Shlesha, Śleṣa, Śleṣā: 17 definitions


Shlesha 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 Śleṣa and Śleṣā can be transliterated into English as Slesa or Shlesha, using the IAST transliteration scheme (?).

Alternative spellings of this word include Shlesh.

In Hinduism

Natyashastra (theatrics and dramaturgy)

Source: Wisdom Library: Nāṭya-śāstra

Śleṣa (श्लेष, “synthesis”) refers to one of the ten merits (guṇa) of a dramatic play (kāvya), according to Nāṭyaśāstra chapter 17. They are characterised by their sweetness and depth of meaning. (Description): Union of words connected through meaning intended is called Synthesis (śleṣa lit. “union”).

Source: Shodhganga: Mankhaka a sanskrit literary genius (natya)

Śleṣa (श्लेष, “pun”) refers to a type of Alaṃkāra (figure of speech).—The figure Śleṣa occurs in the indication of various meanings by the śliṣṭa word. That is to say, when more than one sense is conveyed by distinct words coalescing into identity, it is termed paronomasia or coalescence or pun. This is eightfold, according to the coalescence of letters, affixes, genders, verbal bases, inflected words, inflections, numbers and tongues. Maṅkhaka uses this alaṃkāra in plenty. However, it is easy and not at all tiresome.

Natyashastra book cover
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Natyashastra (नाट्यशास्त्र, nāṭyaśāstra) refers to both the ancient Indian tradition (shastra) of performing arts, (natya—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), construction and performance of Theater, and Poetic works (kavya).

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Kavyashastra (science of poetry)

Source: Shodhganga: The Kavyavilasa of Ciranjiva Bhattacarya (kavyashastra)

1) Śleṣa (श्लेष, “paronomasia”) is a device by which two meaning are expressed by the single word, according to Cirañjīva Bhaṭṭācārya (fl. 17th century), while defining vakrokti-alaṃkāra in his Kāvyavilāsa. According to Mammaṭa (K.P. IX/103) when a speaker says something in one sense and the hearer accepts it in a different sense, due to the working of paronomasia (śleṣa) andintonation (kākū), it is the figure vakrokti.

2) Śleṣa (श्लेष) refers to one of the 93 alaṃkāras (“figures of speech”) mentioned by Cirañjīva Bhaṭṭācārya (fl. 17th century) in his Kāvyavilāsa and is listed as one of the 89 arthālaṃkāras (figure of speech determined by the sense, as opposed to sound).—In the ancient period śleṣa played a great part in the field of literature. Bāṇabhaṭṭa considers unlaboured śleṣa as one of the charming requisites for making literature (H.C. I/8). Subandhu, the author of Vāsavadattā boasts of employing śleṣa in each and every letter of his work. Before the advent of Ānandavardhana this śleṣa played a significant part in literature. But it is Ānandavardhana who has provided enough space to retrieve dhvani from the pale of śleṣa with arguments and examples. Śleṣa is generally considered as a śabdālaṃkāra. But according to some rhetoricians like Mammaṭa, Ruyyaka etc. it is an arthālaṃkāra also. So it comes under the group ubhayālaṃkāra.

Cirañjīva considers śleṣa as an arthālaṃkāra. He defines śleṣa as follows—“śleṣaḥ pade cennānārthapratītiḥ saprayojanā”. In his opinion when an word expresses different meanings due to some reasons it is the figure śleṣa.

Example of the śleṣa-alaṃkāra:—

trātāro bhūbhṛtāṃ te prabalatarasuratrāṇasantrāsabhājāṃ yasya prauḍapratāpajvalankavalitā nāyakā vāhinīnām |
dhārābhirdānāvārāmuditanijamanaḥsatprasādocitābhiḥ pūrṇatvaṃ prāpya tūrṇaṃ sakalabalabhṛtāṃ dustaratvaṃ bhajanti ||

“Being fully occupied (sucked) by whose fire of extreme valour the leaders of army (the lords of the rivers i.e., ocean) who are the protectors of the kings (mountains) who are terrorized by formidable muslim rulers (who are tormented by formidable Indra who is the savior of gods) being strengthened the elephants with the flow of ichor (with the water used in munificence which is befitting with the pleasingness of one’s own mind are quickly going to be difficult to go across (unfathomable) for all possessed of all kinds of power)”.

Notes: In this verse by the word bhūbhṛta is meant the kings and the mountains. The word suratrāṇa conveys two senses—The muslim ruler and Indra. The word kavalita conveys two meanings—occupied and sucked; the word nāyaka conveys two meanings—the commander and the husband; the word vāhinī means army and rivers. By the word dustara is meant difficult to fight and difficult to cross. So the words are used in duel sense. So it is an example of śleṣālaṃkāra.

Kavyashastra book cover
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Kavyashastra (काव्यशास्त्र, kāvyaśāstra) refers to the ancient Indian tradition of poetry (kavya). Canonical literature (shastra) of the includes encyclopedic manuals dealing with prosody, rhetoric and various other guidelines serving to teach the poet how to compose literature.

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Vaishnavism (Vaishava dharma)

Source: Brill: Śaivism and the Tantric Traditions (vaishnavism)

Śleṣa (श्लेष) refers to a “playful simultaneous narration”.

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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Purana and Itihasa (epic history)

Source: Shiva Purana - English Translation

Śleṣa (श्लेष) or Saṃśleṣa refers to the “(close) embrace (of one’s partner)”, according to the Śivapurāṇa 2.3.50 (“Description of fun and frolic”).—Accordingly, as Brahmā narrated to Nārada: “[...] Then the sixteen celestial ladies arrived there and saw the couple [i.e., Śiva and Pārvatī] with great respect. [...] The celestial ladies made these sweet witty remarks to Him one by one. [...] Sarasvatī said:—‘O great lord, Satī who was more than your life to you has now joyously rejoined you. O lover, seeing the face of your beloved of moonlike splendour, cast off the heat of your distress. Spend your time, O lord of time, in the close embrace (saṃśleṣa) of Satī. Thanks to my fervent wish, there will be no separation at any time between you both’”.

