Shuka, aka: Sūka, Śuka, Suka, Śūka; 20 Definition(s)


Shuka means something in Buddhism, Pali, Hinduism, Sanskrit, Jainism, Prakrit, 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 terms Śuka and Śūka can be transliterated into English as Suka or Shuka, using the IAST transliteration scheme (?).

In Hinduism

Ayurveda (science of life)

1) Śuka (शुक) is a Sanskrit word referring to the “parrot”, or “green parakeet”. The meat of this animal is part of the māṃsavarga (‘group of flesh’), which is used throughout Āyurvedic literature. The animal Śuka is part of the sub-group named Pratuda, refering to animals “who eat while striking”. It was classified by Caraka in his Carakasaṃhitā sūtrasthāna (chapter 27), a classical Āyurvedic work. Caraka defined such groups (vargas) based on the dietic properties of the substance.

The meat of the parrot (śuka) is astringent-sour, rūkṣa (kaṭu) in Vipāka, śītala, useful in phthisis, cough and wasting; constipating, light and appetiser.

2) Śuka (शुक) is a synonym for Śirīṣa (Albizia lebbeck, “Siris tree”), from the Fabaceae (“legume”) family. The term is used throughout Āyurvedic literature such as the Carakasaṃhitā. The literal translation of Śuka is “parrot”.

Source: Wisdom Library: Āyurveda and botany

Śuka (a kind of irritating water insect).

Source: Sushruta samhita, Volume II

Śuka (शुक)—Sanskrit word for a bird corresponding to “parrot”. This animal is from the group called Pratuda (which peck). Pratuda itself is a sub-group of the group of animals known as Jāṅghala (living in high ground and in a jungle).

Source: Sushruta samhita, Volume I
Ayurveda book cover
context information

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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Shilpashastra (iconography)

Śuka (Parrot) - Truth, the transmission of the teachings. The parrot repeats exactly what it hears without clarification, modification or contortion.

Source: Red Zambala: Hindu Icons and Symbols | Introduction
Shilpashastra book cover
context information

Shilpashastra (शिल्पशास्त्र, śilpaśāstra) represents the ancient Indian science (shastra) of creative arts (shilpa) such as sculpture, iconography and painting. Closely related to Vastushastra (architecture), they often share the same literature.

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Dharmashastra (religious law)

Śuka (शुक) is a Sanskrit word referring to the “parrot”. The word is used throughout Dharmaśāstra literature such as the Manusmṛti. (also see the Manubhāṣya verse 5.12)

Source: Wisdom Library: Dharma-śāstra
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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Śuka (शुक).—Name of a settlement (janapada) situated near the seven great mountains on the western side of mount Naiṣadha, according to the Varāhapurāṇa chapter 83. These settlements consume the water flowing from these seven great mountains (Viśākha, Kambala, Jayanta, Kṛṣṇa, Harita, Aśoka and Vardhamāna). Niṣadha (Naiṣadha) is one of the seven mountains located in Jambūdvīpa, ruled over by Āgnīdhra, a grandson of Svāyambhuva Manu, who was created by Brahmā, who was in turn created by Nārāyaṇa, the unknowable all-pervasive primordial being.

Source: Wisdom Library: Varāha-purāṇa

1) Śuka (शुक).—(śukadeva) The son of Vyāsa. Birth. The sage Vyāsa once wished to have a son. So he began to worship Śiva for the purpose. His desire was to have a son who would combine in him the essential qualities of fire, earth, water, air and ether He did tapas for a hundred years. Because of the austerity of his tapas, his locks of hair began to blaze like flames of fire. At last Śiva appeared and blessed him to have a son according to his wish. (See full article at Story of Śuka from the Puranic encyclopaedia by Vettam Mani)

2) Śuka (शुक).—A messenger of Rāvaṇa. This Śuka had a friend named Sāraṇa. These two persons were expert spies who used to gather secret and important pieces of information from the strongholds of Rāvaṇa’s friends and enemies and passed them on to Rāvaṇa.

2) Soon after Śrī Rāma entered Laṅkā, Rāvaṇa sent Śuka and Sāraṇa to Śrī Rāma’s camp. After taking a distant view of the surroundings, they entered the camp of Śrī Rāma in the form of monkeys. Taking care not to come within the observation of Vibhīṣaṇa, they went about the military camps, gathering secret information. Just then they were met by Jāmbavān and Hanūmān. After closely observing them for a considerable time, they understood that they were enemy spies. The monkey-heroes promptly seized them and produced them before Sugrīva. Confused and frightened under a shower of questions they sought the protection of Śrī Rāma. While Śrī Rāma was interrogating them, Vibhīṣaṇa happened to come there. At his sight, Śuka and Sāraṇa were alarmed. Grasping the whole situation in an instant, Vibhīṣaṇa kicked both of them when they assumed their former shapes as Rākṣasas. The monkey-leaders sprang at them. The Rākṣasas begged for pardon and prayed for Śrī Rāma’s protection. Śrī Rāma forgave them and set them free. (Vālmīki Rāmāyaṇa, Yuddha Kāṇḍa; Kamba Rāmāyaṇa, Yuddha Kāṇḍa).

