Skandha: 16 definitions

Introduction

Skandha means something in Buddhism, Pali, Hinduism, Sanskrit, Jainism, Prakrit, 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.

In Hinduism

Purana and Itihasa (epic history)

Source: archive.org: Puranic Encyclopedia

Skandha (स्कन्ध).—A nāga (serpent) born in the family of Dhṛtarāṣṭra. This serpent was burnt to death in the sacrificial fire of the serpent sacrifice of Janamejaya. (Mahābhārata Ādi Parva, Chapter 57, Verse 18).

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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In Buddhism

Tibetan Buddhism (Vajrayana or tantric Buddhism)

Source: archive.org: The Indian Buddhist Iconography

Skandha (स्कन्ध) refers to the “five cosmic elements”, according to Vajrayāna or Tantric Buddhism.—The Buddhists believe that the world is composed of five cosmic elements or Skandhas. The five Skandhas are Rūpa (form), Vedanā (sensation), Saṃjñā (name), Saṃskāra (conformation) and Vijñāna (consciousness). These elements are eternal cosmic forces and are without a beginning or an end. These cosmic forces are deified in Vajrayāna as the five Dhyāni Buddhas. In the course of time they were regarded as the five primordial gods responsible for this diversified creation, [..].

Tibetan Buddhism book cover
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Tibetan Buddhism includes schools such as Nyingma, Kadampa, Kagyu and Gelug. Their primary canon of literature is divided in two broad categories: The Kangyur, which consists of Buddha’s words, and the Tengyur, which includes commentaries from various sources. Esotericism and tantra techniques (vajrayāna) are collected indepently.

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General definition (in Buddhism)

Source: Wisdom Library: Dharma-samgraha

Skandha (स्कन्ध) or Skandhamāra refers to the “components destroyer” and represents one of the “four destroyers” (māra) as defined in the Dharma-saṃgraha (section 80). The Dharma-samgraha (Dharmasangraha) is an extensive glossary of Buddhist technical terms in Sanskrit (eg., skandha). The work is attributed to Nagarguna who lived around the 2nd century A.D.

Source: Shambala Publications: General

Skandha Skt. (Pali, khanda), lit., “group, aggregate, heap”; term for the five aggregates, which constitute the entirety of what is generally known as “personality.”

They are

  1. corpo­reality or form (rupa),
  2. sensation (vedanā),
  3. perception (Skt., samjñā; Pali, sannā),
  4. mental formations (samskāra),
  5. consciousness (vijñāna).

These aggregates are frequently referred to as “aggregates of attach­ment,” since (except in the case of arhats and buddhas) craving or desire attaches itself to them and attracts them to itself; thus it makes of them objects of attachment and brings about suffering.

The characteristics of the skandhas are birth, old age, death, duration, and change. They are regarded as without essence (anātman), im­permanent (anitya), empty (shūnya), and suffering-ridden (duhkha).

In Jainism

General definition (in Jainism)

Source: Wisdom Library: Jainism

Skandha (स्कन्ध, “trunk”).—One of the ten kinds of “plant-bodies” (vanaspati) a soul (jīva) can be reborn as due to karma. Skandha and other plant-bodies are within the animal world (tiryag-gati) which is one of the four divisions of saṃsāra where souls are reborn.

Source: Atma Dharma: Principles of Jainism

Molecule; The union or bondage (bandha) of two or more than two atom is called a molecule (skandha).

How many types of molecules (skandhas) are there?

The molecules are of 23 types; such as

  • Ahar (Bodies-making)
  • Vargana,
  • Taijas (Luminous) Vargana,
  • Bhasha (Speech) Vargana,
  • Mano (Mind) Vargana,
  • Karman (Karmic Matter) Vargana, etc.
Source: Encyclopedia of Jainism: Tattvartha Sutra 5: The category of the non-living

Skandha (स्कन्ध) refers to an “aggregate” or “molecule” according to the 2nd-century Tattvārthasūtra 5.10.—What is the meaning of an aggregate (skandha)? The sub-atoms (paramāṇu) which get bonded each other are called an aggregate. How many space-points does an aggregate (skandha) have? Some aggregates are formed by two, three or four sub-atoms. Some are formed by numerable, innumerable or infinite sub-atoms. So the aggregate has different number of space point accordingly.

