Shishya, Śiṣya: 19 definitions



Shishya means something in Hinduism, Sanskrit, Jainism, Prakrit, the history of ancient India, 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 term Śiṣya can be transliterated into English as Sisya or Shishya, using the IAST transliteration scheme (?).

Alternative spellings of this word include Shishy.

In Hinduism

Purana and Itihasa (epic history)

Source: Shiva Purana - English Translation

Śiṣya (शिष्य) refers to a “disciple”, as mentioned in the Śivapurāṇa 1.18. Accordingly, “[...] a disciple (śiṣya) with a pure soul shall of necessity carry out the order of the preceptor (Guru) risking his life and staking his possessions even if the task is not within his power. The word Śiṣya (disciple) means a person who is worthy of being ordered about. Dedicating all he has, even his body, to the preceptor, the disciple shall offer his food first to the preceptor and then take his food with his permission. Verily a disciple in virtue of his being subjected to discipline is a son unto the preceptor”.

Source: Wisdomlib Libary: The Brahmāṇḍa-purāṇa

Śiṣya (शिष्य) refers to a “disciple” (i.e. one possessed of good qualities like decent habits and spotless character), according to the Brahmāṇḍa-purāṇa 4.43 (“types of Initiation and True Service of the Preceptor”). Accordingly, “[...] an ideal disciple will be saying thus: ‘I have a series of preceptors beginning with Brahmā and ending with a blade of grass. I have everyone worthy of my honour and worship. Who then is not honourable and respectable on the surface of the Earth unto me?’ Such a disciple who is favourably disposed towards all is glorified as an ideal disciple. One sanctified by and equipped with many good qualities free from impurities, good qualities like decent habits and spotless character, is called Śiṣya (disciple) because he abides by the Śāsana (behest) of the preceptor”.

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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Vaishnavism (Vaishava dharma)

Source: Pure Bhakti: Bhagavad-gita (4th edition)

Śiṣya (शिष्य) refers to “disciple. It is derived from the verbal root śās (to command) indicating that a disciple must accept śrī guru’s order as his very life”. (cf. Glossary page from Śrīmad-Bhagavad-Gītā).

Vaishnavism book cover
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Vaishnava (वैष्णव, vaiṣṇava) or vaishnavism (vaiṣṇavism) represents a tradition of Hinduism worshipping Vishnu as the supreme Lord. Similar to the Shaktism and Shaivism traditions, Vaishnavism also developed as an individual movement, famous for its exposition of the dashavatara (‘ten avatars of Vishnu’).

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Dharmashastra (religious law)

Source: Google Books: Manusmṛti with the Manubhāṣya

Śiṣya (शिष्य) refers to “pupil” (one who has to be taught), according to the Manusmṛti chapter 4.164. Accordingly:—“He shall not, when angry, raise the rod against another person, nor shall he let it fall; except in the case of the son or the pupil; these two he may beat with a view to correction”.

Note: Śiṣya here means ‘one who has to be taught—the ‘son’ is mentioned separately with a view to emphasis;—and in support of this it quotes the rule of Viṣṇu, which is in the general form ‘śāsyam śāset tāḍayet’.

Dharmashastra book cover
context information

Dharmashastra (धर्मशास्त्र, dharmaśāstra) contains the instructions (shastra) regarding religious conduct of livelihood (dharma), ceremonies, jurisprudence (study of law) and more. It is categorized as smriti, an important and authoritative selection of books dealing with the Hindu lifestyle.

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Shaktism (Shakta philosophy)

Source: Wisdom Library: Śrīmad Devī Bhāgavatam

Śiṣya (शिष्य) refers to the “disciple”, according to Śrīmad Devī Bhāgavatam 12.7 (“On the Dīkṣā vidhi or on the rules of Initiation”).—Accordingly, “O Nārada! Listen. I am now telling you about the rules of initiation (Dīkṣā) of the disciples, pure in heart. When they are initiated, they become entitled then and not before that, to worship the Devas, the Fire and the Guru. [...] Both the Guru and the Śiṣya (disciple) ought to be very pure and true. (This is the first essential requisite. Then the results are instantaneous). [...] O Nārada! Thus the disciple would consider himself blessed and he would daily remain engaged in repeating the Mahā Mantra. [...]”

