Talk:Sabhāpati, Sabhāpati

From Hindupedia, the Hindu Encyclopedia

By Swami Harshananda

sabhāpati, Sabhāpati (‘president of a meeting’)

In the olden days, the word sabhā was used to indicate a big hall reserved for gambling. The sabhāpati was an officer appointed by the king to see that gambling was done as per the rules and collected fees or taxes from them.

If the word sabhā refers to an assembly of elders and wise persons (vidvatsabhā), then the sabhāpati was the one who presided over such an assembly.

Sabhāpati is also one of the epithets of Lord Śiva. Siva is a great master of all the 108 modes of dance. In fact, he is their creator. He is said to dance every evening in order to relieve the sufferings of creatures and entertain the gods who

gather in Kailāsa (his abode) in full strength. Hence he is called Sabhāpati (lord of the congregation).

Iconographically speaking, the image of Sabhāpati is the same as that of Naṭarāja, except that he is balancing himself on the left-leg and the poses of the two lower arms are reversed.


References

  • The Concise Encyclopedia of Hinduism, Swami Harshananda, Ram Krishna Math, Bangalore

OLD CONTENT

sabhāpati, Sabhāpati (‘president of a meeting’) In the olden days, the word sabhā was used to indicate a big hall reserved for gambling. The sabhāpati was an officer appointed by the king to see that gambling was done as per the rules and collected fees or taxes from them. If the word sabhā refers to an assembly of elders and wise persons (vidvatsabhā), then the sabhāpati was the one who presided over such an assembly. Sabhāpati is also one of the epithets of Lord Śiva. Śiva is a great master of all the 108 modes of dance. In fact, he is their creator. He is said to dance every evening in order to relieve the sufferings of creatures and entertain the gods who gather in Kailāsa (his abode) in full strength. Hence he is called Sabhāpati (lord of the congregation). Iconographically speaking, the image of Sabhāpati is the same as that of Naṭarāja, except that he is balancing himself on the left-leg and the poses of the two lower arms are reversed.