Adhyatma Chintane – Issue #12: The Meaning of the Word “Shikandi”


Today, let us learn the meaning of the word “Shikandi.”

Usually this term is thoroughly misunderstood and consequently is often used in wrong instances. It just means “a brave warrior who has tied his hair in the form of a jate/shika” (locks or plait). He was the person who was responsible for Bheeshmacharya’s death.

Feel free to offer your suggestion or correct any mistake in the comments section.

Naham Kartha Harih Kartha


For newcomers, Adhyatma Chintane is a weekly column by my school friend R, where he discusses all things spiritual, in readily understandable tidbits. The purpose is to spread awareness about our culture and tradition, which is increasingly becoming a distant memory. A new issue will be delivered to your inbox/feed reader every Monday morning.

For previous issues, hit the search box.

12 thoughts on “Adhyatma Chintane – Issue #12: The Meaning of the Word “Shikandi”

  1. in a way it does. The meaning of shikandi is misunderstood and is used in all wrong terms. Its a very sacred word which even appears in viShNusahasranama. ppl should get the right meaning and use the word appropriately. samskR^ita (the language) is our culture

  2. i had thought adhyatma chinthana needs prior knowledge of mahabharata. but looks like it needs to be backed up with lot others like vishnusahasranama etc.
    i was just wondering isnt there any other way to bring awareness about our culture without much complexities?
    Just a thought

  3. thanks, will try and incorporate your suggestions. offlate their were many learnings from Mahabharaatha but if you see the previous issues you can find other things as well.
    even Vinay wanted more things on culture, but not finding time for that :(

  4. Well The whole idea behind spreadin awareness about culture is great. But how many of the visitors do u think wud be interested in mahabharata,veda,purana etc?
    countin on that,cant say that they were not willin to know about our culture. my suggestion is,if u want your effort to be witnessed by many,know what ‘many’ like reading. Just a thought again :)

  5. Let me add, Vishnusaharanama is a part of Mahabharata. The Author Veda vyasa has himself said Vishnusahasranama is the quintessence of Mahabharata and of course “Shikandi” is one of the names of Vishnu.



  6. Could you please differentiate meanings of 1.Shikhi, 2.Shikhadi, 3.Jatil, 4.Jati, 5.Maundii, 6.Kiritiman, 7.Panchanan, PanchShikh, 8.PanchaChirak, 9.Shekhar, 10.Maunji, 11.Brahmachari, 12.Snaatak, 13.Gautam.


  7. part of s’iva sahasranAma – also part of mahAbhArat – bhIshma to yudhisTar

    panc s’ikhi = 5 s’ikhi = one each for 5 mukh of s’iva
    pancAnan = 5 Anan = 5 face (as in gaja Anan for vinAyaka or caturAnan for brahma)
    jaThi = one with jaTha (locks of hair) ; s’iva is known as jaTha dhara
    munDi = one with clean shaven head – s’iva is also known (rarely seen in modern day picturization) for his clean shaven

    s’Ekhar = wearing on head, is typically some s’Ekhar (as in chandra s’Ekhar, rAja s’Ekhar – here the rAja part is nakshatra rAja which is again chandra) –

    etymology of these sanskRta words is very interesting – with a little inquiry you can connect them all

    vAlmiki’s rAmAyaNa or kRshNa’s mahAbhArata are easily understood if we start paying attention to these subtleties at least at the story level ;-).

  8. These ancient textual names have deeper meanings than they literally mean. The particular character in Mahabharat was named ShikhanDini since her birth as girl-child and not after she fought with Bhishma. Later, when she was transformed as a boy, the name was changed as Shaikhandi. The word, I presume, means the split character of male/female personality change due to harmonic disorder.
    As a girl-child do do not undergo hair-cutting, I presume the word has no relation with hair-do.
    plz. comment.

Leave a Reply