Trishiras, Triśiras, Tri-shiras: 12 definitions


Trishiras 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.

The Sanskrit term Triśiras can be transliterated into English as Trisiras or Trishiras, using the IAST transliteration scheme (?).

In Hinduism

Purana and Itihasa (epic history)

[«previous next»] — Trishiras in Purana glossary
Source: Puranic Encyclopedia

1) Triśiras (त्रिशिरस्).—A demon who was a friend of Rāvaṇa. The Khara-Dūṣaṇa-Triśiras combination led the attack on Śrī Rāma in the forest of Daṇḍaka when Lakṣmaṇa cut off the nose and breasts of the demoness Śūrpaṇakhā. Rāma and Lakṣmaṇa killed all the three. Triśiras was a powerful fighter and Śrī Rāma’s forehead was wounded by an arrow from Triśiras. The latter came and fought in a chariot drawn by four horses. He was killed by an arrow from Rāma. (Sarga 26, Araṇya Kāṇḍa, Vālmīki Rāmāyaṇa).

2) Triśiras (त्रिशिरस्).—(VIŚVARŪPA). Once there was a celebrated Prajāpati of name Tvaṣṭā. Though he was of a pious nature interested in the welfare of Brahmins, he hated Indra. He thought of destroying Indra somehow. With that purpose in view he produced by his wife Recanā, a powerful son and named him Viśvarūpa. The boy had three heads and so he was called Triśiras (Tri=Three Śiras—head) also. He could use his three heads for three different purposes at a time. He would drink wine with one head and mutter the Veda-mantras by another head and see the world by the third.

2) Even from boyhood he disliked worldly pleasures and, abandoning even food, started to do penance. During the hot season he would sit amidst fire and during the cold season he would sit in water to do penance. He would stand with his head down and do penance. The penance of Triśiras was so severe that Indra began to get frightened. He sent celestial maidens to stop the penance but all the attempts proved futile before that great ascetic. Then Indra himself riding on Airāvata went and killed the sage by his Vajrāyudha. Indra feared whether Triśiras would come to life again and wreak vengeance on him. So he ordered a carpenter standing nearby to bring to him the three heads separated from the body. The carpenter cut off the heads from the body and as each head fell to the ground several kinds of birds were found escaping from it. From the head which used to mutter Vedic mantras rose the Kapiñjala birds; from the head used for drinking wine rose Kalapiṅga birds and from the third rose the Tittiri birds. When the birds thus rose to the air Indra was convinced that Triśiras was dead and he went away See under Viśvarūpa. (6th Skandha, Devī Bhāgavata).

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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Kavya (poetry)

[«previous next»] — Trishiras in Kavya glossary
Source: Wisdom Library: Kathāsaritsāgara

Triśiras (त्रिशिरस्) is the name of an Asura who was reborn as Siddhārtha: one of the minister of Sūryaprabha, according to the Kathāsaritsāgara, chapter 45. Accordingly, as Kaśyapa said to Maya, Sunītha and Sūryaprabha: “... and the other Asuras, who were your companions, have been born as his friends; for instance,... the Asura named Triśiras has been born as his minister named Siddhārtha”.

The story of Triśiras was narrated by the Vidyādhara king Vajraprabha to prince Naravāhanadatta in order to relate how “Sūryaprabha, being a man, obtain of old time the sovereignty over the Vidyādharas”.

The Kathāsaritsāgara (‘ocean of streams of story’), mentioning Triśiras, is a famous Sanskrit epic story revolving around prince Naravāhanadatta and his quest to become the emperor of the vidyādharas (celestial beings). The work is said to have been an adaptation of Guṇāḍhya’s Bṛhatkathā consisting of 100,000 verses, which in turn is part of a larger work containing 700,000 verses.

Kavya book cover
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Kavya (काव्य, kavya) refers to Sanskrit poetry, a popular ancient Indian tradition of literature. There have been many Sanskrit poets over the ages, hailing from ancient India and beyond. This topic includes mahakavya, or ‘epic poetry’ and natya, or ‘dramatic poetry’.

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In Buddhism

Tibetan Buddhism (Vajrayana or tantric Buddhism)

Source: Wisdom Library: Tibetan Buddhism

Triśiras (त्रिशिरस्) is the name of a Rākṣasa mentioned as attending the teachings in the 6th century Mañjuśrīmūlakalpa: one of the largest Kriyā Tantras devoted to Mañjuśrī (the Bodhisattva of wisdom) representing an encyclopedia of knowledge primarily concerned with ritualistic elements in Buddhism. The teachings in this text originate from Mañjuśrī and were taught to and by Buddha Śākyamuni in the presence of a large audience (including Triśiras).

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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Languages of India and abroad

Sanskrit dictionary

[«previous next»] — Trishiras in Sanskrit glossary
Source: DDSA: The practical Sanskrit-English dictionary

Triśiras (त्रिशिरस्).—m.

1) Name of a demon killed by Rāma.

2) an epithet of Kubera.

3) fever. त्रिशिरस्ते प्रसन्नोऽस्मि व्येतु ते मज्ज्वराद्भयम् (triśiraste prasanno'smi vyetu te majjvarādbhayam) Bhāgavata 1.63.29.

Triśiras is a Sanskrit compound consisting of the terms tri and śiras (शिरस्).

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

Triśiras (त्रिशिरस्).—mfn.

(-rāḥ-rāḥ-raḥ) Three-headed. m.

(-rāḥ) A name of Kuvera. 2. Fever personified as a demon with three heads: see tripāda. 3. A son of Ravana. E. tra three, and śiras a head.

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

Triśiras (त्रिशिरस्).—I. adj. having three heads, Mahābhārata 5, 229. Ii. m. the name of an Asura and a Rākṣasa, ib. 9, 1755; [Rāmāyaṇa] 3, 29, 32.

Triśiras is a Sanskrit compound consisting of the terms tri and śiras (शिरस्).

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

Triśiras (त्रिशिरस्).—[adjective] three-headed or three-pointed; a man’s name.

Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: Monier-Williams Sanskrit-English Dictionary

1) Triśiras (त्रिशिरस्):—[=tri-śiras] [from tri] mfn. three-headed (Tvāṣṭra, author of [Ṛg-veda x, 8.]), [Tāṇḍya-brāhmaṇa xvii; Bṛhad-devatā; Kauṣītaki-upaniṣad; Mahābhārata; Kāmandakīya-nītisāra]

2) [v.s. ...] (Jvara), [Bhāgavata-purāṇa x, 63, 22]

3) [v.s. ...] three-pointed, [Mahābhārata xiii; Rāmāyaṇa iv]

4) [v.s. ...] m. Name of an Asura killed by Viṣṇu, [Mahābhārata ix, 1755]

5) [v.s. ...] of a Rākṣasa killed by Rāma, [Rāmāyaṇa; Raghuvaṃśa]

6) [v.s. ...] (ra), [Bhāgavata-purāṇa ix, 10, 9]

7) [v.s. ...] n. (with rakṣas) idem, [Rāmāyaṇa i, 1, 45]

8) [v.s. ...] a Rakṣas, [cf. Lexicographers, esp. such as amarasiṃha, halāyudha, hemacandra, etc.]

9) [v.s. ...] Kubera, [cf. Lexicographers, esp. such as amarasiṃha, halāyudha, hemacandra, etc.]

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

Triśiras (त्रिशिरस्):—[tri-śiras] (rāḥ) 1. m. Kuvera; fever personified; son of Rāvana. a. Three-headed.

Source: DDSA: Paia-sadda-mahannavo; a comprehensive Prakrit Hindi dictionary (S)

Triśiras (त्रिशिरस्) in the Sanskrit language is related to the Prakrit word: Tisira.

[Sanskrit to German]

Trishiras in German

context information

Sanskrit, also spelled संस्कृतम् (saṃskṛtam), is an ancient language of India commonly seen as the grandmother of the Indo-European language family (even English!). 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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