Sukshma, aka: Sūkṣma, Sūkṣmā, Shukshma, Śūkṣma; 19 Definition(s)


Sukshma 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 terms Sūkṣma and Sūkṣmā and Śūkṣma can be transliterated into English as Suksma or Sukshma or Shukshma, using the IAST transliteration scheme (?).

In Hinduism

Shilpashastra (iconography)

According to the Aṃśumadbhedāgama, Sūkṣma (2nd class Vidyeśvara) has a pacific appearance, is of blue complexion and has three eyes and four arms. He is clothed in garments embroidered with gold lace and adorned with all ornaments. The front hands of Sūkṣma are held in the varada and abhaya poses, while the back hands carry the ṭaṅka and the śūla.

Source: Wisdom Library: Elements of Hindu Iconograpy

Sukṣma (सुक्ष्म) refers to one of the forty-seven tānas (tone) used in Indian music.—The illustration of Sukṣma (as a deity) according to 15th-century Indian art is as follows.—The colour of his body is yellow. His face is similar to the face of a goat. A viṇā is in his right hand and a fruit in his left hand.

The illustrations (of, for example Sukṣma) are found scattered throughout ancient Jain manuscripts from Gujarat. The descriptions of these illustrations of this citrāvalī are based on the ślokas of Vācanācārya Gaṇi Sudhākalaśa’s Saṅgītopaniṣatsāroddhāra (14th century) and Śārṅgadeva’s Saṅgītaratnākara (13th century).

Source: Illustrations of Indian Music and Dance in Western Indian Style
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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Shaivism (Shaiva philosophy)

Sūkṣmā (सूक्ष्मा):—One of the twelve guṇas associated with Vahni, the third seat of the Svādhiṣṭhāna-chakra. According to tantric sources such as the Śrīmatottara-tantra and the Gorakṣasaṃhitā (Kādiprakaraṇa), these twelve guṇas are represented as female deities. According to the Ṣaṭsāhasrasaṃhitā however, they are explained as particular syllables. They (eg. Sūkṣmā) only seem to play an minor role with regard to the interpretation of the Devīcakra (first of five chakras, as taught in the Kubjikāmata-tantra).

Source: Wisdom Library: Ṣaṭsāhasra-saṃhitā

1) Sūkṣma (सूक्ष्म) is the Sanskrit name of a deity presiding over Mṛtakeśvara, one of the sixty-eight places hosting a svāyambhuvaliṅga, which is one of the most sacred of liṅgas according to the Śaivāgamas. The list of sixty-eight svāyambhuvaliṅgas and presiding deities (eg., Sūkṣma) is found in the commentary on the Jirṇoddhāra-daśaka by Nigamajñānadeva. The word liṅga refers to a symbol used in the worship of Śiva and is used thoughout Śaiva literature, such as the sacred Āgamas.

2) Sūkṣma (सूक्ष्म) refers to one of the “eight embodiments” (mūrtyaṣṭaka) of Śiva according to the Svacchandatantra 10.1161–1162 where they are identical with the eight vidyeśvaras (lords of knowledge). The eight embodiments are also mentioned in a copper-plate inscription found in Malhar, Chhattisgarh, written around 650 CE.

All these manifestations of Śiva (eg., Sūkṣma) appear at the borders of various divisions of the universe according to the Lākula system.

Source: Wisdom Library: Śaivism

1) Sūkṣma (सूक्ष्म) or Sūkṣmāgama refers to one of the twenty-eight Siddhāntāgama: a classification of the Śaiva division of Śaivāgamas. The Śaivāgamas represent the wisdom that has come down from lord Śiva, received by Pārvatī and accepted by Viṣṇu. The Śaivāgamas are divided into four groups viz. Śaiva, Pāśupata, Soma and Lākula. Śaiva is further divided in to Dakṣiṇa, Vāma and Siddhānta (eg., sūkṣma).

2) Sūkṣma (सूक्ष्म) is the name of a deity who was imparted with the knowledge of the Sūkṣmāgama to by Sadāśiva through parasambandha, according to the pratisaṃhitā theory of Āgama origin and relationship (sambandha). The sūkṣma-āgama, being part of the ten Śivabhedāgamas, refers to one of the twenty-eight Siddhāntāgamas: a classification of the Śaiva division of Śaivāgamas. The Śaivāgamas represent the wisdom that has come down from lord Śiva, received by Pārvatī and accepted by Viṣṇu.

Sūkṣma in turn transmitted the Sūkṣmāgama (through mahānsambandha) to Trimūrti, who then transmitted it to Hutāśana who then, through divya-sambandha, transmitted it to the Devas who, through divyādivya-sambandha, transmitted it to the Ṛṣis who finally, through adivya-sambandha, revealed the Sūkṣmāgama to human beings (Manuṣya). (also see Anantaśambhu’s commentary on the Siddhāntasārāvali of Trilocanaśivācārya)

Source: Shodhganga: Iconographical representations of Śiva

Sūkṣma (सूक्ष्म) refers to one of the ten kinds of sounds (śabda) according to the Padārthādarśā of Rāghavabhaṭṭa.

