Shmashana, Śmaśāna, Smashana: 30 definitions


Shmashana means something in Buddhism, Pali, Hinduism, Sanskrit, 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 Śmaśāna can be transliterated into English as Smasana or Shmashana, using the IAST transliteration scheme (?).

Alternative spellings of this word include Shamshan.

In Hinduism

Ayurveda (science of life)

[«previous next»] — Shmashana in Ayurveda glossary
Source: Ayurveda glossary of terms

Śmaśāna (श्मशान):—Area for disposal of dead crematorium.

Source: Shodhganga: Kasyapa Samhita—Text on Visha Chikitsa

Śmaśāna (श्मशान) refers to a “graveyard”, and is mentioned in a list of places highly susceptible to snake-bites, as taught in the Kāśyapa Saṃhitā: an ancient Sanskrit text from the Pāñcarātra tradition dealing with both Tantra and Viṣacikitsā—an important topic from Āyurveda which deals with the study of Toxicology (Agadatantra or Sarpavidyā).—The Kāśyapasaṃhitā mentions that snake-bites that happen in certain places [like a graveyard (śmaśāna)] are highly inimical to the victim.

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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Purana and Itihasa (epic history)

[«previous next»] — Shmashana in Purana glossary
Source: Shiva Purana - English Translation

Śmaśāna (श्मशान) refers to one who “resides in the cremation ground”, and is used by Satī to describe Śiva, according to the Śivapurāṇa 2.2.29. Accordingly as Brahmā narrated to Nārada:—“[...] Then inciting the fury of Dakṣa further, she said to Viṣṇu and all other Devas and sages unhesitatingly.. Satī said:—‘[...] Śiva who holds the skull in his hands resides in the cremation ground (śmaśāna) in the company of goblins. He wears matted hair. But sages and devas keep on their heads the dust from His feet. Such is the nature of lord Śiva, the great God.’”.

Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: The Purana Index

Śmaśāna (श्मशान).—The burning ground; the name of Avimukta; those who regard Benares as such will be deluding themselves; those who die there attain release.*

  • * Matsya-purāṇa 184. 5, 19-21, 63.
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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Shaktism (Shakta philosophy)

[«previous next»] — Shmashana in Shaktism glossary
Source: Google Books: Manthanabhairavatantram

Śmaśāna (श्मशान) refers to a “cremation ground”, according to the Ṣaṭsāhasrasaṃhitā, an expansion of the Kubjikāmatatantra: the earliest popular and most authoritative Tantra of the Kubjikā cult.—Accordingly, “He whose mind is (centred) in a cremation ground [i.e., śmaśāna], (a solitary place where there is just) a single tree, the junction (of rivers), a mountain cave, (or) a forest should delight (in spiritual discipline) in these places. This (teaching) should (also) always be given to the devout soul (bhaktātman) whose duty is (to serve) the teacher, the deity and the fire in the sacrifice (he performs in his) home”.

Source: ORA: Amanaska (king of all yogas): (shaktism)

Śmaśāna (श्मशान) refers to a “cremation ground”, according to the 17th century Kaulagajamardana (“crushing the Kaula elephant”) authored by Kāśīnātha or Kṛṣṇānandācala.—Accordingly, [as Īśvara said to Pārvatī]: “Listen, O Pārvatī, I shall give a critique of the Pāṣaṇḍas. Knowing this, a wise man is not defeated by them. [...] He who wears ash from the cremation ground (śmaśāna-bhasman) [śmaśānabhasmadhārī] and delights in wine and flesh; he who performs such [rites] as bathing and the junctures for [mere] worldly rewards; and he who is the vilest [of them all,] having become a hater of Viṣṇu, destroys everything; [all of them] are called Pāṣaṇḍas. [Now,] my dear, hear about the Kāpālika. [...]”

Shaktism book cover
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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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Shaivism (Shaiva philosophy)

[«previous next»] — Shmashana in Shaivism glossary
Source: Brill: Śaivism and the Tantric Traditions

Śmaśāna (श्मशान) refers to the “cremation ground” and is also known as Ūṣara (“saline ground”), according to the Vārāṇasīmāhātmya.—From verse 1.99 onwards Pulastya zooms in on the cremation ground, the śmaśāna, also called ūṣara (saline ground), where, at the time of destruction, all beings and worlds enter into Bhairava’s mouth. He tells Nārada that it is because of this that the cremation ground grants release. He also reports that there is a pond there called Kālodaka, which arose when Kālarudra was playing on the cremation ground. At that time the Lord taught the observance of the skull (kapālavrata).

