Simha, aka: Siṃha; 14 Definition(s)


Simha 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.

In Hinduism

Ayurveda (science of life)

Siṃha (सिंह) is a Sanskrit word referring to the animal “lion”. The meat of this animal is part of the māṃsavarga (‘group of flesh’), which is used throughout Āyurvedic literature. The animal Siṃha is part of the sub-group named prasaha, refering to animals “who take their food by snatching”. 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.

Source: Wisdom Library: Āyurveda and botany

Siṃha (सिंह)—Sanskrit word for the animal “lion”. This animal is from the group called Guhāśaya (‘which have a lair’, or, ‘cave-dwelling mammals’). Guhāśaya 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
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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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Vastushastra (architecture)

1) Siṃha (सिंह):—The Sanskrit name for a classification of a ‘temple’, according to the 2nd century Matsyapurāṇa and the Viśvakarmaprakāśa, both featuring a list of 20 temple types. This list represents the classification of temples in South-India.

Siṃha is mentioned in another list from the Samarāṅgaṇasūtradhāra chapter 56, being part of the group named Lalita, containing 25 unique temple varieties.

2) Siṃhā (सिंहा, “lioness”) refers to the third of eight yoni (womb), according to the Mānasāra. Yoni is the fourth of the āyādiṣaḍvarga, or “six principles” that constitute the “horoscope” of an architectural or iconographic object. Their application is intended to “verify” the measurements of the architectural and iconographic object against the dictates of astrology that lay out the conditions of auspiciousness.

Siṃhā also refers to the fifth of twelve rāśi (zodiacal sign), corresponding with the Leo zodiac sign. Rāśi is one of the three alternative principles, besides the six āyādiṣaḍvarga.

The particular yoni (eg., siṃhā) and rāśi (eg., siṃha) of all architectural and iconographic objects (settlement, building, image) must be calculated and ascertained. This process is based on the principle of the remainder. An arithmetical formula to be used in each case is stipulated, which engages one of the basic dimensions of the object (breadth, length, or perimeter/circumference).

The first, third, fifth and seventh yonis are considered auspicious and therefore to be preferred, and the rest, inauspicious and to be avoided. All twelve rāśis, except the eighth (vṛścika) are auspicious.

Source: Wisdom Library: Vāstu-śāstra
Vastushastra book cover
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Vastushastra (वास्तुशास्त्र, vāstuśāstra) refers to the ancient Indian science (shastra) of architecture (vastu), dealing with topics such architecture, sculpture, town-building, fort building and various other constructions. Vastu also deals with the philosophy of the architectural relation with the cosmic universe.

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Siṃha (सिंह) refers to a variety of maṇḍapa (halls attached to the temple), according to the Matsya-purāṇa (verses 270.1-30). The siṃha-maṇḍapa is to be built with 16 pillars (stambha). The Matsyapurāṇa is one of the eighteen major purāṇas dating from the 1st-millennium BCE.

Accordingly (verse 270.15-17), “These maṇḍapas (eg., siṃha) should be either made triangular, circular, octagonal or with 16 sides or they are square. They promote kingdoms, victory, longevity, sons, wife and nourishment respecitvely. Temples of other shape than these are inauspicious.”

Source: Wisdom Library: Purāṇas

1a) Siṃha (सिंह).—A son of Mādrī and Kṛṣṇa.*

  • * Bhāgavata-purāṇa X. 61. 15.

1b) A palace in the form of a lion; the toraṇa is 16 hastas.*

  • * Matsya-purāṇa 269. 36, 49.

1c) Born of Hari and Pulaha; as a son of Jāmbavān, a vānara jāti;1 a golden image of, as a gift for vīravrata of women;2 the riding animal of Lalitā;3 born out of the wrath of Śiva and destroyed Dakṣa's sacrifice.4

  • 1) Brahmāṇḍa-purāṇa III. 7. 176, 304, 319; 22. 19; 26. 30; IV. 6. 50.
  • 2) Matsya-purāṇa 101. 28.
  • 3) Brahmāṇḍa-purāṇa III. 35. 38; 51. 10; IV. 17. 8; 29. 41.
  • 4) Vāyu-purāṇa 101. 295.
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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Katha (narrative stories)

Siṃha (सिंह) is the name of a Vidyādhara king, according to the Kathāsaritsāgara, chapter 106. Accordingly, as Dhanavatī said to prince Naravāhanadatta: “... prince, I am Dhanavatī, the wife of a chief of the Vidyādharas, named Siṃha, and this is my unmarried daughter, the sister of Caṇḍasiṃha, and her name is Ajināvatī”.

