Shurpanakha, aka: Surpanakha, Śūrpaṇakhā, Shurpa-nakha; 14 Definition(s)


Shurpanakha means something in 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 term Śūrpaṇakhā can be transliterated into English as Surpanakha or Shurpanakha, using the IAST transliteration scheme (?).

In Hinduism

Vaishnavism (Vaishava dharma)

Shurpanakha in Vaishnavism glossary... « previous · [S] · next »

Śūrpanakhā (शूर्पनखा) is the name of a demoness (rākṣasī) who fell in love with Rāma in the Pañcavatī forest, according to the Garga-saṃhitā 5.11.1-6: “Gazing at Lord Rāma in Pañcavatī forest, a demonness name Śūrpanakhā fell passionately in love with Him... Wishing to get Lord Rāma as her husband, for ten thousand years Śūrpanakhā stayed underwater and meditated on Lord Śiva”.

Śiva, pleased by Śūrpanakhā, granted her a boon, according to verse 5.11.9-11, “Lord Śiva said: O demonness, please listen. At the present time your boon cannot be granted. In the future, at the end of Dvāpara-yuga, in Mathurā City, it will be granted to you. Of this there is no doubt. Śrī Nārada said: O noble-hearted one, in Mathurā City the demonness Śūrpanakhā, who could assume any form at will, became the girl named Kubjā. By Lord Śiva's blessing she became Lord Kṛṣṇa's beloved”.

Source: Devotees Vaishnavas: Śrī Garga Saṃhitā
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Vaishnava (वैष्णव, vaiṣṇava) or vaishnavism (vaiṣṇavism) represents a tradition of Hinduism worshipping Vishnu as the supreme Lord. Similar to the Shaktism and Shaivism traditions, Vaishnavism also developed as an individual movement, famous for its exposition of the dashavatara (‘ten avatars of Vishnu’).

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Purana and Itihasa (epic history)

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

Śūrpaṇakhā (शूर्पणखा).—Rāvaṇa’s sister.

Viśravas, son of Brahmā and Kaikasī daughter of Sumālī lived in the forest called Sleṣmātaka. Once Kaikasī had a sexual union with Viśravas at an untimely hour. As a result of this union, Kaikasī gave birth to four children at intervals of one Yāma each. These children were, Rāvaṇa, Kumbhakarṇa, Vibhīṣaṇa and Śūrpaṇakhā. (Kamba Rāmāyaṇa, Bāla Kāṇḍa). (See full article at Story of Śūrpaṇakhā from the Puranic encyclopaedia by Vettam Mani)

Source: Puranic Encyclopaedia

Śūrpaṇakhā (शूर्पणखा).—A daughter of Viśravas and Kaikasī;1 sister of Rāvaṇa;2 disfigured by Rāma.3

  • 1) Vāyu-purāṇa 70. 41.
  • 2) Brahmāṇḍa-purāṇa III. 8. 47.
  • 3) Bhāgavata-purāṇa IX. 10. 4.
Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: The Purana Index

Śūrpaṇakhā (शूर्पणखा).—Now Rāvaṇa (the notorious demon king of Laṅkā) had a sister, Śūrpaṇakhā (lit., a woman having nails as big as a winnowing fan) by name, who was foul and cruel as a serpent. She once went to Pañcavaṭī and was smitten with pangs of passion at the sight of the two princes.

Source: Srimatham: Śrī Rāmacaritamānasa

Shurpanakha refers to the sister of Ravana who became lovestruck upon seeing Rama, according to the Ramayana 3.17.5-8, “At one time when Rama is sitting in hermitage and heartily absorbed in telling narratives some demoness arrived at that place, fortuitously. She is but the sister of ten-faced demon Ravana, Shurpanakha by her name and she has seen him on reaching the paradisiacal being like Rama.”

Source: Valmiki Ramayana: Surpanakha's entry into legend
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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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Shilpashastra (iconography)

Shurpanakha in Shilpashastra glossary... « previous · [S] · next »

Śūrpaṇakhā (शूर्पणखा) is depicted as a sculpture on the fifth pillar of the northern half of the maṇḍapa of the temple of Lokeśvara.—The serial starts from the top portion of the pillar. The first register goes from right to left. Suppanagi (Śūrpaṇakhā) arrives there in the guise of a comely lady. As she is the sister of Rāvaṇa, she goes to meet her brother’s allies namely Khara, Dūṣaṇa and Triśiras. On the band are only the two names, Kara (Khara) and Dūṣaṇa very well written. Then, a little space is left empty where only one letter is written looking like ma. But three are persons seated at the extreme left of the panel. Śūrpaṇakhā is standing with hands open to the sky and lamenting upon her fate caused by Lakṣmaṇa.

Source: Archaeological Survey of India: Śaiva monuments at Paṭṭadakal (śilpa)
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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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General definition (in Hinduism)

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

Śūrpaṇakhā (शूर्पणखा, “sharp nails”):—In Vedic hinduism, she is the sister of Kubera, who was the Vedic God of wealth presiding over all earthly treasures.

Source: Wisdom Library: Hinduism

Shurpanakha was the sister of Ravana, the Asura king of Lanka. Their father was a sage named Vishrava and their mother a Asura woman named Kaikasi. They had two more children, Vibhishana and Kumbhakarna. Kubera is her half-brother, born to another wife of Vishrava.