Source: Google Books: Manthanabhairavatantram

Śiṣya (शिष्य) refers to “disciple” (e.g, guruśiṣya—master and disciple), according to the second recension of the Yogakhaṇḍa of the Manthānabhairavatantra, a vast sprawling work that belongs to a corpus of Tantric texts concerned with the worship of the goddess Kubjikā.—Accordingly, as the Goddess (i.e., Kumārī) said to the God (i.e., Bhairava), “[...] Accomplishment is achieved in a special way by the transmission that takes place from master to disciple [i.e., guru-śiṣya-krama]. You are my Lord, so how can you relate (to me as my) disciple? O Mahādeva, you are omniscient; how can you (assume the role of a) disciple? Bearing this in mind, tell me what would be best, and free of fear”.

Source: Shakti and Shakta

Śiṣya (शिष्य) refers to the “disciple” while Guru refers to the “spiritual teacher”.—Accordingly, “[...] It is the Guru who initiates and helps, and the relationship between him and the disciple (Śiṣya) continues until the attainment of spiritual Siddhi. [...] A man is Śiṣya so long as he is Sādhaka. When, however, Siddhi is attained, Guru and Śiṣya, as also all other dualisms, and relations, disappear”.

Shaktism book cover
context information

Shakta (शाक्त, śākta) or Shaktism (śāktism) represents a tradition of Hinduism where the Goddess (Devi) is revered and worshipped. Shakta literature includes a range of scriptures, including various Agamas and Tantras, although its roots may be traced back to the Vedas.

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In Jainism

General definition (in Jainism)

Source: Trisastisalakapurusacaritra

Śiṣya (शिष्य) refers to a “disciple”, according to the Triṣaṣṭiśalākāpuruṣacarita, while enumerating the 10 sāmācarī (practices of Sādhus).—Accordingly, the tenth practice, called Uvasampayā (upasampat) or ‘receiving initiation’ means:—“if any one goes to an Ācārya to receive from him initiation or further instruction in matters of knowledge, faith, and conduct, he is to acknowledge himself as his disciple (śiṣya)”.

General definition book cover
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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.

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India history and geography

Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: Indian Epigraphical Glossary

Śiṣya.—(SII 1), a pupil. Note: śiṣya is defined in the “Indian epigraphical glossary” as it can be found on ancient inscriptions commonly written in Sanskrit, Prakrit or Dravidian languages.

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

Marathi-English dictionary

Source: DDSA: The Molesworth Marathi and English Dictionary

śiṣya (शिष्य).—m (S) corruptly śiṣyā m A pupil, a disciple, an elève or follower. 2 A person attached to another to serve him, and to receive instruction from him in some science, accomplishment, or art, an apprentice.

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

śiṣya (शिष्य).—m A pupil, a disciple; an apprentice.

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.

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Sanskrit dictionary

Source: DDSA: The practical Sanskrit-English dictionary

Śiṣya (शिष्य).—[śās-kyap]

1) A pupil, disciple, scholar; दिष्यस्तेऽहं शाधि मां त्वां प्रपन्नम् (diṣyaste'haṃ śādhi māṃ tvāṃ prapannam) Bg.2.7.

2) Anger, passion.

3) Violence, force.

Derivable forms: śiṣyaḥ (शिष्यः).

Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: Edgerton Buddhist Hybrid Sanskrit Dictionary

Śiṣyā (शिष्या).—(see s.v. śiṣyate) = śikṣā: (1) phonetics: vyākaraṇe nirukte śiṣyāyāṃ (all mss.; Weller 41 line 1 would read śikṣ°) Lalitavistara 156.19 (prose); (2) śiṣyāpada = śikṣāpada: pañca-°pada-samādattā, devoted to the five commandments, said of Māyā, Lalitavistara 71.14 (prose; all mss.; not noted by Weller).

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

Śiṣya (शिष्य).—m.

