Shodashara, Ṣoḍaśāra, Shodasha-ara: 4 definitions


Shodashara 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 Ṣoḍaśāra can be transliterated into English as Sodasara or Shodashara, using the IAST transliteration scheme (?).

In Hinduism

Shaktism (Shakta philosophy)

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

Ṣoḍaśāra (षोडशार) refers to the “sixteen spokes” (of the great lotus), according to the Śrīmatottara-tantra, an expansion of the Kubjikāmatatantra: the earliest popular and most authoritative Tantra of the Kubjikā cult.—Accordingly, “The rays in the great lotus of sixteen spokes [i.e., ṣoḍaśāra] are the rays which are the energies. The supreme goddess is in the End of the Sixteen and she is the supreme seventeenth (energy). The goddess in the End of the Twelve (dvādaśānta) is Mālinī in the form of the Point. She stands in front in the form of the spread tail of a peacock (mayūracandrikā). She always stands before the eyes and (in the form of) many desires she is whirling about (vibhramā). In a moment, time and again, she generates desire in the form of the Point”.

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»] — Shodashara in Shaivism glossary
Source: SOAS University of London: Protective Rites in the Netra Tantra

Ṣoḍaśāra (षोडशार) refers to “(having) sixteen petals”, according to the Netratantra of Kṣemarāja: a Śaiva text from the 9th century in which Śiva (Bhairava) teaches Pārvatī topics such as metaphysics, cosmology, and soteriology.—Accordingly, [verse 6.28-32ab, while describing the śaśimaṇḍala]—“[The Mantrin] should write the name [of the afflicted] in the middle of a great wheel [that] has sixteen petals (ṣoḍaśāra). [He] adorns [the wheel] with the sixteen vowels, and encloses it with the mantra using the ādyanta pattern. The Mantrin should draw, as before, the jīva in the middle of saḥ, etc., protected at the end with the covering [i.e., the mantra]. The amṛteśa-mantra envelops [him] on all sides, at each syllable, in the middle of all petals, in the middle of the lunar orb. [...]”.

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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Purana and Itihasa (epic history)

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

1) Ṣoḍaśāra (षोडशार) refers to the “sixteen (celestial ladies)”, according to the Śivapurāṇa 2.3.50 (“Description of fun and frolic”).—Accordingly, as Brahmā narrated to Nārada: “[...] Then the sixteen (ṣoḍaśāra) celestial ladies arrived there and saw the couple [i.e., Śiva and Pārvatī] with great respect. They were Sarasvatī, Lakṣmī, Sāvitrī, Jāhnavī, Aditi, Śacī, Lopāmudrā, Arundhatī, Ahalyā, Tulasī, Svāhā, Rohiṇī, Vasundharā, Śatarūpā, Saṃjñā and Rati. There were several virgins of the gods, Nāgas, and the sages. They were charming and attractive. Who can enumerate them? [...]”.

2) Ṣoḍaśāra (षोडशार) refers to the “sixteen spokes” (of the left wheel of Śiva’s divine Chariot), according to the Śivapurāṇa 2.5.8 (“The detailed description of the chariot etc.”).—Accordingly, as Sanatkumāra narrated to Vyāsa: “The divine chariot of lord Śiva consisting of all the worlds was built by Viśvakarman with devoted effort. [...] The right wheel was the sun and the left wheel was the moon. [...] The right wheel had twelve spokes. O great brahmin, the twelve Ādityas presided over them. The left wheel had sixteen spokes (ṣoḍaśāra). O you of excellent rites, the sixteen spokes of the left side wheel consisted of the sixteen digits of the moon. All the asterisms embellished the left side. [...]”.

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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Languages of India and abroad

Sanskrit dictionary

[«previous next»] — Shodashara in Sanskrit glossary
Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: Monier-Williams Sanskrit-English Dictionary

1) Ṣoḍaśāra (षोडशार):—[from ṣoḍaśa > ṣaṣ] mfn. having 16 spokes, [Nṛsiṃha-tāpanīya-upaniṣad]

2) [v.s. ...] h° 16 petals, [Monier-Williams’ Sanskrit-English Dictionary]

3) [v.s. ...] n. a kind of lotus, [ib.]

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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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