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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In Jainism

General definition (in Jainism)

Source: The University of Sydney: A study of the Twelve Reflections

Śleṣa (श्लेष) refers to the “connection” (of matter and consciousness), according to the 11th century Jñānārṇava, a treatise on Jain Yoga in roughly 2200 Sanskrit verses composed by Śubhacandra.—Accordingly, “In reality, there is no unity of the forms of matter and consciousness with regard to mundane bondage and the connection (śleṣa) of these two is without a beginning like gold and a flaw in gold. In this world, the body which is material, absolutely immobile [and] without that which is conscious, becomes confused, through ignorance, with that which is conscious, formless and mobile”.

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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Languages of India and abroad

Marathi-English dictionary

Source: DDSA: The Molesworth Marathi and English Dictionary

ślēṣa (श्लेष).—m S A combination or connection of words so as to admit of a double interpretation; a species of double entendre, equivoque, or paronomasia. 2 Embracing; an embrace. v ghē.

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

Śleṣa (श्लेष).—[śliṣ-ghañ]

1) An embrace.

2) Clinging or adhering to.

3) Union, junction, contact; निरन्तरश्लेषघनाः (nirantaraśleṣaghanāḥ) K. (where it has the next sense also).

4) Pun, paronomasia, double entendre, susceptibility of a word or sentence to yield two or more interpretations (regarded as a figure of speech and very commonly used by poets; for def. see K. P. Kārikas 84 and 96); आश्लेषि न श्लेषकवेर्भवत्याः श्लोकद्वयार्थः सुधिया मया किम् (āśleṣi na śleṣakaverbhavatyāḥ ślokadvayārthaḥ sudhiyā mayā kim) N.3. 69); see शब्दश्लेष (śabdaśleṣa) also.

5) Burning.

6) Sexual union; ततो गर्भः संभवति श्लेषात् स्त्रीपुंसयोर्नृप (tato garbhaḥ saṃbhavati śleṣāt strīpuṃsayornṛpa) Mahābhārata (Bombay) 13.111.3.

7) A grammatical augment.

Derivable forms: śleṣaḥ (श्लेषः).

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Śleṣā (श्लेषा).—An embrace; अन्योन्यश्लेषयोत्तुङ्गनिरन्तरपयोधराम् (anyonyaśleṣayottuṅganirantarapayodharām) Bhāgavata 3.2.3.

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

Śleṣa (श्लेष).—m.

(-ṣaḥ) 1. Union, junction, the proximity of contact. 2. Association, society, presence. 3. Embracing, an embrace. 4. Adhering or clinging to, &c. 5. A figure of rhetoric, choice or connection of words so as to admit of a double interpretation, a species of paronomasia or pun. E. śliṣ to embrace, aff. ghañ .

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

Śleṣa (श्लेष).—i. e. śliṣ + a, m. 1. Embracing, an embrace, [Uttara Rāmacarita, 2. ed. Calc., 1862.] 153, 4. 2. Union. 3. Association. 4. Paronomasia.

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

Śleṣa (श्लेष).—[masculine] clinging or sticking to ([locative]); union, junction; embrace, sexual intercourse (also ā [feminine]); [several] figures of rhetoric.

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

1) Śleṣa (श्लेष):—[from śliṣ] 1. śleṣa m. burning, [Monier-Williams’ Sanskrit-English Dictionary]

2) [from śliṣ] 2. śleṣa m. adhering or clinging to ([locative case]), [Rāmāyaṇa]

3) [v.s. ...] connection, junction, union (also applied to sexual union), [Mahābhārata]

4) [v.s. ...] embracing, an embrace, [Kāvya literature; Sāhitya-darpaṇa]

5) [v.s. ...] (in [rhetoric]) ‘connection’, ‘combination’ (one of the ten Guṇas or merits of composition, consisting either in a pleasing combination of words or of contrasted ideas, or of words having a double meaning) double meaning, equivoque, ambiguity, paranomasia, pun, hidden meaning, [Vāmana’s Kāvyālaṃkāravṛtti; Kāvyādarśa; Sāhitya-darpaṇa] etc.

6) [v.s. ...] a grammatical augment, [Nyāyasūtra]

7) Śleṣā (श्लेषा):—[from śleṣa > śliṣ] f. an embrace, [Bhāgavata-purāṇa]

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

Śleṣa (श्लेष):—(ṣaḥ) 1. m. Union, association, embrace, clinging to; figure of speech; a pun.

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

Śleṣa (श्लेष) in the Sanskrit language is related to the Prakrit words: Avayāsa, Lesa, Silesa.

[Sanskrit to German]

Shlesha 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.

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Hindi dictionary

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

Śleṣa (श्लेष) [Also spelled shlesh]:—(nm) pun, paranomasia; agnomination.

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Kannada-English dictionary

Source: Alar: Kannada-English corpus

Ślēṣa (ಶ್ಲೇಷ):—

1) [noun] = ಶ್ಲೇಷೆ [shleshe].

2) [noun] the act adhereing or clinging or fact of being adhered or clung to.

3) [noun] the act of embracing; an embrace, hug.

4) [noun] (rhet.) one of the ten merits of composition, consisting of pleasing combinations of words.

5) [noun] (rhet.) one of the ten merits of composition consisting contrasted ideas or of words haviang a double meaning.

6) [noun] (dance.) a clinging of hands.

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

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