3) Śuka (शुक).—A king of the Lunar dynasty. (Bhāgavata, 9th Skandha).

4) Śuka (शुक).—A king of the Śaryāti dynasty. He was the son of Pṛṣata. He had conquered all countries in the world and after performing many yāgas, he renounced his kingdom and attained Mokṣa by doing tapas on Śataśṛṅga mountain. (Mahābhārata, Ādi Parva, Dākṣiṇātya Pāṭha, Chapter 123).

5) Śuka (शुक).—Son of Subala, king of Gāndhāra. He was slain by Irāvān in the course of the Bhārata Yuddha. (Mahābhārata, Bhīṣma Parva, Chapter 90, Verse 26).

6) Śuka (शुक).—Son of the monkey Śarabha. Ṛkṣa was the son of Śuka by Vyāghrī. (Brahmāṇḍa Purāṇa, 3, 8, 208).

7) Śuka (शुक).—A Maharṣi who was the contemporary of Aṇuha of Dakṣiṇa Pāñcāla and of king Brahmadatta. This sage lived before the time of the other Śuka who was the son of Vyāsa.

This sage Śuka had six sons, named Bhūriśravas, Śambhu, Prabhu, Kṛṣṇa, Saura (Sauraprabha) and Devaśruta by his two wives Pīvarī and Ekaśṛṅgā. (Brahmāṇḍa Purāṇa, 3-8-93: Vāyu Purāṇa, 70-84; Devī Bhāgavata, 1-14; Nārada. 1-58).

Source: Puranic Encyclopaedia

1a) Śuka (शुक).—A son of Vyāsa and Araṇī and a great yogin; superior to his father as a yogi; seeing him firm in renunciation, Vyāsa taught him the bhāgavata; renounced worldly life before his upanayana. Wandered naked from place to place and reached the country of Kurujāngalas. When at Hāstināpura he stopped for a few minutes at the threshold of householders to purify their abode.1 Sūta's salutation to: called on Parīkṣit doing prāyopaveśa and imparted knowledge to him, addressed by the king as to the best way of spending his last moments for attaining mokṣa. Enlightened him by the Bhāgavata episodes;2 went with Kṛṣṇa to Mithilā, and to Syamantapañcaka for the solar eclipse. Took part in defending Dvārakā against Śālva.3 On saura gaṇa as seven for each month. Heard the story of Citraketu from Vyāsa, Nārada and Devala.4 In the form of a Brahman; one of the twelve who knew the dharma ordained by Hari.5 A Madhyamādhvaryu; married Pīvarī and got by her five sons all yogācāryas and a daughter Kīrtimatī, a yoginī; of superior bhakti; (married Pīvarī, the mind-born daughter of the Barhiṣad Manes and had by her a daughter and four sons, Matsya-purāṇa) the sons were Kṛṣṇa, Gama, Prabhu, Śambhu and Bhūriśruta.6

  • 1) Bhāgavata-purāṇa I. 2. 2-3; 4. 2-8; 7. 8; Matsya-purāṇa 15. 8.
  • 2) Ib. I. 12. 3; 19. 25-39; 1. 3; XII. 6. 8.
  • 3) Ib. X. 86. 18; 76. 14; 82. 6.
  • 4) Ib. XII. 11. 27; VI. 14. 9.
  • 5) Ib. XII. 13. 21; VI. 3. 20.
  • 6) Brahmāṇḍa-purāṇa I. 1. 150; II. 33. 14; III. 8. 92-4; 10. 80-82; 34. 38; Matsya-purāṇa 15. 8; Vāyu-purāṇa 70. 84; 73. 28; 108. 42 and 60.

1b) A son of Gārhapatya agni.*

  • * Brahmāṇḍa-purāṇa II. 12. 12.

1c) A son of Śarabha and father of Ṛkṣa.*

  • * Brahmāṇḍa-purāṇa III. 7. 207.

1d) The father-in-law of Aṇuha.*

  • * Matsya-purāṇa 49. 57; Vāyu-purāṇa 99. 179.