Source: The Yoga of the Mālinīvijayottaratantra
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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Ayurveda (science of life)

Sūkṣma (सूक्ष्म, “subtle”).—One of the twenty Gurvādiguṇa, or, ‘ten opposing pairs of qualities of drugs’.—Sūkṣma is the characteristic of a drug referring to the ‘subtleness’, while its opposing quality, Sthūla, refers to its ‘coarseness’. It is a Sanskrit technical term from Āyurveda (Indian medicine) and used in literature such the Caraka-saṃhitā and the Suśruta-saṃhitā.

The quality of Sūkṣma, present in drugs and herbs, increases the Vāta (bodily humour in control of motion and the nervous system) and the Pitta (bodily humour in control of digestion and metabolism). It exhibits a predominant presence of the elements Ether (ākāśa), Air (vāyu) and Fire (agni).

Source: Wisdom Library: Āyurveda and botany
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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Purana and Itihasa (epic history)

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

Sūkṣma (सूक्ष्म).—A notorious Dānava, who was born to Prajāpati Kaśyapa by his wife Danu. The King Jayadratha, was the rebirth of this Dānava. (Mahābhārata Ādi Parva, Chapter 67, Verse 18).

Source: Puranic Encyclopaedia

1a) Sūkṣma (सूक्ष्म).—A Dānava.*

  • * Brahmāṇḍa-purāṇa III. 6. 9; Vāyu-purāṇa 68. 9.

1b) A third Yogaiśvarya and Pañcabhūtāmtaka; indiriyas, manas, buddhi, and ahaṅkāra.*

  • * Vāyu-purāṇa 13. 5.

1c) Seven in number; these with the bhūta result in aiśvarya and aiśvarya results in its turn in rāga or desire while Brahmā is virāga or void of rāga the sūkṣma bhāva is Prasthūla bhāva.*

  • * Vāyu-purāṇa 12. 27-32.

2) Sūkṣmā (सूक्ष्मा).—A Śakti.*

  • * Brahmāṇḍa-purāṇa IV. 35; 97.
Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: The Purana Index

Sūkṣma (सूक्ष्म) is a name mentioned in the Mahābhārata (cf. I.59.24, I.65, I.61.19) and represents one of the many proper names used for people and places. Note: The Mahābhārata (mentioning Sūkṣma) is a Sanskrit epic poem consisting of 100,000 ślokas (metrical verses) and is over 2000 years old.

Source: JatLand: List of Mahabharata people and places
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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Pancaratra (worship of Nārāyaṇa)

Sūkṣma (सूक्ष्म) or Sūkṣmaśāli refers to one of the ten varieties of “rice” (śāli) according to verse 25.60b-61 of the Īśvarasaṃhitā which deals with the classification of the places for building the fire-pits (kuṇḍa). Śāli represents one of the seven village-corns that are fit for food-offerings. Accordingly, “Śāli (eg., sūkṣma) is important among them. Others are to be taken in its absence or that of others”.

Source: Isvara Samhita Vol 5
Pancaratra book cover
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Pancaratra (पाञ्चरात्र, pāñcarātra) represents a tradition of Hinduism where Narayana is revered and worshipped. Closeley related to Vaishnavism, the Pancaratra literature includes various Agamas and tantras incorporating many Vaishnava philosophies.

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General definition (in Hinduism)

sūkṣma = subtle; the subtle underlying principle

Source: Ashtanga Yoga: Yoga Sutrani Patanjali

In Jainism

General definition (in Jainism)

Sukshma in Jainism glossary... « previous · [S] · next »

Sūkṣma (सूक्ष्म, “subtle”) refers to one of the ten flaws (or transmigressions) requiring prāyaścitta (‘expiation’). Prāyaścitta means ‘purification’ of from the flaws or transmigressions.

Sūkṣma is a Sanskrit technical term defined according to the Tattvārthasūtra (ancient authorative Jain scripture) from the 2nd century, which contains aphorisms dealing with philosophy and the nature of reality.

Source: Wisdom Library: Jainism

Sūkṣma (सूक्ष्म).—What is meant by subtle (sūkṣma) flaw? To hide the gross flaw and tell only the subtle flaws for repentance to the preceptor due to the fear of severe punishment) is called subtle (sūkṣma) flaw.

Source: Encyclopedia of Jainism: Tattvartha Sutra 9: Influx of karmas

Sūkṣma (सूक्ष्म) refers to a “minute body” and represents one of the various kinds of Nāma, or “physique-making (karmas)”, which represents one of the eight types of Prakṛti-bandha (species bondage): one of the four kinds of bondage (bandha) according to the 2nd-century Tattvārthasūtra chapter 8. What is the meant by minute body (sūkṣma) body-making karma? The rise of which causes a body to be such that neither it causes nor is caused by any as a hindrance to others is called minute body body-making karma.

