Sopana, aka: Sopāna; 10 Definition(s)

Introduction

Sopana 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.

In Hinduism

Vastushastra (architecture)

Sopāna (सोपान) means “staircase” and refers to the flight of steps attached to the temple and peripheral buildings (eg, maṇḍapas, tālas etc.).

There are four kinds of sopānas defined:

  1. śaṅkhamaṇḍala,
  2. vallimaṇḍala,
  3. ardhagomūtra,
  4. trikhaṇḍakara.

Technically, a flight of steps as a whole is termed sopānamāla and each step in it is called a sopāna. The first (bottom-most) step is called aśvapāda (or, candraśila) and the upper-most step is called phalaka.

Source: Wisdom Library: Vāstu-śāstra

Sopāna (सोपान) literally means a “staircase” or a flight of steps. Sopānas are provided to the temples and their annexes such as maṇḍapas, platforms, corridors, tanks, for the talas of the towers, etc,. Wherever the structure is built on an elevated plinth (adhiṣṭhāna) suitable staircases are provided to climb the plinth.

The flight of steps is called by the name sopānamāla and each step in it is called a sopāna. The first step in the ascending order is named as aśvapāda. Because this step is generally carved semi-circular or horseshoe-shaped on plan it is referred to as candraśila or aśvapāda. The upper most step of the staircase is called by the name phalaka because it is broad and flat and it is quadrangular. Sopānas were generally provided with pakṣaśila / hastihasta on their two open sides.

Sopānas are also decorated with releivo carvings. The sopānas are relieved at the top portion with blossomed lotus petals and the face of the steps is relieved with rows of scalloped lotus petals.

Source: Shodhganga: Temples of Salem region Up to 1336 AD
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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Shaivism (Shaiva philosophy)

Sopāna (सोपान) is the name of a sacred site (pīṭha) to be assigned to the left knee (jānu) during the pīṭhavidhi (‘ritual of sacred sites’) according to the Tantrāloka chapter 29. This chapter of the Tantrāloka by Abhinavagupta expounds details regarding the Kula initiation ritual. Kula or Kaula is a specific tradition within Śaivism, closely related to Siddhānta and Śaktism. In the Jñānārṇava-tantra it is also mentioned as a pīṭha and is also called Kolvagiri.

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.

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Chandas (prosody, study of Sanskrit metres)

Sopāna (सोपान) is the name of a Sanskrit metre (chandas) to which Hemacandra (1088-1173 C.E.) assigned the alternative name of Kalikā in his auto-commentary on the second chapter of the Chandonuśāsana. Sopāna also corresponds to Bhogavatī according to Bharata. Hemacandra gives these alternative names for the metres by other authorities (like Bharata), even though the number of gaṇas or letters do not differ.

Source: Shodhganga: a concise history of Sanskrit Chanda literature
Chandas book cover
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Chandas (छन्दस्) refers to Sanskrit prosody and represents one of the six Vedangas (auxiliary disciplines belonging to the study of the Vedas). The science of prosody (chandas-shastra) focusses on the study of the poetic meters such as the commonly known twenty-six metres mentioned by Pingalas.

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India history and geogprahy

Sopāna.—(SITI), steps; stairs; a sloping roof; the base of the garbha-gṛha of a temple. Note: sopāna 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

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

sopāna : (m.; nt.) stairs; a ladder.

Source: BuddhaSasana: Concise Pali-English Dictionary

Sopāna, (m. and nt.) (cp. Sk. sopāna; Aufrecht “sa+ upāyana”) stairs, staircase Vin. II, 117, 152; D. II, 178; J. I, 330, 348; IV, 265; Vism. 10; VvA. 188; PvA. 156, 275; Vv 785; dhura-sopāna the highest step of a staircase (?) J. I, 330.

—kaliṅgara flight of steps Vin. II, 128 (v. l. sopāṇakaḷevara as at M. II, 92). —panti a flight or row of steps, a ladder Vism. 392 (three). —pāda the foot of the steps (opp. °sīsa) DhA. I, 115. —phalaka a step of a staircase J. I, 330. (Page 726)

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

sōpāna (सोपान).—n (S) A flight of steps; a staircase; a ladder: also a single step of the flight or the ladder.

Source: DDSA: The Molesworth Marathi and English Dictionary

sōpāna (सोपान).—n A flight of steps; a staircase.

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

Sopāna (सोपान).—Steps, stairs, a staricase, ladder; आरोहणार्थं नवयौवनेन कामस्य सोपानमिव प्रयुक्तम् (ārohaṇārthaṃ navayauvanena kāmasya sopānamiva prayuktam) Ku.1.39.

Derivable forms: sopānam (सोपानम्).

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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Relevant definitions

Search found 35 related definition(s) that might help you understand this better. Below you will find the 15 most relevant articles:

Sopanamarga
Sopānamārga (सोपानमार्ग).—a flight of steps, a stair-case; वापी चास्मिन् मरकतशिलाबद्धसोपानमार्ग...
Sopanapankti
Sopānapaṅkti (सोपानपङ्क्ति).—f., Derivable forms: sopānapaṅktiḥ (सोपानपङ्क्तिः).Sopānapaṅkti is...
Sopanamala
Sopānamālā (सोपानमाला).—winding stairs.Sopānamālā is a Sanskrit compound consisting of the term...
Manisopana
Maṇisopāna (मणिसोपान).—a jewelled staircase. Derivable forms: maṇisopānam (मणिसोपानम्).Maṇisopā...
Sopanapatha
Sopānapatha (सोपानपथ).—f., Derivable forms: sopānapathaḥ (सोपानपथः).Sopānapatha is a Sanskrit c...
Sopanaparampara
Sopānaparaṃparā (सोपानपरंपरा).—a flight of steps, a stair-case; वापी चास्मिन् मरकतशिलाबद्धसोपान...
Sopanapaddhati
Sopānapaddhati (सोपानपद्धति).—f., Derivable forms: sopānapaddhatiḥ (सोपानपद्धतिः).Sopānapaddhat...
Kalika
Kalikā (कलिका).—(perhaps lit. a bud, i.e. a trifle, nothing of value?) Divy 499.24 kim ayaṃ kal...
Bhogavati
1) Bhogavatī (भोगवती) or Bhogadattā is the wife of Devabhūti: a Brāhman from Pañcalā, according...
Trikhandakara
Trikhaṇḍakara (त्रिखण्डकर).—A type of sopāna, or, ‘staircase’ of a temple.—Trikh...
Phalaka
Phalaka (फलक).—1 A board, plank, slab, tablet; कालः काल्या भुवनफलके क्रीडति प्राणिशारैः (kālaḥ ...
Dhura
Dhurā (धुरा).—f. (-rā) A burthen, a load. E. dhurbba to hurt, affixes ka and ṭāp .
Dharmashala
Dharmaśālā (धर्मशाला).—f. (-lā) A court of justice, a tribunal. E. dharma justice, and śālā a h...
Sisa
Sīsa (सीस).—Lead; ताम्रायः कांस्यरैत्यानां त्रपुणः सीसकस्य च । शौचं यथार्हं कर्तव्यं क्षारा- म्...
Sagga
Sagga (सग्ग).—The musician Sagga in his search for the beautiful Sussondi, who embarked at Baru...

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