Sumukha, aka: Su-mukha; 12 Definition(s)
Sumukha means something in Buddhism, Pali, Hinduism, Sanskrit. 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.
Sumukha is one of the two dvārapālakas (of the shrine of Subrahmaṇya), the other being Sudeha. Both of these are said to be brāhmaṇas. They should be represented with one face and two or four arms. If they possess two arms only, the right hand should be held in the abhaya pose and the left hand should keep a gadā. If they have four arms, the back hands should keep in them the vajra and the śakti and the front hands as in the case of the two-armed figure. One of these should be of red complexion and the other black; they must be adorned with all ornaments and should have side-tusks. Their head must have the karaṇḍa-makuṭas. Sudeha should be to the right and Sumukha to the left of the entrance.(Source): Wisdom Library: Elements of Hindu Iconograpy
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.
Pancaratra (worship of Nārāyaṇa)
Sumukha (सुमुख):—One of the eight guardians of Vaikuṇṭha, according to the Pāñcarātra literature. These eight guardians are part of the celestial entourage of Viṣṇu.(Source): Wisdom Library: Pāñcarātra
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.
Ayurveda (science of life)
Sumukha (सुमुख) is a Sanskrit word referring to a kind of aquatic bird (“laughing gull”). The meat of this animal is part of the māṃsavarga (‘group of flesh’), which is used throughout Āyurvedic literature. The animal Sumukha is part of the sub-group named Ambucārin, refering to animals “which move on waters”. 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
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.
Sumukha (सुमुख) refers to a type of temple (prāsāda) classified, according to Samarāṅgaṇasūtradhāra chapter 57. The temple is mentioned as one of the twenty temples being a favorite of Viṣṇu. The Samarāṅgaṇasūtradhāra is an 11th-century encyclopedia dealing with various topics from the Vāstuśāstra.(Source): Wisdom Library: Vāstu-śāstra
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.
1) Sumukha (सुमुख) is the name of a gaṇa (attendant of Śiva), mentioned in the Skandapurāṇa 4.2.53. In this chapter, Śiva (Giriśa) summons his attendants (gaṇas) and ask them to venture towards the city Vārāṇasī (Kāśī) in order to find out what the yoginīs, the sun-god, Vidhi (Brahmā) were doing there.
While the gaṇas such as Sumukha were staying at Kāśī, they were desirous but unable of finding a weakness in king Divodaśa who was ruling there. Kāśī is described as a fascinating place beyond the range of Giriśa’s vision, and as a place where yoginīs become ayoginīs, after having come in contact with it. Kāśī is described as having both the power to destroy great delusion, as well as creating it.
2) Sumukha (सुमुख, “beautiful-face”) refers to one of the fifty-six vināyakas located at Kāśī (Vārāṇasī), and forms part of a sacred pilgrimage (yātrā), described in the Kāśīkhaṇḍa (Skanda-purāṇa 4.2.57). He is also known as Sumukhavināyaka, Sumukhagaṇeśa and Sumukhavighneśa. These fifty-six vināyakas are positioned at the eight cardinal points in seven concentric circles (8x7). They center around a deity named Ḍhuṇḍhirāja (or Ḍhuṇḍhi-vināyaka) positioned near the Viśvanātha temple, which lies at the heart of Kāśī, near the Gaṅges. This arrangement symbolises the interconnecting relationship of the macrocosmos, the mesocosmos and the microcosmos.
Sumukha is positioned in the South-western corner of the seventh circle of the kāśī-maṇḍala. According to Rana Singh (source), his shrine is located at “Near no. 50 (pramoda), CK 35 / 7”. Worshippers of Sumukha will benefit from his quality, which is defined as “the giver of beautiful face and relaxation”. His coordinates are: Lat. 25.18661, Lon. 83.00632 (or, 25°11'11.8"N, 83°00'22.8"E) (Google maps)
Kāśī (Vārāṇasī) is a holy city in India and represents the personified form of the universe deluded by the Māyā of Viṣṇu. It is described as a fascinating city which is beyond the range of vision of Giriśa (Śiva) having both the power to destroy great delusion, as well as creating it.
Sumukha, and the other vināyakas, are described in the Skandapurāṇa (the largest of the eighteen mahāpurāṇas). This book narrates the details and legends surrounding numerous holy pilgrimages (tīrtha-māhātmya) throughout India. It is composed of over 81,000 metrical verses with the core text dating from the before the 4th-century CE.(Source): Wisdom Library: Skanda-purāṇa
1) Sumukha (सुमुख).—A nāga, son of Kaśyapa Prajāpati by his wife Kadrū. Sumukha was the grandson of the nāga called Āryaka of the Airāvata dynasty and his mother was the daughter of Vāma. (Udyoga Parva, Chapter 103, Verse 24). For the story about the marriage of Sumukha with Guṇakeśī, daughter of Mātali see under Guṇakeśī.
