Shula, aka: Śūlā, Śūla, Śūla, Sūla; 20 Definition(s)

Introduction

Shula means something in Hinduism, Sanskrit, Buddhism, Pali, the history of ancient India, 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 Śūlā and Śūla and Śūla can be transliterated into English as Sula or Shula, using the IAST transliteration scheme (?).

In Hinduism

Shilpashastra (iconography)

Śūla (शूल, ‘spear’) is a weapon (āyudha or bādhra) according to the Vāstusūtra Upaniṣad.

Source: Google Books: The Theory of Citrasutras in Indian Painting

Śūla is the trident which is the favourite weapon of Śiva. It is represented in many forms; and the essential feature of all these is the triple metal pike ending in sharp points and mounted upon a long wooden handle.

Source: Google Books: Elements of Hindu iconography

Śūla (शूल) represents “triguṇa” (Śiva’s three states), referring to one of the attributes of Lord Śiva, commonly seen depicted in Hindu iconography, defined according to texts dealing with śilpa (arts and crafs), known as śilpaśāstras.—The śilpa texts have classified the various accessories under the broad heading of āyudha or karuvi (implement), including even flowers, animals, and musical instruments. The accessories should be made of the same material with which the main image has been fashioned. Each of these accessories denotes the attributes of the images while in certain circumstances they denote particular divinity or character by themselves. Śūla, for example, signifies the attributes of Lord Śiva.

Śūla is the trident, which is the favourite weapon of Śiva. It is represented in many forms. The essential feature of all these is the triple metal pike ending in sharp points and mounted upon a long wooden handle.

Source: Shodhganga: The significance of the mūla-beras (śilpa)
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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Purana and Itihasa (epic history)

Śūla (शूल) refers to “cholic” (muscular contractions of a hollow tube) and represents a type of Ādhyātmika pain of the bodily (śārīra) type, according to the Viṣṇu-purāṇa 6.5.1-6. Accordingly, “the wise man having investigated the three kinds of worldly pain, or mental and bodily affliction and the like, and having acquired true wisdom, and detachment from human objects, obtains final dissolution.”

Ādhyātmika and its subdivisions (eg., śūla) represents one of the three types of worldly pain (the other two being ādhibhautika and ādhidaivika) and correspond to three kinds of affliction described in the Sāṃkhyakārikā.

The Viṣṇupurāṇa is one of the eighteen Mahāpurāṇas which, according to tradition was composed of over 23,000 metrical verses dating from at least the 1st-millennium BCE. There are six chapters (aṃśas) containing typical puranic literature but the contents primarily revolve around Viṣṇu and his avatars.

Source: Wisdom Library: Viṣṇu-purāṇa

Śūla (शूल, “spear”):—The śūla is almost always associated with Śiva in early Indian coins. The triśūla is found on the coins of the Pāñcāla king Rudragupta, on other early coins and on the coins of Vema Kadphises. The Vāyu-purāṇa associates śūla and triśūla with Śiva.

Source: Google Books: Cultural History from the Vāyu Purāna

1a) Śūla (शूल).—The trident, held by Gangā in worshipping Śiva in Meru.*

  • * Vāyu-purāṇa 30. 92.

1b) A stake, mounting on; a punishment in hell.*

  • * Viṣṇu-purāṇa VI. 5. 47.
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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Shaivism (Shaiva philosophy)

Śūlā (शूला):—One of the twelve guṇas associated with Kanda, the fifth seat of the Svādhiṣṭhāna-chakra. According to tantric sources such as the Śrīmatottara-tantra and the Gorakṣasaṃhitā (Kādiprakaraṇa), these twelve guṇas are represented as female deities. According to the Ṣaṭsāhasrasaṃhitā however, they are explained as particular syllables. They (eg. Śūlā) only seem to play an minor role with regard to the interpretation of the Devīcakra (first of five chakras, as taught in the Kubjikāmata-tantra).

