Shmashana, aka: Śmaśāna, Smashana; 7 Definition(s)


Shmashana means something in Buddhism, Pali, Hinduism, Sanskrit, Marathi. 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 (?).

In Hinduism

Purana and Itihasa (epic history)

Shmashana in Purana glossary... « previous · [S] · next »

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.
Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: The Purana Index
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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General definition (in Hinduism)

Shmashana in Hinduism glossary... « previous · [S] · next »

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.

Source: Vedic index of Names and Subjects

In Buddhism

Tibetan Buddhism (Vajrayana or tantric Buddhism)

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: 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 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)

The Guhyasamayasādhanamālā by Umāptideva is a 12th century ritualistic manual including forty-six Buddhist tantric sādhanas. The term sādhana refers to “rites” for the contemplation of a divinity.

Source: Wisdomlib Libary: Vajrayogini
Tibetan Buddhism book cover
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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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Languages of India and abroad

Marathi-English dictionary

Shmashana in Marathi glossary... « previous · [S] · next »

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 Molesworth Marathi and English Dictionary

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

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

Shmashana in Sanskrit glossary... « previous · [S] · next »

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: 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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Relevant definitions

Search found 97 related definition(s) that might help you understand this better. Below you will find the 15 most relevant articles:

Śmaśānavairāgya (श्मशानवैराग्य).—n. (-gyaṃ) Momentary abandonment of worldly attachments such a...
Śmaśānaveśman (श्मशानवेश्मन्).—m. (-śmā) 1. Mahadeva. 2. A ghost. E. śmaśāna a cemetery, and ve...
Śmaśānavāsin (श्मशानवासिन्).—m. a ghost. Śmaśānavāsin is a Sanskrit compound consisting of the ...
Śmaśānasādhana (श्मशानसाधन).—performance of magical rites in a cemetery to acquire control over...
Śmaśānanivāsin (श्मशाननिवासिन्).—m. a ghost. Śmaśānanivāsin is a Sanskrit compound consisting o...
Śmaśānabhāj (श्मशानभाज्).—m. epithets of Śiva. Śmaśānabhāj is a Sanskrit compound consisting of...
Śmaśānavartin (श्मशानवर्तिन्).—m. a ghost. Śmaśānavartin is a Sanskrit compound consisting of t...
Śmaśānavāṭa (श्मशानवाट).—an enclosure of the cemetery; Kau. A.2.4; Māl.5. Derivable forms: śmaś...
Śmaśānāgni (श्मशानाग्नि).—the fire of a burning ground. Derivable forms: śmaśānāgniḥ (श्मशानाग्...
Mahāśmaśāna (महाश्मशान).—an epithet of Benares. Derivable forms: mahāśmaśānam (महाश्मशानम्).Mah...
Śmaśānālaya (श्मशानालय).—a cemetery. Derivable forms: śmaśānālayaḥ (श्मशानालयः).Śmaśānālaya is ...
Śmaśānaśūla (श्मशानशूल).—an impaling stake in a cemetery; श्मशानशूलस्य न यूपसत्क्रया (śmaśānaśū...
Śmaśānagocara (श्मशानगोचर).—a. frequenting burning grounds; श्मशानगोचरं सूते बाह्यानामपि गर्हि...
Vaṭa (वट).—Subst. mfn. (-ṭaḥ-ṭī-ṭaṃ) A string, a rope, a tie. m. (-ṭaḥ) 1. The large Indian fig...
Padma (पद्म).—(paduma) , m. or nt., (1) n. of a kind of brahmanical sacrifice: Mv ii.237.20 (pr...

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