Shaivism book cover
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Shaiva (शैव, śaiva) or Shaivism (śaivism) represents a tradition of Hinduism worshiping Shiva as the supreme being. Closely related to Shaktism, Shaiva literature includes a range of scriptures, including Tantras, while the root of this tradition may be traced back to the ancient Vedas.

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General definition (in Hinduism)

[«previous next»] — Shmashana in Hinduism glossary
Source: Vedic index of Names and Subjects

Śmaśāna (श्मशान) is the name of the ‘burial mound’ in which the bones of the dead man were laid to rest (cf. Anagniidagdha). It is mentioned in the Atharvaveda, and often later. The Śatapatha-brāhmaṇa (xiii, 8, 1, 1) prescribes a four-cornered mound facing the south-east, on ground inclined to the north, out of sight of the village, in a peaceful spot amid beautiful surroundings, or on barren ground. For an Agni-cit (‘builder of a fire-altar’) a funeral mound like a fire-altar is prescribed. The Easterners (Prācyāḥ) made their mounds round.

In Buddhism

Tibetan Buddhism (Vajrayana or tantric Buddhism)

Source: Wisdom Library: Tibetan Buddhism

Śmaśāna (श्मशान) refers to one of the various Grahas and Mahāgrahas mentioned as attending the teachings in the 6th century Mañjuśrīmūlakalpa: one of the largest Kriyā Tantras devoted to Mañjuśrī (the Bodhisattva of wisdom) representing an encyclopedia of knowledge primarily concerned with ritualistic elements in Buddhism. The teachings in this text originate from Mañjuśrī and were taught to and by Buddha Śākyamuni in the presence of a large audience (including Śmaśāna).

Source: Google Books: Vajrayogini

Śmaśāna (श्मशान, “cremation ground”).—The Hevajra-tantra 1.3.16 later finds a convenient etymology (nirukti) of the word śmaśāna from the verbal root “to expire”. The locus classicus for the eight cremation grounds in the Saṃvara tradition is the Saṃvarodaya-tantra (17.36-45). The Saṃvarodaya-tantra ends with a moe generalized description of the terrifying contents of the cremation grounds, and this seems to be the basis for a similar account in the Abhidhānottara-tantra (chapter 9) and Vārāhyabhyudaya-tantra (103-109) that mentions colors, animals, corpses, etc., but no individual features or names.

The cremation grounds (śmaśāna) are home to fearsome creatures, such as crows, owls, vultures, jackals, hawks, lion-faced and tiger-faced beings, lizards, camels, and so on. Gruesome corpses are found impaled on spears, hanging, half-burned, or decapitated; their dismembered parts are scattered about: skulls, knees, large bellies, heads with tusks, and bald heads. Supernatural spirits haunt the grisly place, such as yakṣas, vetālas, rākṣasas, and others roaring with kilikilā laughter. Finally, we find tantric adepts and spiritual beings resident there; siddas with magical powers, vidyādharas, troops of yogins and yoginīs, and so forth.

Source: Google Books: Manthanabhairavatantram (tantric buddhism)

Śmaśāna (श्मशान) refers to a “cemetery” and represents one of the various classes of sacred sites, according to the Netravibhaṅga, a commentary on the Hevajratantra by Dharmakīrti.—Accordingly, “It is called a ‘seat’ (pīṭha) because one always stays there and performs the practice, also because the yogis stay there. Because it is near to that place, it is called ‘nearby seat’ (upapīṭha). It is called ‘field’ (kṣetra), because it produces good qualities, also because the mother-goddesses stay there. Because it is near to there, it is called ‘near-by field’ (upakṣetra). Because one desires and yearns, it is called Chando. Because it is near there, it is called ‘near-by Chando’. It is called ‘meeting place’ (melāpaka) because it is the site of a place, [for example] Magadha and Aṅgamagadha. It is called ‘near-by meeting place’ because it is near there. It is called ‘cemetery’ (śmaśāna) because no discriminating thought (vikalpa) arises and because there are many corpses. It is called ‘near-by cemetery’, because it is near to there”.

Source: Wisdomlib Libary: Vajrayogini

Śmaśāna (श्मशान, “cremation ground”).—The cremation ground is used as a visualisation technique according to the Vajravārāhī-sādhana by Umāpatideva as found in te 12th century Guhyasamayasādhanamālā. The practicioner of the sādhana is to visualize a suitable dwelling place for the goddess inside the circle of protection which takes the form of eight cremation grounds. Each cremation ground is associated with a tree (vṛkṣa), a protector (dikpati), a serpent (nāga), a cloud (megha), demons (rākṣasa), great adepts (mahāsiddha), funeral monuments (caitya), mountains, fires, lakes (the abode of the nāgas) and rivers.

