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Word: सुर

Transliteration: sura

Stem form: sura

Grammatical analysis: masculine noun

The word ‘sura’ is a very significant word in Sanskrit. While it has many meanings, the most common one is ‘demigod’[1][2]. Different derivations and usage can shed light on the nature, activities and uniqueness of demigods.

Root Etymological derivation[3] Meaning in Sanskrit Meaning in English Grammatical Derivation[4]
सुर ऐश्वर्ये सुरन्तीति सुराः ऐश्वर्यशालिनः Those who possess great riches
राजृ दीप्तौ सुष्ठु राजन्त इति सुराः उत्तमप्रकाशयुक्ताः Those who shine forth in a nice manner
रा आदाने भक्त्या दत्तं हविरादिकं सुष्टु रांति गृह्णंतीति वा सुराः हविर्भागगृहीतारः Those who partake of the oblations given with devotion by the people
रै शब्दे समुद्रमथनोद्भवा सुरा येषामस्तीति वा सुराः अमृतवन्तः Those who consumed the nectar arising out of the churning of the milky ocean
रा दाने सुष्टु वांछितं फलं रांति ददतीति वा सुराः वांछितफलप्रदातारः Those who, on being worshipped wholeheartedly, bestow the requested fruits to their devotees Prefix: सु

Root: रा

Suffix: कः[5]


  • In the sense of ‘Demigod’ चुकोप तस्मै स भृशं सुरश्रियः प्रसह्य केशव्यपरोपणादिव । (Translation to be given after referring to the original work and studying the context and other criteria.)[6]
  • In the sense of ‘Scholar’ लक्षणानि सुरास्तोमा निरुक्तं सुरपङ्क्तयः (Translation to be given after referring to the original work and studying the context and other criteria.)[7]

Notes & Citations

  1. Shabdakalpadrumah
  2. Amara lexicon
  3. Only two etymological derivations are provided in the SK. The other etymological derivations are taken from other such works like Vachaspatyam [KKM] Which other works were used?
  4. Grammatcial Derivation is given only for one meaning of the word as a sample. The same can be given for all meanings of the word.
  5. Grammatical Derivation: सु + रा + कः : According to the rule of Panini viz., इगुपधज्ञाप्रीकिरः कः the said suffix is applied. Further the ककार of the suffix elides. Later, the आ of the root रा also elides and the nominal stem सुरis formed.
  6. रघुवंशः ३ - ५६
  7. महाभारतम् १३-८५-९१