She is also known by the name Mūlā, according to the Gorakṣa-saṃhitā.

Source: Wisdom Library: Ṣaṭsāhasra-saṃhitā
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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Natyashastra (theatrics and dramaturgy)

1) Śūla (शूल) is a Sanskrit word referring to the “spear”. Acording to the Nāṭyaśāstra 1.82-88, when Brahmā, Indra and all other gods went to inspect the playhouse (nāṭyamaṇḍapa) designed by Viśvakarmā, he assigned different deities for the protection of the playhouse itself, as well as for the objects relating to dramatic performance (prayoga).

As such, Brahmā assigned Śūla to the top of the door. The protection of the playhouse was enacted because of the jealous Vighnas (malevolent spirits), who began to create terror for the actors.

2) Śūla (शूल) refers to the “spike”, a weapon which should measure should measure eight tālas (unit of measurement), according to Nāṭyaśāstra chapter 23. In dramatic plays, weapons such as śūla should be made by experts using proper measurements and given to persons engaged in a fight, angry conflict or siege. It forms a component of āhāryābhinaya (extraneous representation).

Source: Wisdom Library: Nāṭya-śāstra
Natyashastra book cover
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Natyashastra (नाट्यशास्त्र, nāṭyaśāstra) refers to both the ancient Indian tradition (śāstra) of performing arts, (nāṭya, e.g., 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) and poetic works (kavya).

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Ayurveda (science of life)

Śūla (शूल) refers to “colic” (a form of abdominal pain ). The term is used throughout Āyurvedic literature such as the Suśruta-saṃhitā and the Caraka-saṃhitā.

Source: Wisdom Library: Āyurveda and botany

Śūla (शूल) refers to “colic pain”. Medicinal formulations in the management of this condition include 58 references of Vatsanābha usages. Guṭikā is maximum (50) dosage form in the management of Śūla. Vatsanābha (Aconitum ferox), although categorized as sthāvara-viṣa (vegetable poisons), has been extensively used in ayurvedic pharmacopoeia.

Source: Research Gate: Internal applications of Vatsanabha (Aconitum ferox wall)
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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Dhanurveda (science of warfare)

Śūla (शूल) refers to a kind of weapon (pointed dart, lance, pike, spear). It is a Sanskrit word defined in the Dhanurveda-saṃhitā, which contains a list of no less than 117 weapons. The Dhanurveda-saṃhitā is said to have been composed by the sage Vasiṣṭha, who in turn transmitted it trough a tradition of sages, which can eventually be traced to Śiva and Brahmā.

Source: Wisdom Library: Dhanurveda
Dhanurveda book cover
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Dhanurveda (धनुर्वेद) refers to the “knowledge of warfare” and, as an upaveda, is associated with the Ṛgveda. It contains instructions on warfare, archery and ancient Indian martial arts, dating back to the 2nd-3rd millennium BCE.

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General definition (in Hinduism)

1) Śūla (pain in the cervical region) is a medical symptom in classical Ayurveda.

2) Śūla (pain).

Source: Wisdom Library: Hinduism

India history and geogprahy

Śūla.—(IE 7-1-2), ‘three’; cf. triśūla, a trident. Note: śūla is defined in the “Indian epigraphical glossary” as it can be found on ancient inscriptions commonly written in Sanskrit, Prakrit or Dravidian languages.

Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: Indian Epigraphical Glossary
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 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

Pali-English dictionary

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

sūla : (nt.) stake; pike.

Source: BuddhaSasana: Concise Pali-English Dictionary

Sūla, (cp. Vedic śūla) (m. and nt.) 1. a sharp-pointed instrument, a stake Th. 2, 488; S. V, 411; Pv IV. 16; Vism. 489 (in compar.), 646 (khadira°, ayo°, suvaṇṇa°); ThA. 288; J. I, 143, 326; sūle uttāseti to impale A. I, 48; J. I, 326; II, 443; IV, 29; appeti the same J. III, 34; VI, 17, or āropeti PvA. 220. ayasūla an iron stake J. IV, 29; Sn. 667; cp. asi° & satti°.—2. a spit J. I, 211; roasted on a spit, roasted meat J. III, 220; maṃsa° the same, or perhaps a spit with roasted meat J. III, 52, 220.—3. an acute, sharp pain DhsA. 397; sūlā (f.) the same A. V, 1105. Cp. defn of sūl as “rujā” at Dhtp 272.

