Definition of abhisheka in English:


Pronunciation /ʌb(h)ɪˈʃeɪkə/


South Asian
  • In India: any of various ceremonies involving a ritual washing or anointing.

    Typically with reference to ceremonial bathings such as the anointing of a king or leader (performed as part of the consecration rites), the ritual bathing of a sacred image, or, in Tantric Buddhism, the initiation of a neophyte.


Mid 19th century; earliest use found in Journal of the Asiatic Society of Bengal. From Sanskrit abhiṣeka (also with vernacular pronunciation abhiṣek) act of consecrating by sprinkling water, inauguration and anointing of a king, religious washing, ritual washing of a sacred image, verbal noun of abhiṣic- to sprinkle on, to consecrate, anoint from abhi- upon + sic- to sprinkle.