Shilpin, Śilpin: 13 definitions

Introduction

Introduction:

Shilpin 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 Śilpin can be transliterated into English as Silpin or Shilpin, using the IAST transliteration scheme (?).

In Hinduism

Vastushastra (architecture)

Source: McGill: The architectural theory of the Mānasāra

Śilpin (शिल्पिन्), or “architectural student”, is a generic term for artisl or craftsman, one who practices any of the 64 śilpas, mechanical and fine arts (among which architecture is listed as one). The Śilpin is seen to be first attached to a guru and “then learns the various aspects of the discipline from two different specialists, the sthapati, from whom he learns the śilpaśāstras, and the sthāpaka, with whom he practices architecture.”

There are four types of śilpin:

  1. sthapati,
  2. sūtragrāhin,
  3. vardhaki,
  4. takṣaka.
Vastushastra book cover
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Vastushastra (वास्तुशास्त्र, vāstuśāstra) refers to the ancient Indian science (shastra) of architecture (vastu), dealing with topics such architecture, sculpture, town-building, fort building and various other constructions. Vastu also deals with the philosophy of the architectural relation with the cosmic universe.

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Purana and Itihasa (epic history)

Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: The Purana Index

Śilpin (शिल्पिन्).—Craftsmen: unjust men are subjected to the influence of Piśācaś: Icon of, in a temple.*

  • * ^1 Brahmāṇḍa-purāṇa III. 7. 407. ^2 Matsya-purāṇa 5. 27; 217. 24; 256, 7, 15; 259. 16; 264. 27.
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)

Source: Wisdom Library: Nāṭya-śāstra

Śilpin (शिल्पिन्, “artists”) refers to a specific “mode of address” (nāman) used in drama (nāṭya), according to Nāṭyaśāstra chapter 19. Śilpin refers to painters and the like.

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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Shilpashastra (iconography)

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

Śilpin (शिल्पिन्) refers to “craftsman”.—The practicing śilpi should have a thorough knowledge of the pañcarātra-āgama-śāstra (the doctrine of the five elements) and the various forms of images set out in it before creating the images of divine beings. A śilpi must have knowledge of the fine arts of the land, namely, literature, music, dance, painting and sculpture. The reason for a śilpi to know the fine arts is that it elevates and sublimates the human spirit through dharma (right action), artha (material and spiritual benefits), kāma (attachment in the worldly life) and mokṣa (release from the bondage of birth).

The śilpi must be exposed to the navarasa (the nine major experiential qualities) through an appreciation of nāṭya (dance) and saṅgīta (music). The śilpi should have immense skills in mathematics because all the calculations for making an image are based on the digital measurements. He must be a painter as well because only if he can draw he can give his drawings a form. With the guidelines for field application from the śilpa texts, the śilpis with their experience and responses to art create excellent sculptures and structures/monuments.

Shilpashastra book cover
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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.

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India history and geogprahy

Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: Indian Epigraphical Glossary

Śilpin.—(EI 4, 8; BL), epithet of an artist or artisan; generally, applied to engravers of inscriptions. Note: śilpin is defined in the “Indian epigraphical glossary” as it can be found on ancient inscriptions commonly written in Sanskrit, Prakrit or Dravidian languages.

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

Śilpin (शिल्पिन्) refers to “sculptor” or “craftsman”.—When a material image is to be produced for purposes of worship in a temple or elsewhere, a technical procedure is undertaken by a professional craftsman, who is called by various names such as śilpin (craftsman), yogin (yogi), sādhaka (adept) or rūpakara/pratimākāra (imager). The sculptors associated themselves in villages solely populated by them. In the villages of Tanjore District, Svāmimalai and Kumbhakonam, there existed and still exists a group of families who have been practicing the art of image making in bronze and stone as hereditary profession from generations past. In the ancient days, the śilpa-parampara (the sculptural tradition) was closely linked to the architectural field and the two together was called vāstu-parampara. The designers and the artists of the classical tradition of sculpture were known as Viśvakarmas.

The builders or the craftsmen–sthapatis and the śilpins –who belonged to the same guilds of artisans, had common principles and set methods of design and construction; and they worked in collaboration with the priests who knew the rituals, the nature of the objects of veneration, and the modes of their worship. They together determined the forms of the temples with such modifications as suited the respective cases, as also the fixing of the principal deities and the decorations of the structure with iconic and other sculptural embellishments. All that was known and necessary in the creation of the temple and the conduct of worship therein was codified.

The śilpi tradition was hereditary. During the day, the actual work technique was taught and in the evenings the theoretical knowledge was imparted through the śilpa texts. The father’s workshop became the working ground for the son. The śilpi should acquire expertise in svānubhāva (based on experience) which can be cultivated only through exposure to the lyrical aspects of literature, poetry, composition, and other fine arts as much as through a deep experience of life. The śilpi understands the philosophical and metaphysical content of the Divine Being properly. Such a craftsman goes through the whole process of self-purification and worship, mental visualization and identification of consciousness with the form evoked and then only transforms the form into stone or metal.

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

Sanskrit dictionary

Source: DDSA: The practical Sanskrit-English dictionary

Śilpin (शिल्पिन्).—a.

1) Relating to a fine or mechanical art.

2) Mechanical. -m.

1) An artisan, artist, a mechanic; Ms.1.12.

2) One who is skilled in any art.

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

Śilpin (शिल्पिन्).—mfn. (-lpī-lpinī-lpi) 1. An artist, an artificer or artisan. 2. Belonging or relating to a mechanical profession or art. f. (-lpi nī) A drug or herb, a kind of grass said to the known by the name of Lahanasipi, and described as sweet and cooling, and bearing seeds of tonic, and restorative properties; also śilpikā, &c. E. śilpa art, and ini aff.

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

Śilpin (शिल्पिन्).—i. e. śilpa + in, I. adj. Belonging or relating to a mechanical profession or art. Ii. m., f. , and n. An artificer, a mechanic, [Pañcatantra] 10, 6; [Johnson's Selections from the Mahābhārata.] 9, 11.

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

Śilpin (शिल्पिन्).—[adjective] knowing an art; [masculine] & [feminine] artist, artisan.

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

1) Śilpin (शिल्पिन्):—[from śilpa] mfn. belonging to or skilled in art

2) [v.s. ...] m. an artificer, artisan, craftsman, artist, [Gautama-dharma-śāstra; Manu-smṛti; Mahābhārata] etc.

3) [v.s. ...] (ifc.) fashioner of [Naiṣadha-carita]

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.

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