—āropana impaling, execution Miln. 197, 290. —koṭi the point of the stake DhA. II, 240. (Page 722)

Source: Sutta: The Pali Text Society's Pali-English Dictionary
Pali book cover
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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

śūla (शूल).—m (S) pop. śūḷa m A weapon, a sort of pike. 2 An impaling stake. Pr. cōrāsa sōḍūna sannyāśāsa śūla Descriptive of a tyrant or a boobyruler. 3 Sharp pain in general (in the belly, head, joints): also the disorder from which it proceeds; as colic, gout, rheumatism. 4 An iron spit, spike, or pin. 5 The ninth of the astronomical Yogas.

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suḷā (सुळा).—m (sūḷa) A pointed tooth, tusk, or fang; as the dens caninus or eye-tooth of man; the corresponding tooth of tigers, cats &c.; the tusk or fang of the elephant, boar, serpent &c.; any snag or sharp stump or stub; a little and acuminated stake or peg as rising out of the ground &c. 2 A roasting spit. 3 A seed of the grass called kasaī or kaśēṭa (Scirpus kysoor). 4 A creature of the tick kind, infesting cattle. 5 A common term for the two inclined posts of a draw-well, supporting the beam in which is fixed the bucketroller; also for upright supports generally of a transverse beam.

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sūḷa (सूळ).—m (śūla S) A stake on which criminals are impaled. 2 Applied to an exceedingly steep and straight hill, tree &c. difficult to climb; also to the steep portion of the ascent of a mountain after the ḍāga the long introductory rising ground. 3 Sharp pain generally (in the belly, head, joints): also the disorder from which it proceeds, as colic, gout, rheumatism. 4 A weapon,--a sort of pike: also an iron spit, spike, stake, or pin. suḷīṃ dyāyācī vēḷa (The time of fixing upon the impaling stake.) A term for noon.

Source: DDSA: The Molesworth Marathi and English Dictionary

sūḷa (सूळ).—or-sūḷa m Gripes, colic.

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śūla (शूल) [-ḷa, -ळ].—m A sort of pike. An impelling stake. Sharp pain. An iron spit.

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suḷā (सुळा).—m A pointed tooth, tusk. A roasting spit.

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sūḷa (सूळ).—m A stake on which criminals are impaled. An exceedingly steep and straight hill, &c., difficult to climb. Sharp pain. suḷīṃ dyāvayācīvēḷa A term for noon.

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

Śūla (शूल).—[śūl-ka]

1) A sharp or pointed weapon, pike, dart, spear, lance.

2) The trident of Śiva.

3) An iron-spit (for roasting meat upon); शूले संस्कृतं शूल्यम् (śūle saṃskṛtaṃ śūlyam) cf. अयःशूल (ayaḥśūla).

4) A stake for impaling criminals; (bibhrat) स्कन्धेन शूलं हृदयेन शोकम् (skandhena śūlaṃ hṛdayena śokam) Mk.1.21; Ku.5.73.

5) Any acute or sharp pain.

6) Colic.

7) Gout, rheumatism.

8) Death.

9) A banner, an ensign.