The opposite-pair of sūkṣma (minute body) is bādara (gross body).

Source: Encyclopedia of Jainism: Tattvartha Sutra 8: Bondage of karmas
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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

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

sūkṣma (सूक्ष्म).—a (S) Little, small, minute, atomic. 2 Thin, slender, delicate, slight. 3 Fine, rare, tenuous, attenuate, subtile. 4 Fine figuratively,--subtile, sharp, nice, exquisite, refined.

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sūkṣma (सूक्ष्म).—n S The subtile spirit the substratum of the expansion constituting the objective universe, the divine monad brahma. See brahma. 2 m An atom. 3 n A figure of rhetoric. Subtile or refined expression of intention or mind. See vācyālaṅkāra.

Source: DDSA: The Molesworth Marathi and English Dictionary

sūkṣma (सूक्ष्म).—a Little. Slender. Fine. Sharp.

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sūkṣma (सूक्ष्म).—n The subtle spirit-a term in Ve- danta philosophy. A figure of rhetoric. m An atom.

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

Śūkṣma (शूक्ष्म).—a. = सूक्ष्म (sūkṣma) q. v.

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Sūkṣma (सूक्ष्म).—a. [sūc-man suk ca neṭ; Uṇ.4.184]

1) Subtle, minute, atomic; जालान्तरस्थसूर्यांशौ यत् सूक्ष्मं दृश्यते रजः (jālāntarasthasūryāṃśau yat sūkṣmaṃ dṛśyate rajaḥ); मुख्य- क्रमेण प्रयोगव वनैकवाक्यता सूक्ष्मा (mukhya- krameṇa prayogava vanaikavākyatā sūkṣmā) ŚB. on MS.5.1.15.

2) Little, small; इदमुपहितसूक्ष्मग्रन्थिना स्कन्धदेशे (idamupahitasūkṣmagranthinā skandhadeśe) Ś.1.19; R.18.49.

3) Fine, thin, delicate, exquisite.

4) Nice.

5) Sharp, acute, penetrating.

6) Crafty, artful, subtle, ingenious.

7) Exact, precise, accurate, correct.

-kṣamaḥ 1 An atom.

2) The clearing-nut plant.

3) An epithet of Śiva.

-kṣmā 1 Sand.

2) Small cardamoms.

-kṣmam 1 The subtle all-pervading spirit, the Supreme Soul.

2) Minuteness.

3) One of the three kinds of power attainable by an ascetic; cf. सावद्य (sāvadya).

4) Craft, ingenuity

5) Fraud, cheating.

6) Fine thread &c.

7) Name of a figure of speech, thus defined by Mammaṭa :-कुतोऽपि लक्षितः सूक्ष्मोप्यर्थोऽन्यस्मै प्रकाश्यते । धर्मेण केनचिद्यत्र तत्सूक्ष्मं परिचक्षते (kuto'pi lakṣitaḥ sūkṣmopyartho'nyasmai prakāśyate | dharmeṇa kenacidyatra tatsūkṣmaṃ paricakṣate) || K. P.1.

8) The cavity of a tooth.

9) Marrow.

1) The Vedānta philosophy.

Source: DDSA: The practical Sanskrit-English dictionary

Śūkṣma (शूक्ष्म).—mfn.

(-kṣmaḥ-kṣmā-kṣmaṃ) Minute, small, fine, subtile. m.

(-kṣmaḥ) 1. Fraud, dishonesty. 2. Universal spirit. E. sa substituted for śa in the more correct form sūkṣma, q. v.

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Sūkṣma (सूक्ष्म).—mfn.

(-kṣmaḥ-kṣmā-kṣmaṃ) 1. Little, small. 2. Minute, atomic. 3. Fine, delicate. 4. Ingenious, subtle. 5. Sharp, acute. 6. Crafty, artful. 7. Exact, precise, accurate. 8. Deteriorated, declined. m.

(-kṣmaḥ) 1. An atom. 2. Clearing-nut plant, (Strychnos pota- torum.) n.

(-kṣmaṃ) 1. The Supreme Soul, the subtle and invisible spirit that pervades all existence. 2. Fraud, cheating. 3. Fine thread, &c. 4. A figure of rhetoric, the delicate or subtle expression of act or intention. 5. Subtlety, ingenuity, craft. 6. Minuteness. 7. One of the three kinds of power attainable by an ascetic. f.

(-kṣmā) 1. A kind of jasmine, (Jasminum auriculatum.) 2. Small cardamoms. 3. A perfume, consisting of a substance in small grains: see Elabaluka. E. sūc to inform or make known, man Unadi aff., suk ca neṭ .

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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