Skandha (“aggregate”) refers to one of the two types of matter (pudgala) according to the 2nd-century Tattvārthasūtra 5.5.—What is the meaning of aggregate /molecule (skandha)? An entity formed by combining two, three or more sub-atoms is called an aggregate. How many types of matter as aggregate are there? These are of six types namely gross-gross, gross, gross-subtle, subtle-gross, subtle and subtle-subtle.

According to Tattvārthasūtra 5.26, how is an aggregate (skandha) created? An aggregate is created by fusion, fission or fusion-fission. How many sub-atoms (paramāṇu) are needed to form an aggregate by fusion (saṃghāta)? Two or more sub-atoms are needed to form an aggregate. How does fusion (saṃghāta) and fission (bheda) together create an aggregate (skandha)? When one aggregate separates or is divided into sub aggregate and one of such divisions combine with another aggregate, then we get a new aggregate by fusion and fission.

General definition book cover
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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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India history and geogprahy

Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: Indian Epigraphical Glossary

Skandha.—(LP), an instalment; cf. skandaka. Note: skandha is defined in the “Indian epigraphical glossary” as it can be found on ancient inscriptions commonly written in Sanskrit, Prakrit or Dravidian languages.

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

Marathi-English dictionary

Source: DDSA: The Molesworth Marathi and English Dictionary

skandha (स्कंध).—m (S) The shoulder, the region from the neck to the shoulder-joint. 2 The corresponding region of quadrupeds. 3 An arm of a tree; a large bough or branch. 4 A section of a book, a book, a chapter. 5 A common term for the five branches of knowledge or objects of the understanding. See pañcaskandha. 6 A form of military array. 7 A common term for the five objects of sense,--form, taste, smell &c. See pañcaviṣaya & indriya. 8 A multitude or a quantity. 9 A sort of metre. 10 Any article essential to the coronation of a king; as a jar filled with holy water, a parasol, a chowrie &c. 11 A division of the winds. Seven are enumerated. See saptaskandha. 12 A branch (or department) of jyōtiṣa viewed as a tree. These are three; viz. gaṇitaskandha The science of number and measure, mathematics; hōrāskandha The science of astronomy and astrology; saṃhitāskandha The science of times and seasons, portents and presages--occult signs and foreshowings.

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

skandha (स्कंध).—m The shoulder. A large branch. A chapter.

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

Source: DDSA: The practical Sanskrit-English dictionary

Skandha (स्कन्ध).—[skandyate āruhyate'sau sukhena śākhayā vā karmaṇi ghañ pṛṣo°; cf. Uṇ.4.26]

1) The shoulder; महर्षभस्कन्ध- मनूनकन्धरम् (maharṣabhaskandha- manūnakandharam) Ki.14.4.

2) The body; सूक्ष्मयोनीनि भूतानि तर्कगम्यानि कानिचित् । पक्ष्मणोऽपि निपातेन येषां स्यात् स्कन्धपर्ययः (sūkṣmayonīni bhūtāni tarkagamyāni kānicit | pakṣmaṇo'pi nipātena yeṣāṃ syāt skandhaparyayaḥ) || Mb.12.15.26.

3) The trunk or stem of a tree; तीव्राघातप्रतिहततरुस्कन्धलग्नैकदन्तः (tīvrāghātapratihatataruskandhalagnaikadantaḥ) Ś.1.32; R.4.57; Me.55.

4) A branch or large bough; स्कन्धाधिरूढोज्ज्वलनीलकण्ठान् (skandhādhirūḍhojjvalanīlakaṇṭhān) Śi.4.7.