1) Selling; selling or salable object; 'अट्टमन्नं शिवो वेदः शूलो विक्रय उच्यते (aṭṭamannaṃ śivo vedaḥ śūlo vikraya ucyate)' इति कोशः (iti kośaḥ); अट्टशूला जनपदाः शिवशूलाश्चतुष्पथाः । केशशूलाः स्त्रियो राजन् भविष्यन्ति युगक्षये (aṭṭaśūlā janapadāḥ śivaśūlāścatuṣpathāḥ | keśaśūlāḥ striyo rājan bhaviṣyanti yugakṣaye) || Mb.3.188.42; अट्टशूलाः कतिपये पट्टनेऽस्मिन् प्रतिष्ठिताः (aṭṭaśūlāḥ katipaye paṭṭane'smin pratiṣṭhitāḥ) Viś. Guṇa.438. (śūlākṛ 'to roast on an iron-spit'.)

Derivable forms: śūlaḥ (शूलः), śūlam (शूलम्).

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Śūlā (शूला).—

1) A stake for impaling criminals.

2) A harlot.

Source: DDSA: The practical Sanskrit-English dictionary

Śūla (शूल).—n. of a rākṣasa king: Mmk 18.2.

Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: Edgerton Buddhist Hybrid Sanskrit Dictionary

Śūla (शूल).—mn.

(-laḥ-laṃ) 1. Sharp pain in general, or especially in the belly, as colic, &c., or in the joints, from rheumatism or gout. 2. A weapon, a pike, a dart. 3. An iron pin or spit. 4. A banner, an ensign. 5. An astrological Yoga, that of the 9th lunar mansion. 6. Death, dying. 7. A stake for impaling criminals. f.

(-lā) 1. A whore. 2. An instrument used for putting criminals to death, a stake for impaling them. E. śūl to disease, &c., aff. ac or ka .

Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: Shabda-Sagara 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 174 related definition(s) that might help you understand this better. Below you will find the 15 most relevant articles:

Trishula
Triśūla (त्रिशूल) or Triśūlahasta refers to “triad” and represents one of the twenty-four gestu...
Karnashula
Karṇaśūla (कर्णशूल).—n. (-laṃ) Ear-ache. E. karṇa, and śūla pain.
Vatashula
Vātaśūla (वातशूल).—n. (-laṃ) Colic with flatulence. E. vāta and śūla colic.
Parshvashula
Pārśvaśūla (पार्श्वशूल).—n. (-laṃ) Spasm of the chest, stitch. E. pārśva, and śūla sharp pain.
Katishula
Kaṭiśūla (कटिशूल) or Kaṭīśūla (कटीशूल).—Sciatic pain. Derivable forms: kaṭiśūlaḥ (कटिशूलः), kaṭ...
Shulapani
Śūlapāṇi (शूलपाणि) refers to one of the eight names of Śiva (śivanāma) and is mentioned in the ...
Amasula
Āmaśūla (आमशूल).—pain of indigestion, colic. Derivable forms: āmaśūlaḥ (आमशूलः).Āmaśūla is a Sa...
Parinamashula
Pariṇāmaśūla (परिणामशूल) or Parīṇāmaśūla (परीणामशूल).—violent or painful indigestion, colic, fl...
Shulagra
Śūlāgra (शूलाग्र).—n. (-graṃ) The point of a pike, stake, &c. E. śūla, and agra end.
Shulahasta
Śūlahasta (शूलहस्त).—m. (-staḥ) One armed with a lance or pike. E. śūla, hasta the hand.
Shulaghatana
Śūlaghātana (शूलघातन).—n. (-naṃ) Iron rust or filings. E. śūla pain, ghātana what removes.
Shuladhara
Śūladhara (शूलधर).—m. (-raḥ) Siva. f. (-rā) Durga. E. śūla a pike or trident, dhara who holds.
Paktishula
Paktiśūla (पक्तिशूल).—n. (-laṃ) Inflammation with violent pain of the bowels proceeding from in...
Shuladhanvan
Śūladhanvan (शूलधन्वन्).—m. (-nvā) Siva. E. śūla a pike or the three-pronged one, the trident o...
Shulanadi
Śūlanadī (शूलनदी) is the name of a locality mentioned in the Nagardhan plates of Svamiraja.—The...

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