihat Samhita by Varahamihira

Śilpa (शिल्प) refers to “sculptors”, according to the Bṛhatsaṃhitā (chapter 16) (“On the planets—graha-bhaktiyoga”), an encyclopedic Sanskrit work written by Varāhamihira mainly focusing on the science of ancient Indian astronomy astronomy (Jyotiṣa).—Accordingly, “[...] Mercury also presides over painters, grammarians, mathematicians, physicians, sculptors (śilpa-jña), spies, jugglers, infants, poets, rogues, tale-bearers, black-magicians, messengers, eunuchs, buffoons, sorcerers and conjurers; over sentinels, dancers and dancing masters; over ghee, gingelly and other oils; over seeds, over bitter flavour, over observers of religious ceremonies, over chemists and mules”.

Jyotisha book cover
context information

Jyotisha (ज्योतिष, jyotiṣa or jyotish) refers to ‘astronomy’ or “Vedic astrology” and represents the fifth of the six Vedangas (additional sciences to be studied along with the Vedas). Jyotisha concerns itself with the study and prediction of the movements of celestial bodies, in order to calculate the auspicious time for rituals and ceremonies.

Discover the meaning of shilpa or silpa in the context of Jyotisha from relevant books on Exotic India

General definition (in Hinduism)

Source: Vedic index of Names and Subjects

Śilpa (शिल्प) means ‘art’, of which three kinds—nṛtya, ‘dance’; gīta, ‘song’; and vādita, ‘instrumental music,’ are enumerated in the Kauṣītaki-brāhmaṇa (xxix. 5).

Source: Shodhganga: The significance of the mūla-beras

Śilpa (शिल्प)generally means “action” or “skill” in action. The Aitareya Brāhmaṇ a (V1.27) regards śilpa as the anukaraṇa (imitation) of deva-śilpa (divine art). It is also said that śilpa is supposed to be born in one who has the knowledge of it. Śilpa signifies an extraordinary potential, a sanctifying principle, a supportive, sustaining, and strengthening force, a skill endowed with a sense of wonder for its creative essence, sometimes a propensity which is “divine” in character and which remains sanctified even in its emulation. It is also a quality.

By śilpa the divine personages create and strengthen the cosmic forces, and by it a transmutation is brought about in different, disparate phenomena. It is the principle by which the non-manifested is rendered manifest, and the manifest derives its corporeality and colours. It manifests the basic forms of arts, for example, song, dance, music, colour and plastic arts, but is also identified by the quality of “beauty” and “effulgence” that may qualify its manifestation.

In Jainism

General definition (in Jainism)

Source: Encyclopedia of Jainism: Tattvartha Sutra 3: The Lower and middle worlds

Śilpa (शिल्प, “crafts”) refers to a type of “civilized people who indulge in activities with attachment” (sāvadhyakarma-ārya), which itself is a division of karmārya: one of the classes of āryas without extraordinary powers (ṛddhi). These Ārya (civilized people) represent one of the two classes of human beings, according to the 2nd-century Tattvārthasūtra 3.46. What is meant by craft (śilpa) activities? To develop expertise in manual activities such as performed by a goldsmith, silversmith, ironsmith, barber etc is called crafts (śilpa) activities.

General definition book cover
context information

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.

Discover the meaning of shilpa or silpa in the context of General definition from relevant books on Exotic India

Languages of India and abroad

Marathi-English dictionary

Source: DDSA: The Molesworth Marathi and English Dictionary

śilpa (शिल्प).—n (S) A manual or mechanical art, any handicraft.

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

śilpa (शिल्प).—n A manual or mechanical art, any handicraft.

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.

Discover the meaning of shilpa or silpa in the context of Marathi from relevant books on Exotic India

Sanskrit dictionary

Source: DDSA: The practical Sanskrit-English dictionary

Śilpa (शिल्प).—[śil-pak Uṇādi-sūtra 3.28]

1) An art, a fine or mechanical art; (64 such arts are enumerated).

2) Skill (in any art); craft; शिल्पोपचारयुक्ताश्च निपुणाः पण्ययोषितः (śilpopacārayuktāśca nipuṇāḥ paṇyayoṣitaḥ) Manusmṛti 9.259; पात्रविशेषे न्यस्तं गुणान्तरं व्रजति शिल्पमाधातुः (pātraviśeṣe nyastaṃ guṇāntaraṃ vrajati śilpamādhātuḥ) M. 1.6.

3) Ingenuity, cleverness.

4) Work, manual work or labour; विसर्गरत्यर्त्यभिजल्पशिल्पाः (visargaratyartyabhijalpaśilpāḥ) Bhāgavata 5.11.1.

5) A rite, ceremony.

6) A kind of ladle or spoon used at sacrifices.

7) Form, shape.

3) Creation, procreation.

Derivable forms: śilpam (शिल्पम्).

--- OR ---

Śilpā (शिल्पा).—A barber's shop.

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

Śilpa (शिल्प).—n.

(-lpaṃ) 1. An art, any manual or mechanical art, (sixty-four such arts are enumerated.) 2. Skill, ingenuity. 3. A ceremonial act. 4. A sort of spoon or ladle, used at sacrifices to throw the Ghee or butter into the fire. E. śil to be clever or skilled, pak Unadi aff., and the vowel made short.

