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By Swami Harshananda

Sometimes transliterated as: Sisnadevas, ZiZnadevas, shishnadevas

Śiśnadevas literally means ‘those who considered the phallus as their deity’.

The word Śiśnadevas occurs in the Rgveda twice.[1] Though its literal meaning refers to people who consider the śiśna[2] as deva,[3] Sāyaṇa interprets it as people who are lecherous. They were to be kept out of the cultured and decent society.


  1. Rgveda 7.21.5; 10.99.3
  2. Śiśna means phallus.
  3. Deva means deity.
  • The Concise Encyclopedia of Hinduism, Swami Harshananda, Ram Krishna Math, Bangalore