Source: Apam Napat: Indian Mythology

Surpanakha is one of the most important characters in the Ramayana. Indeed, Valmiki comes close to claiming that if there had been no Kaikeyi and no Surpanakha, then there would have been no Ramayana and no war with Ravana. In fact, Surpanakha was the arrow that set in motion the chain of events leading directly to the destruction of Ravana. Soorpanaka, therefore, like Kaikeyi before her, often gets the blame from Hindus as being the evil genius behind, and the sole cause of the Ramayana war.

etymology: Surpanakha (Sanskrit for "sharp, long nails"; Indonesian: Sarpakenaka; Khmer: Surpanakhar; Malay: Surapandaki; Thai: Sammanakkha; Tamil: Curppanakai.) or Shurpanakha

Source: WikiPedia: Hinduism

In Jainism

General definition (in Jainism)

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Śūrpaṇakhā (शूर्पणखा) is the name of the sister of Rāvaṇa, the eighth Prativāsudeva according to both Śvetāmbara and Digambara sources. She is also known by the name Candraṇakhā. Jain legends describe nine such Prativāsudevas (anti-heroes) usually appearing as powerful but evil antagonists instigating Vāsudeva by subjugating large portions of Bharata-land. As such, they are closely related with the twin brothers known as the Vāsudevas (“violent heroes”) and the Baladevas (“gentle heroes”).

According to the Triṣaṣṭiśalākāpuruṣacarita 7.1, the mother of Śūrpaṇakhā and Rāvaṇa is named Ratnaśravas and his mother Kaikasī. They have another brother named Bhānukarṇa (or Kumbhakarṇa) and another brother named Bibhīṣeṇa.

The Prativāsudevas (such as Daśamukha) fight against the twin-heroes with their cakra-weapon but at the final moment are killed by the Vāsudevas. Their stories are narrated in the Triṣaṣṭiśalākāpuruṣacarita (“the lives of the sixty-three illustrious persons”), a twelfth-century Śvetāmbara work by Hemacandra.

Source: Wisdom Library: Jainism
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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

Marathi-English dictionary

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

śūrpanakhā (शूर्पनखा).—f (S A descriptive name of the sister of Rawan̤.) A term for any monstrous and hideous female; or for a Xantippe, vixen, fury &c.

Source: DDSA: The Molesworth Marathi and English Dictionary

śūrpanakhā (शूर्पनखा).—f A term for any monstrous & hideous female.

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

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

Śūrpaṇakhā (शूर्पणखा).—(for nakhā) 'having finger-nails like winnowing-baskets', Name of a sister of Rāvaṇa. [She was attracted by the beauty of Rāma and solicited him to marry her. But he said that as he had already got a wife she had better go to Lakṣmaṇa and try him. But he too rejected her, and back she came to Rāma. This circumstance excited Sītā's laughter, and the revengeful demoness, feeling herself grossly insulted, assumed a hideous form and threatened to eat her up. But Lakṣmaṇa cut off her ears and nose, and thus doubly deformed her; see R.12.32-4.]

Śūrpaṇakhā is a Sanskrit compound consisting of the terms śūrpa and ṇakhā (णखा).

Source: DDSA: The practical Sanskrit-English dictionary

Sūrpaṇakhā (सूर्पणखा).—f.

(-khā) The sister of Ravana. E. sūrpa, nakha a nail.; also śūrpaṇakhā.

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

Nakha.—(IE 7-1-2), ‘twenty’. Note: nakha is defined in the “Indian epigraphical glossary” as it...
Śūrpa (शूर्प).—(śṝ-paḥ ūśca nit Uṇ.3.26) A winnowing-basket; Ms.5.117.-rpaḥ A measure of two Dr...
Śaṅkhanakha (शङ्खनख).—m. (-khaḥ) 1. A small shell. 2. A perfume, commonly nakhī. E. śaṅkha a co...
Vyāghranakha (व्याघ्रनख).—nf. (-khaṃ-khī) 1. A tiger’s claw. 2. A sort of perfume. n. (-khaṃ) 1...
Nakhaviṣkira (नखविष्किर).—mfn. (-raḥ-rā-raṃ) What tears or rends, (as a bird of prey, &c.) ...
Nakhakuṭṭa (नखकुट्ट).—m. (-ṭṭaḥ) A barber. E. nakha a nail, and kuṭṭa who cuts, (barbers in Ind...
Pañcanakha (पञ्चनख).—m. (-khaḥ) 1. An elephant. 2. A tortoise. 3. A tiger. 4. Any animal having...
Nakhaviṣa (नखविष).—a man; नखविषा नरादयः (nakhaviṣā narādayaḥ). Derivable forms: nakhaviṣaḥ (नखव...
Nakharañjanī (नखरञ्जनी).—f. (-nī) A nail-parer. E. nakha, and rañjanī beautifying.
Nakhalekhā (नखलेखा).—f. (-khā) A scratch E. nakha, and lekhā a line.
Nakhapada (नखपद).—n. (-daṃ) A scratch, the mark of a finger nail. E. nakha, and pada a mark.
Hastinakha (हस्तिनख).—n. (-khaṃ) A sort of covered way, a raised place of earth or masonry, cov...
Nakhaśaṅkha (नखशङ्ख).—m. (-ṅkhaḥ) A small shell. E. nakha a nail, śaṅkha a shell, one as small ...
Nakhāśin (नखाशिन्).—m. (-śī) An owl. E. nakha a nail, and aśin who eats, using its claws in fee...
Nakhadāraṇa (नखदारण).—m. (-ṇaḥ) A falcon. E. nakha a nail, and dāraṇa tearing.

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