1e) Parrots, children of Śuki;1 cry in the presence of poisoned food;2 of the Tamra line.3

  • 1) Matsya-purāṇa 6. 31.
  • 2) Ib. 219. 20.
  • 3) Viṣṇu-purāṇa I. 21. 16.

2) Śūka (शूक).—A deva gaṇa.*

  • * Vāyu-purāṇa 10. 21.
Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: The Purana Index
Purana book cover
context information

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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Itihasa (narrative history)

Śuka (शुक) refers to the name of a Tīrtha (pilgrim’s destination) mentioned in the Mahābhārata (cf. ). Note: The Mahābhārata (mentioning Śuka) is a Sanskrit epic poem consisting of 100,000 ślokas (metrical verses) and is over 2000 years old.

Source: JatLand: List of Mahabharata people and places
context information

Itihasa (इतिहास, itihāsa) refers to ‘epic history’ and represents a branch of Sanskrit literature which popularly includes 1) the eighteen major Puranas, 2) the Mahabharata and 3) the Ramayana. It is a branch of Vedic Hinduism categorised as smriti literature (‘that which is remembered’) as opposed to shruti literature (‘that which is transmitted verbally’).

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General definition (in Hinduism)

Śuka (शुक, ‘parrot’) is mentioned in the Rigveda, where a desire is expressed to transfer to the Śuka and the Ropaṇākā the yellowness of jaundice. The bird is included in the list of sacrificial victims at the Aśvamedha (‘horse sacrifice’) in the Yajurveda-saṃhitās. It is described as yellow and as ‘of human speech’ (puruṣa-vāc). According to Bloomfield, this word is the correct reading for the second half of the obscure Śāriśākā of the Atharvaveda.

Source: Vedic index of Names and Subjects

Shuka was the son of the sage Vyasa. According to tradition, Vyasa, who compiled all the Vedas and composed the Mahabharata, taught them along with the Puranas to Shuka and other disciples.

When Vyasa realized that he was issueless and knew that the issueless cannot aspire to heaven and higher regions, he was wondering which deity he should pray to. According to Narada's advice, he prayed to Devi (Shakti) and obtained a boon that an illustrious son would be born to him.

Source: Apam Napat: Indian Mythology

1) Shuka was the son of the sage Vyasa (credited as the organizer of the Vedas and Puranas) and the main narrator of the Bhagavata Purana. Most of the Bhagavata Purana consists of Shuka reciting the story to the dying king Parikshit. Shuka is depicted as a sannyasin, renouncing the world in pursuit of moksha (liberation), which most narratives assert that he achieved.

According to the Mahabharata, after one hundred years of austerity by Vyasa, Shuka was churned out of a stick of fire, born with ascetic power and with the Vedas dwelling inside him, just like his father. The Mahabharata also recounts how Shuka was sent by Vyasa for training to King Janaka, who was considered to be a Jivanmukta, or one who is liberated while still in a body.

In the Devi-Bhagavata Purana, Shuka is convinced by Janaka to follow the ashrama tradition, and returns home to marry and follow the path of yoga. He has five children with his wife Pivari—four sons and a daughter. The story concludes in the same vein as the common tradition, with Shuka achieving moksha.

A place called Shukachari is believed to be the cave of Shuka, where he disappeared in cave stones as per local traditions.

etymology: Shuka (also Shukadeva, Shuka deva, Suka, Sukadev, Sukadeva Gosvami, )

2) Shuka in Sanskrit means parrot and thus the name is derived from the large number of parrots found around the Shukachari hills.

Source: WikiPedia: Hinduism

In Buddhism

Mahayana (major branch of Buddhism)

Śuka (शुक, “parrot”) represents an incarnation destination of the tiryaggati (animal realm) according to the “world of transmigration” section in the 2nd century Mahāprajñāpāramitāśāstra (chapter XXVII).—The Bodhisattva sees the animals (tiryak) undergoing all the torments: they are made to gallop by blows of the whip or stick; they are made to make long journeys carrying burdens; their harness is damaged; they are branded with hot iron. If sensual desires (kāmarāga), passion and ignorance (avidyā) were predominant in them [people], they are reborn as [for example] parrot (śuka); thus they become one of the hundred thousand kinds of birds. If they are guilty of lust, their body becomes covered with hairs and feathers; their plumage is fine and smooth; their beak, big and wide; thus they cannot distinguish touch (sparśa) and taste (rasa).

