Shishumara, aka: Śiśumāra, Shishu-mara; 5 Definition(s)


Shishumara 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 Śiśumāra can be transliterated into English as Sisumara or Shishumara, using the IAST transliteration scheme (?).

In Hinduism

Ayurveda (science of life)

[Shishumara in Ayurveda glossaries]

Śiśumāra (शिशुमार) is a Sanskrit word referring to the animal “estuarine crocodile”. The meat of this animal is part of the māṃsavarga (‘group of flesh’), which is used throughout Āyurvedic literature. The animal Śiśumāra is part of the sub-group named Vāriśaya, refering to animals “living in waters”. It was classified by Caraka in his Carakasaṃhitā sūtrasthāna (chapter 27), a classical Āyurvedic work. Caraka defined such groups (vargas) based on the dietic properties of the substance.

(Source): Wisdom Library: Āyurveda and botany

Śiśumāra (शिशुमार)—Sanskrit word for an animal “porpoise” (dolphin) or “crocodile” (Planista gangetica). This animal is from the group called Pādin (‘those which have feet’). Pādin itself is a sub-group of the group of animals known as Ānupa (those that frequent marshy places).

(Source): Sushruta samhita, Volume I
Ayurveda book cover
context information

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.

Discover the meaning of shishumara or sisumara in the context of Ayurveda from relevant books on Exotic India


[Shishumara in Purana glossaries]

1) Śiśumāra (शिशुमार).—A Ṛṣi. This Ṛṣi used to live in water in the form of a crocodile. There is a story about him in the Pañcaviṃśa Brāhmaṇa.

Once all the Ṛṣis joined together in praising Indra. Śiśumāra alone remained silent without taking part in it. Seeing this, Devendra ordered Śiśumāra to praise him. The sage answered proudly that he had no time for it and that he would praise Indra for as much time as was needed to throw the water upwards.

Accordingly he started praising Indra. The sage to whom Indra’s praise was at first disagreeable, subsequently felt that he could not do it too much. By his austerity he acquired "Sāmavidyā". He even composed a "Sāma" (a hymn) in praise of Indra. In later times it became famous as "Śārkarasāma".

2) Śiśumāra (शिशुमार).—A constellation so called because it is in the form of a Śiśumāra (Crocodile). It is said to be the starry form of Viṣṇu. At the tail-end of it is Dhruva, which automatically rotates and also makes planets like the Sun and the moon to rotate. Stars follow the self-rotating Dhruva and rotate like a wheel. The Sun and the moon along with stars and planets are bound by the cord of atmosphere to Dhruva.

2) The basis and support of this constellation of Śiśumāra is Mahāviṣṇu, who is the support of all light and effulgence. Dhruva, son of Uttānapāda came to be installed at the tail-end of Śiśumāra as he had worshipped Viṣṇu. Śiśumāra is dependent upon Viṣṇu, the Lord of all, and Dhruva is dependent upon Śiśumāra. Sūrya is dependent on Dhruva. (Viṣṇu Purāṇa, Part 2, Chapter 9).

(Source): Puranic Encyclopaedia

1a) Śiśumāra (शिशुमार).—A Prajāpati; father of Bhrami and father-in-law of Dhruva.*

  • * Bhāgavata-purāṇa IV. 10. 11.

1b) The form of the system of heavenly bodies supposed to be yoga power of Hari. At the end of the tail is Dhruva and on the tail are other gods like Indra, Agni, Kaśyapa; on its back lies the Ajavīthi and on the stomach the Ganges. Similarly all constellations and planets are seen on the different limbs of its body;1 described.2

  • 1) Bhāgavata-purāṇa II. 2. 24; V. 23. 4-8; VI. 6. 14; Brahmāṇḍa-purāṇa I. 1. 85. II. 23. 99; Matsya-purāṇa 125. 5-9; 127. 19; Vāyu-purāṇa 1. 101; Viṣṇu-purāṇa II. 12. 29, 34.
  • 2) Matsya-purāṇa 128. 19-25.

1c) Is Tārāmaya; the eternal deity; Uttānapāda is the upper jaw, Yajña is the lower lip, Dharma is the head, heart is Nārāyaṇa, Sādhya and Aśvins front feet, Varuṇa and Aryama is the hind feet, the samvatsara, child; Mitra is Apāna; tail is Agni, Mahendra, Marīci and Kaśyapa and Dhruva; all the planets are centred in Dhruva.*

  • * Vāyu-purāṇa 52. 90-9; Viṣṇu-purāṇa II. 9. 23-4.
(Source): Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: The Purana Index
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.

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Languages of India and abroad

Sanskrit-English dictionary

[Shishumara in Sanskrit glossaries]

Śiśumāra (शिशुमार).—

1) the Gangetic porpoise.

2) a collection of stars held to be a form of Viṣṇu. °शिरस् (śiras) n. the north-east quarter; शिशुमार- शिरः प्राप्य न्यविशंस्ते स्म पार्थिवाः (śiśumāra- śiraḥ prāpya nyaviśaṃste sma pārthivāḥ) Mb.1.185.16.

Derivable forms: śiśumāraḥ (शिशुमारः).

Śiśumāra is a Sanskrit compound consisting of the terms śiśu and māra (मार).

(Source): DDSA: The practical Sanskrit-English dictionary
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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