The Kathāsaritsāgara (‘ocean of streams of story’), mentioning Siṃha, is a famous Sanskrit epic story revolving around prince Naravāhanadatta and his quest to become the emperor of the vidyādharas (celestial beings). The work is said to have been an adaptation of Guṇāḍhya’s Bṛhatkathā consisting of 100,000 verses, which in turn is part of a larger work containing 700,000 verses.

Source: Wisdom Library: Kathāsaritsāgara
Katha book cover
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Katha (कथा, kathā) refers to narrative Sanskrit literature often inspired from epic legendry (itihasa) and poetry (mahākāvya). Some Kathas reflect socio-political instructions for the King while others remind the reader of important historical event and exploits of the Gods, Heroes and Sages.

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Shilpashastra (iconography)

Siṃha (सिंह, “lion”) refers to a type of animal form, representing one of the several “attributes” (āyudha) or “accessories” of a detiy 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 animals and birds found as vehicles for the deities or held as attributes or weapons in the hands of the deities are, for example, Siṃha.

Source: Shodhganga: The significance of the mūla-beras (śilpa)
Shilpashastra book cover
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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)

Siṃha (सिंह) denotes the ‘lion’ in the Rigveda and later. The roaring (nad) of the lion is often alluded to, and is called thundering (stanatha). He wanders about (kucara) and lives in the hills (giri-ṣṭha),6 and is clearly the ‘dread wild beast that slays’ (mṛgo bhītna upahatnuḥ) to which Rudra is compared. When Agni, who has entered the waters, is compared to a lion, the reference may be to the lion’s habit of springing on animals at drinking places.

The lioness (siṃhī) was also famous for her courage: the aid given by Indra to Sudās against the vast host of his enemies is compared to the defeat of a lioness by a ram (petva). The gaping jaws of the lioness when attacking men are alluded to in the Aitareya-brāhmaṇa. The lioness is also mentioned in the Yajurveda-saṃhitās and the Brāhmaṇas. See also Halīkṣṇa.

Source: Vedic index of Names and Subjects

In Buddhism

Mahayana (major branch of Buddhism)

Siṃha (सिंह, “lion”) 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 pride (abhimāna) and anger abound, they [people] take the form of a savage beast [for example], lion (siṃha).

Source: Wisdom Library: Maha Prajnaparamita Sastra
Mahayana book cover
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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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Languages of India and abroad

Marathi-English dictionary

siṃha (सिंह).—m (S) A lion. 2 A sign of the zodiac, Leo. 3 In comp. The chief or principal. Ex. puruṣasiṃha, paṇḍitasiṃha.

Source: DDSA: The Molesworth Marathi and English Dictionary

siṃha (सिंह).—m A lion. Leo. The chief.

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

Siṃha (सिंह).—[hiṃs-ac pṛṣo°]

1) A lion; (it is said to be derived from hiṃs, cf. bhavedvarṇāgamāddhaṃsaḥ siṃho varṇaviparyayāt Sk.); न हि सुप्तस्य सिंहस्य प्रविशन्ति मुखे मृगाः (na hi suptasya siṃhasya praviśanti mukhe mṛgāḥ) Subhāṣ.

2) The sign Leo of the Zodiac. e.g. सिंहलग्न (siṃhalagna).

3) (At the end of comp.) Best, pre-eminent of a class; e.g. रघुसिंहः, पुरुष- सिंहः (raghusiṃhaḥ, puruṣa- siṃhaḥ); उद्योगिनं पुरुषसिंहमुपैति लक्ष्मीः (udyoginaṃ puruṣasiṃhamupaiti lakṣmīḥ) Pt.1.361; U.5.22.

4) A particular place prepared for the building of a house.

5) (In music) A kind of tone.

Derivable forms: siṃhaḥ (सिंहः).

--- OR ---

Siṃhā (सिंहा).—f. A nerve, vein, artery; L. D. B.

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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