(-ṣyaḥ) 1. A pupil, a scholar. 2. Passion, anger. 3. Violence. E. śās to order, aff. kyap; the vowel changed to i .

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

Śiṣya (शिष्य).—[adjective] to be taught or instructed; [masculine] scholar, pupil ([feminine] ā); [abstract] [feminine]

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

1) Śiṣya (शिष्य):—[from śiṣṭa > śās] a etc. See 1. śiṣṭa p. 1076, col. 3, and p. 1077, col. 1.

2) [from śiṣ] b mfn. to be taught (See a-ś; a-niṣpanne niṣpanna-śabdaḥ śiṣyaḥ, ‘it must be taught that the word niṣpanna has the meaning of a-niṣpanna’ [vArttika] on [Pāṇini 3-2, 132])

3) [v.s. ...] to be instructed (See a-ś)

4) [v.s. ...] m. a pupil, scholar, disciple (f(ā). a female pupil), [ṢaḍvBr.; Mahābhārata] etc.

5) [v.s. ...] m. passion, anger, [Horace H. Wilson]

6) [v.s. ...] violence, [ib.]

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

Śiṣya (शिष्य):—(ṣyaḥ) 1. m. A pupil, scholar,; passion, violence.

[Sanskrit to German] (Deutsch Wörterbuch)

Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: Böhtlingk and Roth Grosses Petersburger Wörterbuch

Śiṣya (शिष्य):—(wie eben) partic. fut. pass. [Pāṇini’s acht Bücher 3, 1, 109.] [Vopadeva’s Grammatik 26, 17. fg.]

1) adj. zu lehren, tradendus: tadaśiṣyam [Pāṇini’s acht Bücher 1, 2, 53.] —

2) adj. zu belehren, zu unterweisen: a der nicht verdient unterwiesen zu werden [Spr. (II) 720. 3578.] —

3) m. Schüler [Amarakoṣa 2, 7, 10.] [Hemacandra’s Abhidhānacintāmaṇi 79.] [Halāyudha 2, 245.] śiṣyo vedavidyārthī . antevāsī śilpaśikṣārthī [Mitākṣarā 267, 15.] [Prātiśākhya zum Ṛgveda 13, 19. 15, 1. fgg.] [Ṣaḍviṃśabrāhmaṇa 4, 1.] [Kauśika’s Sūtra zum Atuarvaveda 139. 141.] [GOBH. 3, 3, 2.] [Manu’s Gesetzbuch 1, 103. 2, 69. 140. 208. 242.] śūdra [3, 156. 4, 101. 114. 164. 175. 5, 81. 8, 70. 299. 317. 9, 187.] [Mahābhārata 12, 4260.] [Rāmāyaṇa 1, 2, 5. 52, 5. 2, 54, 10.] [KĀM. NĪTIS. 2, 4.] [Suśruta 1, 6, 11. 7, 5. 13, 2. 28, 20.] [Raghuvaṃśa 1, 92. 2, 40.] [Śākuntala 31, 1. 46, 5.] [Vikramorvaśī 35, 1.] paraṃparā [SĀṂKHYAK. 71.] [Spr. (II) 4074.] [Lassen’s Anthologie (III) 87, 18.] hatyā [PAÑCAR. 2, 8, 27. 3, 9, 11. 17.] [Oxforder Handschriften 45], a, [21. fg. 85], a, [20. 93], a, [No. 149.] guruśiṣya n. Lehrer und Schüler [Spr. (II) 4638.] am Ende eines adj. comp. f. ā [Kathāsaritsāgara 20, 145.] śiṣyā f. Schülerin [Mahābhārata 1, 3286.] [Kathāsaritsāgara 13, 91. 20, 188.] gāndharva in der Tonkunst [11, 18.] — Vgl. upa, pra, śukra .

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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Hindi dictionary

[«previous next»] — Shishya in Hindi glossary
Source: DDSA: A practical Hindi-English dictionary

Śiṣya (शिष्य) [Also spelled shishy]:—(nm) a pupil, disciple; student; ~[tā/tva] pupilage, discipleship; studentship; ~[paraṃparā] discipular lineage/tradition; hence [śiṣyā] (nf).

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