Source: Wisdom Library: Maha Prajnaparamita Sastra
Mahayana book cover
context information

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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In Jainism

General definition (in Jainism)

Śuka (शुक) participated in the war between Rāma and Rāvaṇa, on the side of the latter, as mentioned in Svayambhūdeva’s Paumacariu (Padmacarita, Paumacariya or Rāmāyaṇapurāṇa) chapter 57ff. Svayambhū or Svayambhūdeva (8th or 9th century) was a Jain householder who probably lived in Karnataka. His work recounts the popular Rāma story as known from the older work Rāmāyaṇa (written by Vālmīki). Various chapters [mentioning Śuka] are dedicated to the humongous battle whose armies (known as akṣauhiṇīs) consisted of millions of soldiers, horses and elephants, etc.

Source: Een Kritische Studie Van Svayambhūdeva’s Paümacariu
General definition book cover
context information

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

Pali-English dictionary

Shuka in Pali glossary... « previous · [S] · next »

suka : (m.) a parrot. || sūka (m.), awn of barley, etc.

Source: BuddhaSasana: Concise Pali-English Dictionary

Sūka, (cp. Sk. śūka) the awn of barley etc. S. V, 10, 48; A. I, 8. (Page 721)

— or —

Suka, (Vedic śuka, fr. śuc) a parrot J. I, 458; II, 132; instead of suka read sūka S. V, 10. See suva. (Page 715)

Source: Sutta: The Pali Text Society's Pali-English Dictionary
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context information

Pali is the language of the Tipiṭaka, which is the sacred canon of Theravāda Buddhism and contains much of the Buddha’s speech. Closeley related to Sanskrit, both languages are used interchangeably between religions.

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Marathi-English dictionary

śuka (शुक).—m S A male parrot. śukī f A female parrot.

--- OR ---

śūka (शूक).—m n S Awn or beard (of grains and grasses). 2 A bristle, a spicula. 3 A caterpillar.

--- OR ---

sukā (सुका).—a (śuṣka S) Dry, not wet, not moist, not succulent or sappy. 2 fig. Unproductive or unprofitable: also hollow, heartless, insincere: also empty, unsolid, unsubstantial: also void of significance or meaning.

--- OR ---

sūka (सूक).—m (Corr. of śukra S) The planet Venus.

Source: DDSA: The Molesworth Marathi and English Dictionary

śuka (शुक).—m A male parrot. śukī f A female parrot.

--- OR ---

sukā (सुका).—a Dry. Fig. Unproductive. Insincere.

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

Śuka (शुक).—[śuk-ka]

1) A parrot; आत्मनो मुखदोषेण बध्यन्ते शुकसारिकाः (ātmano mukhadoṣeṇa badhyante śukasārikāḥ) Subhāṣ तुण्डैराताम्रकुटिलैः पक्षैर्हरितकोमलैः । त्रिवर्ण- राजिभिः कण्ठैरेते मञ्जुगिरः शुकाः (tuṇḍairātāmrakuṭilaiḥ pakṣairharitakomalaiḥ | trivarṇa- rājibhiḥ kaṇṭhairete mañjugiraḥ śukāḥ) || Kāv.2.9.

2) The Śirīṣa tree.

3) Name of a son of Vyāsa. (He is said to have been born from the seed of Vyāsa. which fell at the sight of the heavenly nymph Ghṛtāchī while roaming over the earth in the form of a female parrot. Śuka was a born philosopher, and by his moral eloquence successfully resisted all the attempts of the nymph Rambhā to win him over to the path of love. He is said to have narrated the Bhāgavata Purāṇa to king Parīkṣit. His name has become proverbial for the most rigid observer of continence.] -kam 1 Cloth, clothes.

2) A helmet.

3) A turban.

4) The end or hem of a garment.

Derivable forms: śukaḥ (शुकः).

--- OR ---

Śūka (शूक).—1 The awn of barley &c., beard.

2) A bristle; वृतं च खलु शूकैः (vṛtaṃ ca khalu śūkaiḥ) Bv.1.24.

3) Point, tip, sharp end; शालिशूकनिभाभासं प्रासूतेमं तदाञ्जना (śāliśūkanibhābhāsaṃ prāsūtemaṃ tadāñjanā) Rām.7.35.21.

4) Tenderness, compassion.

5) A kind of poisonous insect.

6) The bristle or sharp hair of insects.

7) Ferment, yeast.

-kā 1 A Mucuna Pruritus (Mar. kuhilī).

2) Grief; L. D. B.

Derivable forms: śūkaḥ (शूकः), śūkam (शूकम्).

--- OR ---

Sūka (सूक).—

1) An arrow.

2) Air, wind.

3) A lotus.

Derivable forms: sūkaḥ (सूकः).

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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