Adhvaryu: 10 definitions

Introduction

Adhvaryu means something in Hinduism, Sanskrit, Marathi. If you want to know the exact meaning, history, etymology or English translation of this term then check out the descriptions on this page. Add your comment or reference to a book if you want to contribute to this summary article.

In Hinduism

Dharmashastra (religious law)

Source: Sacred Texts: The Grihya Sutras, Part 2 (SBE30)

Adhvaryu (अध्वर्यु) refers to the priest associated with the Yajurveda, according to the Āpastamba-yajña-paribhāṣā-sūtras.—“The Hotṛ-priest performs with the Ṛg-veda. The Udgātṛ-priest with the Sāma-veda. The Adhvaryu-priest with the Yajur-veda. The Brahma-priest with all”. Commentary: “With all” means with the three Vedas, because the Brahma-priest, or superintendent of the whole sacrifice, must be acquainted with the three Vedas. Others would include the Atharva-veda”.

Dharmashastra book cover
context information

Dharmashastra (धर्मशास्त्र, dharmaśāstra) contains the instructions (shastra) regarding religious conduct of livelihood (dharma), ceremonies, jurisprudence (study of law) and more. It is categorized as smriti, an important and authoritative selection of books dealing with the Hindu lifestyle.

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Purana and Itihasa (epic history)

[«previous (A) next»] — Adhvaryu in Purana glossary
Source: archive.org: Shiva Purana - English Translation

Adhvaryu (अध्वर्यु) refers to one of the four classes of Ṛtvijas (Ṛtvik), or “priests participating in the Vedic sacrifices”, as mentioned in the Śivapurāṇa 2.2.27. Accordingly as Brahmā narrated to Nārada:—“[...] once a great sacrifice was started by Dakṣa, [...] In that sacrifice that was being performed in that holy place of Kanakhala, Bhṛgu and other sages were made Ṛtviks by him (Dakṣa). [...] There were eighty-six thousand Ṛtviks in the performance of the sacrifice and sixty-four thousand Udgātṛs. The celestial sages Nārada and others acted as Adhvaryus and Hotṛs. They too were as many. The seven sages (jointly and) severally repeated the Sāman hymns”.

Note: The priests (Ṛtvijas) participating in the Vedic sacrifices are usually four in number. They are Hotṛ, Adhvaryu, Udgātṛ and Brahman corresponding to the four Vedas—Ṛg, Yajus, Sāman and Atharvan respectively.

Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: The Purana Index

Adhvaryu (अध्वर्यु).—One of the 16 Ṛtviks for an yajña, issued from the arms of Nārāyaṇa of Paraśurāma's sacrifice, was presented with the whole of the west:1 Bhṛgu was adhvaryu at Soma's rājasūya.2

  • 1) Bhāgavata-purāṇa IX. 11. 2; 16. 21; Matsya-purāṇa 167. 7; 265. 26.
  • 2) Matsya-purāṇa 23. 20.
Purana book cover
context information

The Purana (पुराण, purāṇas) refers to Sanskrit literature preserving ancient India’s vast cultural history, including historical legends, religious ceremonies, various arts and sciences. The eighteen mahapuranas total over 400,000 shlokas (metrical couplets) and date to at least several centuries BCE.

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General definition (in Hinduism)

Source: WikiPedia: Hinduism

1) The adhvaryu is the priest's assistant and is in charge of the physical details of the ritual like measuring the ground, building the altar etc. mentioned in the Yajurveda. The adhvaryu offers three kinds of oblations, those that blaze up, those that make great noise and those that sink. The adhvaryu is supposed to contemplate on and identify with the deity of the eye - Sun or Surya.

2) The adhvaryu was in charge of the physical details of the sacrifice (in particular the adhvara, a term for the Somayajna). According to Monier-Williams, the adhvaryu "had to measure the ground, to build the altar, to prepare the sacrificial vessels, to fetch wood and water, to light the fire, to bring the animal and immolate it," among other duties. Each action was accompanied by supplicative or benedictive formulas (yajus), drawn from the yajurveda. Over time, the role of the adhvaryu grew in importance, and many verses of the ṛgveda were incorporated, either intact or adapted, into the texts of the yajurveda.

Languages of India and abroad

Marathi-English dictionary

Source: DDSA: The Molesworth Marathi and English Dictionary

adhvaryu (अध्वर्यु).—m S One of the officiating priests at a sacrifice. 2 A Brahman versed in the Yajurveda. 3 fig. A head manager; a leading man; a master of assemblies; a president or chairman.

context information

Marathi is an Indo-European language having over 70 million native speakers people in (predominantly) Maharashtra India. Marathi, like many other Indo-Aryan languages, evolved from early forms of Prakrit, which itself is a subset of Sanskrit, one of the most ancient languages of the world.

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Sanskrit-English dictionary

Source: DDSA: The practical Sanskrit-English dictionary

Adhvaryu (अध्वर्यु).—[adhvaramadhīte Nir.; adhvara-kyac-yuc tato'ntyākāralopaḥ Tv.]

1) Any officiating priest, technically distinguished from होतृ, उद्रातृ (hotṛ, udrātṛ) and ब्रह्मन् (brahman). His duty was "to measure the ground, build the altar, prepare sacrificial vessels, to fetch wood and water, to light the fire, to bring the animal and immolate it," and while doing this to repeat the Yajurveda; होता प्रथमं शंसति तमध्वर्युः प्रोत्साहयति (hotā prathamaṃ śaṃsati tamadhvaryuḥ protsāhayati) Sk. See अच्छावाक (acchāvāka) also.

2) The Yajurveda itself. -pl. Adherents of that Veda.

Derivable forms: adhvaryuḥ (अध्वर्युः).

Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: Shabda-Sagara Sanskrit-English Dictionary

Adhvaryu (अध्वर्यु) or Adhvaryyu.—m.

(-ryuḥ) A Brahman versed in the Yajurveda. E. adhvara a sacrifice, kyac and u affix, a being dropped.

Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: Benfey Sanskrit-English Dictionary

Adhvaryu (अध्वर्यु).— (i. e. adhvarya, a ved. denominat., derived from adhvara + u), m. A special priest versed in the Yajurveda, [Mānavadharmaśāstra] 3, 145.

Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: Cappeller Sanskrit-English Dictionary

Adhvaryu (अध्वर्यु).—[masculine] priest, [especially] one performing the actual work of the sacrifice.

Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: Monier-Williams Sanskrit-English Dictionary

1) Adhvaryu (अध्वर्यु):—[from a-dhvara] m. one who institutes an Adhvara any officiating priest

2) [v.s. ...] a priest of a particular class (as distinguished from the hotṛ, the udgātṛ, and the brahman classes. The Adhvaryu priests ‘had to measure the ground, to build the altar, to prepare the sacrificial vessels, to fetch wood and water, to light the fire, to bring the animal and immolate it’; whilst engaged in these duties, they had to repeat the hymns of the Yajur-veda, hence that Veda itself is also called Adhvaryu)

3) [v.s. ...] [plural] (adhvaryavas) the adherents of the Yajur-veda

4) [v.s. ...] f. (us) the wife of an Adhvaryu priest, [Pāṇini 4-1, 66 [Scholiast or Commentator]]

context information

Sanskrit, also spelled संस्कृतम् (saṃskṛtam), is an ancient language of India commonly seen as the grandmother of the Indo-European language family. Closely allied with Prakrit and Pali, Sanskrit is more exhaustive in both grammar and terms and has the most extensive collection of literature in the world, greatly surpassing its sister-languages Greek and Latin.

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