5) A department or branch of human knowledge; Śi.2.28.

6) A chapter, section, division (of a book).

7) A division or detachment of an army; द्वितीयं प्रेषयामास बलस्कन्धं युधिष्ठिरः (dvitīyaṃ preṣayāmāsa balaskandhaṃ yudhiṣṭhiraḥ) Mb.5.196. 9; R.4.3.

8) A troop, multitude, group; 'स्कन्धः स्यान्नृपतौ वंशे साम्परायसमूहयोः (skandhaḥ syānnṛpatau vaṃśe sāmparāyasamūhayoḥ)' इति मेदिनी (iti medinī); Mb.14.45.1.

9) The five objects of sense.

1) The five forms of mundane consciousness (in Buddhistic phil.); सर्वकार्यशरीरेषु मुक्त्वाङ्गस्कन्धपञ्चकम् (sarvakāryaśarīreṣu muktvāṅgaskandhapañcakam) Śi.2.28.

11) War, battle.

12) A king.

13) An agreement.

14) A road, way; Mb.3.

15) A wise or learned man.

16) A heron.

17) Articles used at the coronation of a king.

18) A part (aṃśa); तदवध्यानविस्रस्तपुण्यस्कन्धस्य भूरिदः (tadavadhyānavisrastapuṇyaskandhasya bhūridaḥ) Bhāg.11.23.1.

-ndhā 1 A branch.

2) A creeper.

Derivable forms: skandhaḥ (स्कन्धः).

Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: Shabda-Sagara Sanskrit-English Dictionary

Skandha (स्कन्ध).—m.

(-ndhaḥ) 1. The shoulder, the head of the humerus. 2. The body. 3. The trunk of a tree. 4. A king, a prince. 5. A sort of metre. 6. A multitude, a quantity. 7. War, battle. 8. Any article essential to the coronation of a king, as a jar filled with holy water, a parasol, a Chowri, &c. 9. Part of an army or a form of array. 10. Any one of five branches of human or mundane knowledge, or objects of understanding. 11. A road, a way. 12. A heron. 13. An engagement, an agreement. 14. A wise old man. 15. A learned man, a teacher. 16. Match or equality in the humps of a pair of draft oxen. 17. The five objects of sense, or form, taste, smell, &c. 18. A book, a section, a chapter. f.

(-ndhā) 1. A branch. 2. A creeper. E. ka the head, and dhā to hold, aff. ka, and suṭ initial augment.

Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: Benfey Sanskrit-English Dictionary

Skandha (स्कन्ध).—I. m. 1. The shoulder, [Pañcatantra] 144, 23. 2. The body, [Mālatīmādhava, (ed. Calc.)] 84, 17. 3. The trunk of a tree, [Pañcatantra] iii. [distich] 149. 4. A branch, [Pañcatantra] 134, 5. 5. A branch of human knowledge. 6. A book, [Bhāgavata-Purāṇa, (ed. Burnouf.)] i. ii., etc. 7. The five objects of sense. 8. The five forms of mundane consciousness, in the Bauddha philosophy, [Śiśupālavadha] 2, 26; cf. Burnouf, Introd. à l'Hist. du Buddh. 475. 9. A road. 10. Part of an army. 11. War. 12. A multitude. 13. An agreement. 14. A king. 15. A wise or learned man. 16. A heron. Ii. f. dhā. 1. A branch. 2. A creeper.

Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: Cappeller Sanskrit-English Dictionary

Skandha (स्कन्ध).—[masculine] shoulder, stem or trunk of a tree; section, chapter of a book, mass, multitude, a whole or aggregate.

Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: Aufrecht Catalogus Catalogorum

Skandha (स्कन्ध) as mentioned in Aufrecht’s Catalogus Catalogorum:—poet. Mentioned by Rājaśekhara Śp. p. 77.

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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