The eight cremation grounds (śmaśāna) are given in the Saṃvarodaya-tantra (17.36-45):

  1. Caṇḍogra (east),
  2. Gahvara (north),
  3. Karaṅkala or Jvālākula (west),
  4. Subhīṣaṇa (south),
  5. Aṭṭaṭṭahāsa (north-east),
  6. Lakṣmīvana (south-east),
  7. Ghorāndhakāra (south-west),
  8. Kilakilārava (north-west)
Source: A Critical Study of the Vajraḍākamahātantrarāja (II)

Śmaśāna (श्मशान) is one of the Pīṭhādis (group of districts) present within the Kāyacakra (‘circle of body’) which is associated with the Ḍākinī named Pātālavāsinī (‘a woman living underground’), according to the 9th-centruy Vajraḍākatantra.

The Pīṭhādi named Śmaśāna within the Kāyacakra contains the following four districts or seats:

  1. Nagara,
  2. Sindhu.
Source: OSU Press: Cakrasamvara Samadhi

Śmāśāna (श्माशान) or Śmāśānayoga refers to “cremation ground (yoga)”, according to the Anuttarayoga Tantra divisions of Mahāyāna-Vajrayāna Buddhism, according to Buddhist teachings followed by the Newah in Nepal, Kathmandu Valley (whose roots can be traced to the Licchavi period, 300-879 CE).—What makes Anuttara Yoga unique is the nature of the deities visualized, wrathful and erotic, and the level of sophistication of the meditative practices which include caṇḍalī-yoga, "yogic heat", known as "Tummo" in Tibetan, which are breathing exercises using kuṇḍalinīyoga for generating internal heat originating from the pelvic bowl, utkrāntiyoga, "death yoga", known as "Phowa" in Tibetan, which is transference of consciousness at the time of death, and śmāśāna-yoga, "cremation ground yoga", meditations and ritual magic performed in cremation grounds.

Source: 84000: Sampuṭodbhava Tantra (Emergence from Sampuṭa)

Śmāśana (श्माशन) or “charnel ground” refers to a type of power place where Yogins and Yoginīs congregate, according to the Sampuṭodbhavatantra chapter 5.—Accordingly, “[Vajragarbha asked:]—‘Blessed One, what places are places of gatherings?’ [The Blessed One said:]—‘There are pīṭhas and auxiliary pīṭhas, And likewise, kṣetras and auxiliary kṣetras. There are also chandohas and auxiliary chandohas, melāpakas and auxiliary melāpakas. There are charnel grounds and auxiliary charnel grounds, pīlavas and auxiliary pīlavas. These are the twelve types of meeting places. The lord of the ten bhūmis has not specified Any places other than these twelve’. [...]”.

Śmāśana in Tibetan: དུར་ཁྲོད། [dur khrod].

Source: MDPI Books: The Ocean of Heroes

Śmaśāna (श्मशान) refers to a “charnel ground” (suitable for the practice of Tantra), according to the 10th-century Ḍākārṇava-tantra: one of the last Tibetan Tantric scriptures belonging to the Buddhist Saṃvara tradition consisting of 51 chapters.—Accordingly, “First, having found a proper place in a lonely spot or [other spots] such as a mountain, he should make [that place] a charnel ground (śmaśāna). There [he should honor] with a bali offering the protector [deities] of that land. A Yogin should offer water for a respectful reception and so on after a sipping water for purification and others. Employing an image, the Blessed One taught a visualization by [use of] a cloth [painting] and other [devices]. [...]”.

Tibetan Buddhism book cover
context information

Tibetan Buddhism includes schools such as Nyingma, Kadampa, Kagyu and Gelug. Their primary canon of literature is divided in two broad categories: The Kangyur, which consists of Buddha’s words, and the Tengyur, which includes commentaries from various sources. Esotericism and tantra techniques (vajrayāna) are collected indepently.

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Mahayana (major branch of Buddhism)

[«previous next»] — Shmashana in Mahayana glossary
Source: Wisdom Library: Maha Prajnaparamita Sastra

Śmaśāna (श्मशान) refers to a “charnel-ground”, according to Mahāprajñāpāramitāśāstra (chapter 36).—Accordingly, “In a forest, an empty house, a charnel-ground (śmaśāna), a mountain, a woods or a desert, the disciples of the Buddha who are meditating properly on the nine notions and who are practicing the meditation on the inner and outer horrors feel disgust for the body and say to themselves: ‘Why do we carry around this vile and horrible sack of excrement and urine?’ They are pained and frightened by it. Also there is wicked Māra who plays all kinds of evil tricks on them and who comes to frighten them in hopes of making them regress. This is why the Buddha, [in the Prajñāpāramitāsūtra], continues by explaining the eight recollections”.