2) Sumukha (सुमुख).—A King who made many presents to Yudhiṣṭhira. (Sabhā Parva, Chapter 51).
3) Sumukha (सुमुख).—A son of Garuḍa. (Udyoga Parva, Chapter 101, Verse 2).
4) Sumukha (सुमुख).—A bird in the lineage of Garuḍa. (Udyoga Parva, Chapter 101, Verse 12).(Source): archive.org: Puranic Encyclopaedia
1a) Sumukha (सुमुख).—A Kādraveya nāga.*
- * Brahmāṇḍa-purāṇa III. 7. 35.
1b) A Vānara chief.*
- * Brahmāṇḍa-purāṇa III. 7. 242.
1c) A Vighnanāyaka.*
- * Brahmāṇḍa-purāṇa IV. 27. 81; 44. 68.
1d) A son of Suhotri, the avatār of the Lord.*
- * Vāyu-purāṇa 23. 127.
1e) A Nāga.*
- * Vāyu-purāṇa 69. 71.
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.
Itihasa (narrative history)
Sumukha (सुमुख) is a name mentioned in the Mahābhārata (cf. V.101.23/V.103) and represents one of the many proper names used for people and places. Note: The Mahābhārata (mentioning Sumukha) 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
Itihasa (इतिहास, itihāsa) refers to ‘epic history’ and represents a branch of Sanskrit literature which popularly includes 1) the eighteen major Puranas, 2) the Mahabharata and 3) the Ramayana. It is a branch of Vedic Hinduism categorised as smriti literature (‘that which is remembered’) as opposed to shruti literature (‘that which is transmitted verbally’).
General definition (in Hinduism)
Sumukha (सुमुख, “beautiful face”):—One of the six sons of Garuḍa (vehicle of Viṣṇu) and his wife Unnati, according to the Purāṇas. Garuḍa represents the mantras of the Vedas which carry the Lord of Sacrifices.(Source): Wisdom Library: Hinduism
Theravada (major branch of Buddhism)
1. Sumukha. A Yakkha chief, to be invoked in time of need by followers of the Buddha. D.iii.205.
2. Sumukha. A crow, general of Supatta. See the Supatta Jataka. He is identified with Sariputta. J.ii.436.
3. Sumukha. A swan, general of a flock of swans whose king was Dhatarattha. See the Hamsa Jataka (No. 502) and Mahahamsa Jataka (No. 534). He is identified with Ananda. J.iv.430; v.382.(Source): Pali Kanon: Pali Proper Names
Theravāda is a major branch of Buddhism having the the Pali canon (tipitaka) as their canonical literature, which includes the vinaya-pitaka (monastic rules), the sutta-pitaka (Buddhist sermons) and the abhidhamma-pitaka (philosophy and psychology).
Languages of India and abroad
sumukha : (adj.) of good features.(Source): BuddhaSasana: Concise Pali-English Dictionary
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.
-khā or -khī f.)
Sumukha is a Sanskrit compound consisting of the terms su and mukha (मुख).(Source): DDSA: The practical Sanskrit-English dictionary
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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Search found 13 books and stories containing Sumukha or Su-mukha. You can also click to the full overview containing English textual excerpts. Below are direct links for the most relevant articles:
The Jataka tales [English], Volume 1-6 (by Robert Chalmers)
Jataka 502: Haṃsa-jātaka < [Volume 4]
Jataka 534: Mahāhaṃsa-jātaka < [Volume 5]
Jataka 533: Cullahaṃsa-jātaka < [Volume 5]
Manusmriti with the Commentary of Medhatithi (by Ganganatha Jha)
Trishashti Shalaka Purusha Caritra (by Helen M. Johnson)
Part 3: Origin of the Harivaṃśa < [Chapter VII - Śrī Munisuvratanāthacaritra]
Part 8: Utsarpiṇi < [Chapter XIII - Śrī Mahāvīra’s nirvāṇa]
Part 2: Story of Prasannacandra < [Chapter IX - Stories of the ploughman]
The Shiva Purana (by J. L. Shastri)
Chapter 9 - Śiva’s incarnations as Yogācāryas < [Section 7.2 - Vāyavīya-saṃhitā (2)]
Chapter 32 - Description of Creation (3): The family of Kaśyapa < [Section 5 - Umā-Saṃhitā]
Chapter 4 - The story of Ṛṣabha < [Section 3 - Śatarudra-saṃhitā]
The Nilamata Purana (by Dr. Ved Kumari)
The Markandeya Purana (by Frederick Eden Pargiter)