Simhasana, aka: Simha-asana, Siṃhāsana; 10 Definition(s)


Simhasana 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

Śilpaśāstra (iconography)

In the Siṃhāsana (सिंहासन) the legs are crossed as in the kūrmāsana; and the palms of the hands, with the fingers kept stretched out, rest supinely upon the thigh, while the mouth is kept open and the eyes are fixed upon the tip of the nose.

When used as a pītha (seat or pedestal), this Āsana should be used as the seat for the image when it has to be bathed, according to the Suprabhedāgama. According to the Candrajñānāgama, the seat is of a rectangular shape. The siṃhāsana is a four legged seat, circular or rectangular in shape and one hasta or cubit in height. The four legs of this seat are made up of four small lions.

(Source): Google Books: Elements of Hindu iconography
Śilpaśāstra book cover
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Śilpaśāstra (शिल्पशास्त्र, shilpa-shastra) represents the ancient Indian science of creative arts such as sculpture, iconography and painting. Closely related to Vāstuśāstra (architecture), they often share the same literature.

Yoga (school of philosophy)

Siṃhāsana (सिंहासन) is one of the eighty-four āsanas (postures) taught by Śiva, according to the Haṭharatnāvalī 3.7-20. It is said that Ādinātha (Śiva) hand-picked 84 yoga postures from 84,00,000 living beings and taught them for the purpose of introducing physical health and well-being to the human body. The compound siṃhāsana translates to siṃha (lion) and āsana (posture).

The 17th-century Haṭharatnāvalī is a Sanskrit reference book dealing with these āsanas (eg., siṃhāsana) which form a major constituent of the haṭhayoga practice. It was written by Śrīnivāsa.

(Source): Wisdom Library: Yoga

Siṃhāsana (सिंहासन) refers to an āsana (posture) taught by Śiva. It is one of the first four out of 84 total, thus one of the most essential, according to Haṭhayogapradīpikā I.52-54.—Accordingly, “Press the heels on both sides of the seam of Perineum, in such a way that the left heel touches the right side and the right heel touches the left side of it. Place the hands on the thighs, with stretched fingers, and keeping the mouth open and the mind collected, gaze on the tip of the nose. This is siṃhāsana, held sacred by the best of yogīs. This excellent āsana effects the completion of the three Bandhas (The mūla-bandha, kaṇṭha-bandha or jālandhara-bandha and uḍḍiyāna-bandha)”.

The 15th-century Haṭhayogapradīpikā by Svātmārāma is one of the oldest extant texts dealing with haṭhayoga: an ancient form of meditation founded by Matsyendranātha. The first chapter of this book describes various āsanas (eg., siṃha-āsana).

(Source): Google Books: The Hatha Yoga Pradipika

Siṃhāsana (सिंहासन) is a type of standing posture (āsana), according to verse 76 of the Śrītattvanidhi.—Accordingly, “Place the left ankle on the right side of the perineum and the right ankle on the left side. Place the hands with extended fingers on the knees and gaze at the tip of the nose with the mouth open. This is siṃhāsana, the lion”.

The 19th-century Śrītattvanidhi is a sanskrit treatise describing 80 primary āsanas, or ‘posture’ (eg., siṃha-āsana) and several additional ones.

This name occurs in Iyengar but a different āsana is shown under that name. Haṭhapradīpikā II.50-52 and Gheraṇḍasaṃhitā II.14-15 describe a siṃhāsana almost identical to this. First Steps to Higher Yoga has a similar āsana. The name is found in the Mallapurāṇa list.

(Source): Yoga Tradition of the Mysore Palace

Siṃhāsana (सिंहासन) is one of the thirty-two āsanas (postures) taught in the second chapter of the Gheraṇḍasaṃhitā: “One should place the two ankles kept upwards crosswise under the scrotum, front part of the head of tibia on the ground, hands on the knees, open the mouth, adopt Jālandhara-bandha and fix the gaze on the tip of the nose. This is Siṃhāsana, the destroyer of all diseases”.

Siṃhāsana is one of the selected 32 postures amongs 8,400,000 total mentioned by Śiva, according to Gheraṇḍasaṃhitā 2.1-2, “In all, there are as many Āsanas as species of animals. Eighty-four lacs of them are mentioned by Śiva. Out of them, 84 are regarded as important and among these 84, again 32 are good (enough) in this world of mortal beings”.

The 17th-century Gheraṇḍasaṃhitā (mentioning siṃha-āsana) is one of the three classic texts of Haṭha-yoga: a major branch of Yoga, sharing similarities with the Yoga system taught by Patañjali, though claiming its own mythical founder known as Matsyendranātha. This gheraṇḍa-saṃhitā is an encyclopedic Sanskrit treatise describing thirty two such āsanas.

(Source): Gheranda Samhita
Yoga book cover
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Originally, Yoga is considered a branch of orthodox Hindu philosophy (astika), but both ancient and modern Yoga combine the physical, mental and spiritual. Yoga teaches various physical techniques also known as āsanas (postures), used for various purposes (eg., meditation, contemplation, relaxation).


Siṃhāsana (सिंहासन).—The lion throne for kings;1 of Devī which was placed in the Sabhā;2 of the Pāṇḍavas; Mārkaṇḍeya seated by Yudhiṣṭhira on;3 of Tāraka Asura.4

  • 1) Brahmāṇḍa-purāṇa III. 26. 21.
  • 2) Ib. IV. 14. 12.
  • 3) Matsya-purāṇa 103. 18.
  • 4) Ib. 148. 29;
(Source): Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: The Purana Index
Purāṇa book cover
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The Purāṇas (पुराण, purana) refers to Sanskrit literature preserving ancient India’s vast cultural history, including historical legends, religious ceremonies, various arts and sciences. The eighteen mahāpurāṇas total over 400,000 ślokas (metrical couplets) and date to at least several centuries BCE.

Shaivism (Shaiva philosophy)

Siṃhāsana (सिंहासन) is one of five pedestals that makes up the Śivāsana, unto which Śiva is installed and invoked during the ritualistic process of śivārcana, according to the Sakalāgamasāra-saṃgraha. In the process of invocation (āvāhana) Lord Śiva is contemplated as seated on Yogāsana: “in the process of holy bath (abhiṣeka) he is contemplated as seated on siṃhāsna”. This particular āsana is associated with the shape of a square and is connected with the element Water.

(Source): Wisdom Library: Śaivism
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.

In Buddhism

Mahayana (major branch of Buddhism)

Siṃhāsana (सिंहासन, “lion-seat”).—What is this siṃhāsana? The lion in question is not a real lion but, since the Buddha is a lion among men (puruṣasiṃha), the seat where he sits down, whether it be on a bed (āsana) or on the ground (bhūmi), is called the ‘lion’s seat’. In the same way, even today the seat where the king is enthroned is called a lion’s seat, the chief who commands warriors is called a lion-man (puruṣasiṃha) and people call the king of the land puruṣasiṃha.

Although according to the Mahāprajñāpāramitāśāstra the lion-seat should be understood in a symbolic sense as the seat of the lion-man (puruṣasiṃha), the Buddha is sometimes represented seated on a siṃhāsana, ‘a throne supported by lions’.

(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.

Languages of India and abroad

Marathi-English dictionary

siṃhāsana (सिंहासन).—n (S siṃha & āsana. A seat supported by lions wrought in gold, marble &c.) A throne.

(Source): DDSA: The Molesworth Marathi and English Dictionary

siṃhāsana (सिंहासन).—n A throne.

(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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