Shiras, aka: Śiras; 6 Definition(s)


Shiras means something in Hinduism, Sanskrit. 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 Śiras can be transliterated into English as Siras or Shiras, using the IAST transliteration scheme (?).

In Hinduism

Ayurveda (science of life)

Śiras (शिरस्, “head”) is the region where all ‘Prāṇas’ (most vital entities) are situated and all sensory and motor activities are controlled from. That is why ‘Head’ is called the ‘Most important organ’ among all parts of the body (Caraka-saṃhitā Sūtrasthāna. 17/12). It is described that all sensory and motor organs along with their ‘Prāṇavaha Srotāṃsi’, are connected to the brain in a fashion that is similar to the connections between the sunrays and the Sun. (Ca. Si. 9/4). Bhela has explained that the mind is situated in between the head and palate. The efficiency of mind is beyond any other sensory or motor organ (Bh. Ci. 8/2-3).

Source: Cogprints: Concepts of Human Physiology in Ayurveda
Ayurveda book cover
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Āyurveda (आयुर्वेद, ayurveda) is a branch of Indian science dealing with medicine, herbalism, taxology, anatomy, surgery, alchemy and related topics. Traditional practice of Āyurveda in ancient India dates back to at least the first millenium BC. Literature is commonly written in Sanskrit using various poetic metres.

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Natyashastra (theatrics and dramaturgy)

1) Śiras (शिरस्) refers to “head”. It is one of the six major limbs (aṅga) used in dramatic performance, according to the Nāṭyaśāstra chapter 8. With these limbs are made the various gestures (āṅgika), which form a part of the histrionic representation (abhinaya).

There are thirteen different ‘movements of the head (śiras)’ defined:

  1. Ākampita,
  2. Kampita,
  3. Dhuta,
  4. Vidhuta,
  5. Parivāhita,
  6. Udvāhita,
  7. Avadhuta,
  8. Añcita,
  9. Nihañcita,
  10. Parāvṛtta,
  11. Utkṣipta,
  12. Adhogata,
  13. Lolita.

2) According to the Nāṭyaśāstra chapter 19, śiras, as the “head register”, refers to a type of ‘vocal representation’ (vācika), which is used in communicating the meaning of the drama and calling forth the sentiment (rasa). Accordingly, to call a person staying at a distance, the voice should proceed from the head register (śiras).

Source: Wisdom Library: Nāṭya-śāstra

Śiras (शिरस्, “head”) refers to one of the seven “major limbs” (aṅga), which represents a division of Āṅgikābhinaya (gesture language of the limbs) as used within the classical tradition of Indian dance and performance, also known as Bharatanatyam.—Āṅgika-abhinaya is the gesture language of the limbs. Dance is an art that expresses itself through the medium of body, and therefore, āṅgikābhinaya is essential for any dance and especially for any classical dance of India. Aṅgas or major limbs include the head (viz., Śiras), hands, chest, sides, waist, and feet; at times the neck is also used as a separate limb.

Source: Shodhganga: The significance of the mūla-beras (natya)
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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Pancaratra (worship of Nārāyaṇa)

Śiras (शिरस्) or Śiromudrā 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., Śiras-mudra) 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.

Source: Isvara Samhita Vol 5
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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Languages of India and abroad

Sanskrit-English dictionary

Śiras (शिरस्).—n. [śṝ-asun nipātaḥ Uṇ.4.193]

1) The head; शिरसा श्लाघते पूर्वं (śirasā ślāghate pūrvaṃ) (guṇaṃ) परं (paraṃ) (doṣaṃ) कण्ठे नियच्छति (kaṇṭhe niyacchati) Subhās.

2) Skull.

3) A peak, summit, top (as of a mountain); हिमगौरैरचलाधिपः शिरोभिः (himagaurairacalādhipaḥ śirobhiḥ) Ki.5.17; Śi.4.54.

4) The top of a tree.

5) The head or top of anything; तेनाहृतो महातालो वेपमानो बृहच्छिराः (tenāhṛto mahātālo vepamāno bṛhacchirāḥ) Bhāg.1.15.33; शिरसि मसीपटलं दधाति दीपः (śirasi masīpaṭalaṃ dadhāti dīpaḥ) Bv.1.74.

6) Pinnacle, acme, highest point.

7) Front, forepart, van (as of an army); पुत्रस्य ते रणशिरस्ययमग्रयायी (putrasya te raṇaśirasyayamagrayāyī) Ś.7.26; U.5.3.

8) Chief, principal, head (usually at the end of comp.).

9) Name of the verse in the गायत्री (gāyatrī) (from āpo jyotiḥ to svarom); cf. T. Ar.1.27; Bhāg 5.9.5.

Source: DDSA: The practical Sanskrit-English dictionary

Śiras (शिरस्).—n.

(-raḥ) 1. The head. 2. The skull. 3. The top of a tree. 4. A summit, a peak. 5. The van of an army. 6. Chief, principal, head. E. śri to honour, in the passive form, to be honoured, (by the other members,) asun Unadi aff., and the form irr.; or śṝasun ni0 .

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

Search found 304 related definition(s) that might help you understand this better. Below you will find the 15 most relevant articles:

Śira (शिर).—n. (-raṃ) 1. The head. 2. The root of the pepper plant. f. (-rā) Any vessel of the ...
Mṛgaśiras (मृगशिरस्).—n. (-raḥ) The fifth lunar mansion, containing three stars, one of which i...
Śiroroga (शिरोरोग).—m. (-gaḥ) Disease of the head. E. śiras, roga sickness.
Hayaśiras (हयशिरस्) is a name of Viṣṇu mentioned in the Śāstrāvatāra portion of the 9th century...
Mṛgaśirā (मृगशिरा).—(°-) (stem in comp.; for Sanskrit °śiras; so once Sanskrit Lex., acc. to BR...
Triśiras (त्रिशिरस्).—mfn. (-rāḥ-rāḥ-raḥ) Three-headed. m. (-rāḥ) A name of Kuvera. 2. Fever pe...
Śirastrāṇa (शिरस्त्राण).—n. (-ṇaṃ) 1. A helmet. 2. A cap, a turban, &c. E. śiras the head, ...
Sīradhvaja (सीरध्वज).—Janaka the father of Sītā. (For further details see under Janaka).
Śiraḥpīḍā (शिरःपीडा).—f. (-ḍā) Pain of the head, head-ache. E. śiras, and pīḍā pain.
Brahmaśiras (ब्रह्मशिरस्).—See Brahmāstra.
Sanskrit iconographic treatises insist that the Śiraścakra, (or “the halo surrounding the he...
Śirāpatra (शिरापत्र).—m. (-traḥ) The elephant or wood apple, (Feronia elephantium.) E. śirā a v...
Sirāmokṣa (सिरामोक्ष).—m. (-kṣaḥ) Venesection. E. sirā a vein, and mokṣa loosing.
Bhujaśiras (भुजशिरस्).—n. (-raḥ) The shoulder, the shoulder blade. E. bhuj the arm, śiras the h...
Śiroruh (शिरोरुह्).—m. (-ruṭ) Hair. E. śiras the head, ruh to grow, kvip aff.

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