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

Śilpa (शिल्प).—n. 1. Proficiency in any manual or mechanical art, or profession; art, [Pañcatantra] i. [distich] 4, 446; [Bhāgavata-Purāṇa, (ed. Burnouf.)] 3, 23, 17; Chr. 51. 1; [Daśakumāracarita] in Chr. 180, 12. 2. A sort of spoon used at sacrifices to throw the butter into the fire.

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

Śilpa (शिल्प).—1. [adjective] many-coloured, variegated.

--- OR ---

Śilpa (शिल्प).—2. [neuter] variegation, decoration, ornament, art, craft; [feminine] śilpī = seq.

Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: Monier-Williams Sanskrit-English Dictionary

1) Śilpa (शिल्प):—n. (of doubtful derivation) the art of variegating, variegated or diversified appearance, decoration, ornament, artistic work, [Vājasaneyi-saṃhitā; Brāhmaṇa; Harivaṃśa; Kathāsaritsāgara; Bhāgavata-purāṇa]

2) any manual art or craft, any handicraft or mechanical or fine art (64 such arts or crafts, sometimes called bāhya-kalā, ‘external or practical arts’, are enumerated e.g. carpentering, architecture, jewellery, farriery, acting, dancing, music, medicine, poetry etc. cf. [Indian Wisdom, by Sir M. Monier-Williams 185]; and 64 abhyantara-kalā, ‘secret arts’ e.g. kissing, embracing, and various other arts of coquetry), [Śāṅkhāyana-brāhmaṇa; Manu-smṛti; Mahābhārata] etc.

3) skill in any art or craft or work of art, ingenuity, contrivance, [Mahābhārata; Kāvya literature] etc.

4) any act or work (also m.), [Bhāgavata-purāṇa]

5) ceremonial act, ceremony, rite (also m.), [Monier-Williams’ Sanskrit-English Dictionary]

6) form, shape, [Naighaṇṭuka, commented on by Yāska iii, 7] (cf. su-śilpa)

7) a [particular] kind of Śastra or hymn (of a highly artificial character, recited on the 6th day of the Pṛṣṭhya Ṣaḍ-aha, at the Viśvajit etc.), [Brāhmaṇa; ???]

8) a kind of sacrificial ladle (?), [cf. Lexicographers, esp. such as amarasiṃha, halāyudha, hemacandra, etc.]

9) ([dual number] with jamad-agneḥ) Name of two Sāmans, [Ārṣeya-brāhmaṇa]

10) m. Name of a teacher, [Śatapatha-brāhmaṇa]

11) Śilpā (शिल्पा):—[from śilpa] f. a barber’s shop, [cf. Lexicographers, esp. such as amarasiṃha, halāyudha, hemacandra, etc.]

12) Śilpa (शिल्प):—mfn. variegated, [Vājasaneyi-saṃhitā; Taittirīya-saṃhitā]

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

Śilpa (शिल्प):—(lpaṃ) 1. n. An art, mechanical art; sacrificial spoon.

Source: DDSA: Paia-sadda-mahannavo; a comprehensive Prakrit Hindi dictionary (S)

Śilpa (शिल्प) in the Sanskrit language is related to the Prakrit word: Sippa.

[Sanskrit to German]

Shilpa in German

context information

Sanskrit, also spelled संस्कृतम् (saṃskṛtam), is an ancient language of India commonly seen as the grandmother of the Indo-European language family (even English!). 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.

Discover the meaning of shilpa or silpa in the context of Sanskrit from relevant books on Exotic India

Hindi dictionary

Source: DDSA: A practical Hindi-English dictionary

Śilpa (शिल्प) [Also spelled shilp]:—(nm) craft; architecture; -[kalā] technology; craft; ~[kāra/~jña] a craftsman; an architect; ~[kāritā/kārī/-kauśala] craftsmanship; ~[jīvī] a craftsman, an artisan; -[vidyā] technology; craft; architecture; -[vidyālaya] a school for crafts; -[vidhi] technique; ~[vidhijña] technician; ~[vaijñānika] a technologist; technological; ~[śālā] a workshop; school for teaching crafts/technology; -[saṃgha] craft union.

context information


Discover the meaning of shilpa or silpa in the context of Hindi from relevant books on Exotic India

Kannada-English dictionary

Source: Alar: Kannada-English corpus

Śilpa (ಶಿಲ್ಪ):—

1) [noun] any of several arts as dancing, music, painting, sculpting, architecture, carpentering, etc.; expertise in any of these arts.

2) [noun] a statue, idol, etc. carved in stone.

3) [noun] a profession; an occupation.

4) [noun] a small ladle or spoon.

context information

Kannada is a Dravidian language (as opposed to the Indo-European language family) mainly spoken in the southwestern region of India.

Discover the meaning of shilpa or silpa in the context of Kannada from relevant books on Exotic India

See also (Relevant definitions)

Relevant text

Related products

Help me keep this site Ad-Free

For over a decade, this site has never bothered you with ads. I want to keep it that way. But I humbly request your help to keep doing what I do best: provide the world with unbiased truth, wisdom and knowledge.

Let's make the world a better place together!

Like what you read? Consider supporting this website: