Ushnisha, aka: Uṣṇīṣa; 10 Definition(s)
Ushnisha means something in Buddhism, Pali, Hinduism, Sanskrit, the history of ancient India. 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 Uṣṇīṣa can be transliterated into English as Usnisa or Ushnisha, using the IAST transliteration scheme (?).
Uṣṇīṣa (उष्णीष) refers to a type of temple (prāsāda) classified under the group named Vairāja, according to Samarāṅgaṇasūtradhāra chapter 49. The Vairāja group contains twenty-four out of a sixty-four total prāsādas (temples) classified under five prime vimānas (aerial car/palace), which were created by Brahmā for as many gods (including himself). The group represents temples (eg. Uṣṇīṣa) that are to be square shaped. The prāsādas, or ‘temples’, represent the dwelling place of God and are to be built in towns. The Samarāṅgaṇasūtradhāra is an 11th-century encyclopedia dealing with various topics from the Vāstuśāstra.
Uṣṇīṣa is also listed in the Agnipurāṇa which features a list of 45 temple types. It is listed under the group named Kailāśa, featuring circular-shaped temples. This list represents a classification of temples in Nort-India.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.
Uṣṇīṣa (उष्णीष):—The Uttara-kāmikāgama gives the following rather long and somewhat unintelligible description of the uṣṇīṣa .
Source: Google Books: Elements of Hindu iconography
“The uṣṇīṣa-bhūśaṇa should be made so as to be of three aṅgulas in height. On its four sides there must be four pūris. In the middle of the uṣṇīṣa there must be a makarakūṭa with seven holes. On each side there has to be a patrakūṭa and on the back, a ratnakūṭa. The breadth of the uṣṇīṣa must be ten aṅgulas at the top, while at the base it has to be the same as that of the face of the wearer. A crescent of the moon has, in the case of the image of Śiva, to be attached to it either on the left or on the right side, and there is to be a cobra on the left side. Five jaṭās or braids of matted hair are taken and tied into a know three inches in height ny coiling them into one or three loops, the remaining braids being bound and taken through to be left hanging on both sides”
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.
Shaivism (Shaiva philosophy)
Uṣṇīṣa (उष्णीष, “turban”) refers to one of the five kinds of external marks of an ācārya (“Śaiva preceptor”), according to Nigamajñāna (Śaiva teacher of the 16th century) in his Śaivāgamaparibhāṣāmañjarī.Source: Wisdom Library: Śaivism
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.
General definition (in Hinduism)
Uṣṇīṣa (उष्णीष)—Sanskrit term corresponding to the english “turban”.Source: Wisdom Library: Hinduism
Mahayana (major branch of Buddhism)
Uṣṇīṣa (उष्णीष, “crown”) refers to the “cranial protuberance”, from which the Buddha emitted numerous rays when he smiled with his whole body after contemplating the entire universe, according to the 2nd century Mahāprajñāpāramitāśāstra (chapter XIV).—Accordingly, having himself arranged the lion-seat, the Bhagavat sat down cross-legged; holding his body upright and fixing his attention, he entered into the samādhirājasamādhi. Then, having tranquilly come out of this samādhi and having contemplated the entire universe with his divine eye (divyacakṣus), the Bhagavat smiled with his whole body. Wheels with a thousand spokes imprinted on the soles of his feet (pādatala) shoot out six hundred prabhedakoṭi of rays. In the same way, beams of six hundred prabhedakoṭi of rays are emitted from his uṣṇīṣa.
After emission, the rays (raśmi) might return to the uṣṇīṣa (cranial protuberance), according to Mahāprajñāpāramitāśāstra (chapter XIV). According to the Avadānaśataka and Divyāvadāna, it is a custom that, at the moment when the Buddha Bhagavats show their smile, blue, yellow, red and white rays flash out of the Bhagavat’s mouth, some of which go up and some of which go down. Those that go down penetrate into the hells (naraka); those that go up penetrate to the gods from the Cāturmahārājikas up to the Akaniṣṭas. Having travelled through the trisāhasramahāsāhasralokadhātu, the rays return to the Bhagavat from behind. According as to whether the Buddha wishes to show such-and-such a thing, the rays return to him by a different part of the body.
The returning of the rays into the uṣṇīṣa of the Buddha predicts the anuttara-samyaksaṃbodhi of the Buddhas.Source: Wisdom Library: Maha Prajnaparamita Sastra
Mahayana (महायान, mahāyāna) is a major branch of Buddhism focusing on the path of a Bodhisattva (spiritual aspirants/ enlightened beings). Extant literature is vast and primarely composed in the Sanskrit language. There are many sūtras of which some of the earliest are the various Prajñāpāramitā sūtras.
General definition (in Buddhism)
Uṣṇīṣa (उष्णीष) refers to the eighth of the “ten wrathful ones” (daśakrodha) as defined in the Dharma-saṃgraha (section 11). The Dharma-samgraha (Dharmasangraha) is an extensive glossary of Buddhist technical terms in Sanskrit (eg., daśa-krodha and Uṣṇīṣa). The work is attributed to Nagarguna who lived around the 2nd century A.D.Source: Wisdom Library: Dharma-samgraha
Languages of India and abroad
Uṣṇīṣa (उष्णीष).—[uṣṇamīṣate hinasti īṣ ka Tv.]
1) Anything wound round the head. रक्तोष्णीषधराः स्त्रियः (raktoṣṇīṣadharāḥ striyaḥ) Rām. 6.8.6. उष्णीषबन्धस्थाने ललाटोपरि पट्टबन्धरेखा (uṣṇīṣabandhasthāne lalāṭopari paṭṭabandharekhā).
2) Hence, a turban, diadem, crownet; बलाकापाण्डुरोष्णीषम् (balākāpāṇḍuroṣṇīṣam) Mk.5.19. हेमासने कृतोष्णीषमभिषिच्य नृपं व्यधात् (hemāsane kṛtoṣṇīṣamabhiṣicya nṛpaṃ vyadhāt) Bm.1.678. उष्णीषेणैव शुचिना व्यभादुत्तंसधारिणा (uṣṇīṣeṇaiva śucinā vyabhāduttaṃsadhāriṇā) Śiva. B.21.29. and 22.8. °पट्ट (paṭṭa) K.16; Ratn.1.4.
3) A distinguishing mark.
4) A characteristic mark (of hair) on the head of a Buddha which indicates his future sanctity उष्णीषः स्फुट एष मूर्धनि विभात्यूर्णेयमन्तर्भुवोः (uṣṇīṣaḥ sphuṭa eṣa mūrdhani vibhātyūrṇeyamantarbhuvoḥ) Nāg.1.17.
5) The top of a building.
Derivable forms: uṣṇīṣaḥ (उष्णीषः), uṣṇīṣam (उष्णीषम्).Source: DDSA: The practical Sanskrit-English dictionary
(-ṣaḥ-ṣaṃ) 1. A turban. 2. A diadem. 3. A distinguishing cognate mark. 4. The curly hair with which a Budd'ha is born, and which indicates his future sanctity. E. uṣṇa heat, īṣ to oppose or injure, ka aff.Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: Shabda-Sagara 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 14 books and stories containing Ushnisha or Uṣṇīṣa. You can also click to the full overview containing English textual excerpts. Below are direct links for the most relevant articles:
The Indian Buddhist Iconography (by Benoytosh Bhattachacharyya)
Maha Prajnaparamita Sastra (by Gelongma Karma Migme Chödrön)
Appendix 2 - The Anavolokitamūrdhatā (invisible cranial summit) < [Chapter XXXVI - The eight recollections (anusmṛti or anussati)]
Act 7.1: The Buddha shows his ordinary body (prakṛtyātmabhāva) < [Chapter XIV - Emission of rays]
Act 1.4: The Buddha emits light rays from various body parts < [Chapter XIV - Emission of rays]
The gods of northern Buddhism (by Alice Getty)
The Tattvasangraha [with commentary] (by Ganganatha Jha)
A Dictionary Of Chinese Buddhist Terms (by William Edward Soothill)
Satapatha Brahmana (by Julius Eggeling)