Mahayana book cover
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Mahayana (महायान, mahāyāna) is a major branch of Buddhism focusing on the path of a Bodhisattva (spiritual aspirants/ enlightened beings). Extant literature is vast and primarely composed in the Sanskrit language. There are many sūtras of which some of the earliest are the various Prajñāpāramitā sūtras.

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India history and geography

Source: Husain Shahi Bengal

Śmaśāna (श्मशान) refers to “crematorium” according to Śrīnātha Ācāryacūḍāmaṇi’s Vivāha-tattvārṇava.—Rural settlements [in medieval Bengal] contained, in addition to habitations, roads and paths, tanks with bathing ghāṭs which supplied water to the people, jungles serving the purpose of the pasture-land and canals forming a sort of drainage system for the village. [...] It is known from Śrīnātha Ācāryacūḍāmaṇi’s Vivāha-tattvārṇava that rural areas had [viz., crematorium (śmaśāna)][...]. Thus the disposition of land in rural settlements conformed, in many respects, to the needs of the people.

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 mythology, zoology, 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

[«previous next»] — Shmashana in Marathi glossary
Source: DDSA: The Molesworth Marathi and English Dictionary

śmaśāna (श्मशान).—n (S śava Corpse, śayana Resting.) śmaśāna- bhūmi f (S) A place where dead bodies are buried or burned, a cemetery &c.

--- OR ---

smaśāna (स्मशान).—&c. Common mis-spellings of śmaśāna &c.

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

śmaśāna (श्मशान).—n śmaśānabhūmi f A cemetery.

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

[«previous next»] — Shmashana in Sanskrit glossary
Source: DDSA: The practical Sanskrit-English dictionary

Śmaśāna (श्मशान).—[śmānaḥ śavāḥ śerate'tra śī-ānac ḍicca Tv.]

1) A cemetery, a burial or burning ground; राजद्वारे श्मशाने च यस्तिष्ठति स बान्धवः (rājadvāre śmaśāne ca yastiṣṭhati sa bāndhavaḥ) Subhāṣ.

2) An oblation to deceased ancestors.

Derivable forms: śmaśānam (श्मशानम्).

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

Śmaśāna (श्मशान).—n.

(-naṃ) A cemetery, a place where dead bodies are burnt or buried. E. śma substituted for śava a corpse, and śāna for śayana place of repose.

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

Śmaśāna (श्मशान).—i. e. probably śman (for śam + an, cf. in ), -śayana, n. A cemetery, [Pañcatantra] v. [distich] 6.

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

Śmaśāna (श्मशान).—[neuter] cemetery (for burning or burying the dead), place of execution; funeral rite.

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

1) Śmaśāna (श्मशान):—[from śman] n. ([according to] to [Kirātārjunīya iii, 5] for śmaśayana above; but [probably] for aśma-śayana) an elevated place for burning dead bodies, crematorium, cemetery or burial-place for the bones of cremated corpses, [Atharva-veda] etc. etc.

2) [v.s. ...] an oblation to deceased ancestors (= pitṛ-medha See above), [Pāraskara-gṛhya-sūtra; Kātyāyana-śrauta-sūtra [Scholiast or Commentator]]

3) [v.s. ...] = brahma-randhra.

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

Śmaśāna (श्मशान):—(naṃ) 1. n. A cemetery.

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

Śmaśāna (श्मशान) in the Sanskrit language is related to the Prakrit words: Masāṇa, Susāṇa, Somāṇa.

[Sanskrit to German]

Shmashana 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»] — Shmashana in Hindi glossary
Source: DDSA: A practical Hindi-English dictionary

Śmaśāna (श्मशान) [Also spelled shamshan]:—(nm) the cremation ground, crematorium, nacropolis; -[vairāgya] momentary detachment from mundane affairs aroused in the cremation ground; -[sādhana] magical or tantric rites performed by sitting over the chest of a corpse in the cremation ground; —[jagānā] to undertake tantric rites in the [śmaśāna] to keep the [śmaśāna] fire burning.

context information


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Kannada-English dictionary

[«previous next»] — Shmashana in Kannada glossary
Source: Alar: Kannada-English corpus

Śmaśāna (ಶ್ಮಶಾನ):—[noun] a place for the burial or cremation of the dead; a graveyard; a cemetry or crematory.

--- OR ---

Smaśāna (ಸ್ಮಶಾನ):—[noun] a burial ground or a place where dead bodies are cremated; a graveyard, cemetery or crematory.

context information

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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