Arya, aka: Ārya, Āryā; 13 Definition(s)


Arya means something in Hinduism, Sanskrit, Jainism, Prakrit, the history of ancient India, 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


Āryā (आर्या).—One of the seven mothers who were present at the birth of Subrahmaṇya. (Śloka 13, Chapter 228, Vana Parva, Mahābhārata).

Source: Puranic Encyclopaedia

1a) Ārya (आर्य).—Opposite of Mleccha.*

  • * Vāyu-purāṇa 45. 93; 47. 49; 99. 404.

1b) Collective name of Aṅgiras' sons1 as opposed to mleccha.2 Their country was Bhāratavarṣa; side by side with mleccha in Kaliyuga.3

  • 1) Bhāgavata-purāṇa IX. 4. 2; Brahmāṇḍa-purāṇa II. 16. 24.
  • 2) Matsya-purāṇa 227. 198; 114. 20.
  • 3) Matsya-purāṇa 121. 46-51; 273. 25; 274. 37.

2) Āryā (आर्या).—Dvaipāyanī—A river visited by Balarāma.*

  • * Bhāgavata-purāṇa X. 79. 20.
Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: The Purana Index
Purana book cover
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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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Shaktism (Shakta philosophy)

1) Āryā (आर्या, “noble one”):—One of the names of Mahāsarasvatī (sattva-form of Mahādevī). Mahālakṣmī is one of the three primary forms of Devī. Not to be confused with Lakṣmī, she is a more powerful cosmic aspect (vyaṣṭi) of Devi and represents the guṇa (universal energy) named sattva. Also see the Devī Māhātmya, a Sanskrit work from the 5th century, incorporated into the Mārkaṇḍeya-Purāṇa.

2) Ārya (आर्य, “the noble-one”):—One of the names of Sarasvatī, the Hindu goddess of speech, eloquence and all forms of knowledge.

3) Ārya (आर्य) refers to one of the 53 gods to be worshipped and given pāyasa (rice boiled in milk) according to the Vāstuyāga rite in Śaktism (cf. Śāradātilaka-tantra III-V). The worship of these 53 gods happens after assigning them to one of the 64 compartment while constructing a Balimaṇḍapa. Vāstu is the name of a prodigious demon, who was killed by 53 gods (eg., Ārya).

Source: Wisdom Library: Śāktism
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Shakta (शाक्त, śākta) or Shaktism (śāktism) represents a tradition of Hinduism where the Goddess (Devi) is revered and worshipped. Shakta literature includes a range of scriptures, including various Agamas and Tantras, although its roots may be traced back to the Vedas.

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Natyashastra (theatrics and dramaturgy)

1) Āryā (आर्या) refers to a type of syllabic metre (vṛtta), according to the Nāṭyaśāstra chapter 16. There are find kinds of āryā-metres defined:

  1. Pathyā,
  2. Vipulā
  3. Capalā,
  4. Mukhacapalā,
  5. Jaghanacapalā.

2a) Ārya (आर्य, “noble one” or “sir”) refers to a specific “mode of address” (nāman) used in drama (nāṭya), according to Nāṭyaśāstra chapter 19.

Ārya is used in the following situations:

  • Addressing Brahmins (as ārya, ‘noble one’),
  • By persons inferior to Brahmins addressing ministers (as ārya, ‘sir’).
  • By women not in their youth addressing their husband (as ārya, ‘noble one’),
  • Addressing the elder brother (as ārya, ‘noble one’),

Āryā (“noble lady”) is used in the following situations:

  • Addressing Brahmin ladies, nuns (liṅgasthā) or female ascetics (vratinī),
  • Addressing a wife,
  • Addressing priests’ and merchants’ wives (in love-making).
Source: Wisdom Library: Nāṭya-śāstra
Natyashastra book cover
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Natyashastra (नाट्यशास्त्र, nāṭyaśāstra) refers to both the ancient Indian tradition (śāstra) of performing arts, (nāṭya, e.g., theatrics, drama, dance, music), as well as the name of a Sanskrit work dealing with these subjects. It also teaches the rules for composing dramatic plays (nataka) and poetic works (kavya).

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Chandas (prosody, study of Sanskrit metres)

1) Āryā (आर्या) is a type of mātrāvṛtta (quantitative verse) described in the Āryāprakaraṇa section of the second chapter of Kedārabhaṭṭa’s Vṛttaratnākara. The Vṛttaratnākara is considered as most popular work in Sanskrit prosody, because of its rich and number of commentaries. Kedārabhaṭṭa (C. 950-1050 C.E.) was a celebrated author in Sanskrit prosody.

2) Āryā (आर्या) refers to one of the 34 mātrāvṛttas (syllabo-quantitative verse) dealt with in the Vṛttamaṇimañjūṣā, whose authorship could be traced (also see the “New Catalogus Catalogorum” XXXI. p. 7).

3) Āryā (आर्या) refers to one of the thirty mātrāvṛtta (quantitative verse) mentioned in the 331st chapter of the Agnipurāṇa. The Agnipurāṇa deals with various subjects viz. literature, poetics, grammar, architecture in its 383 chapters and deals with the entire science of prosody (eg., the āryā metre) in 8 chapters (328-335) in 101 verses in total.

4) Āryā (आर्या) refers to one of the thirty-four mātrāvṛtta (quantitative verse) mentioned in the Garuḍapurāṇa. The Garuḍapurāṇa says āryā metre has eight gaṇas out of which the odds should not have ja-gaṇa. The sixth one may be ja-gaṇa or nagaṇa with laghu, and the foot should end with it (the sixth gaṇa) after the second laghu.

Source: Shodhganga: a concise history of Sanskrit Chanda literature
Chandas book cover
context information

Chandas (छन्दस्) refers to Sanskrit prosody and represents one of the six Vedangas (auxiliary disciplines belonging to the study of the Vedas). The science of prosody (chandas-shastra) focusses on the study of the poetic meters such as the commonly known twenty-six metres mentioned by Pingalas.

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General definition (in Hinduism)

Āryā meter is a meter used in Sanskrit and Prakrit verses. A verse in āryā metre is in four metrical feet called pādas. Unlike the majority of meters employed in classical Sanskrit, the āryā meter is based on the number of mātrās (morae) per pāda. A syllable containing a short vowel counts for one mātrā, and a syllable containing a long vowel or a short vowel followed by two consonants counts for two mātrās.

The basic āryā verse has 12, 18, 12 and 15 mātrās in the first, second, third, and fourth pādas respectively.

Vṛttaratnākara lists several other conditions:

  1. Odd numbered mātrā-gaṇas should not be ja-gaṇa.
  2. Sixth gaṇa should be ja-gaṇa.
Source: WikiPedia: Hinduism

In Jainism

General definition (in Jainism)

1) Ārya (आर्य) is the collective name for human beings of the most auspicious Bhogabhūmi (paradise). The bhogabhūmis refer to various regions situated within Jambūdvīpa: the first continent of the Madhya-loka (middle-word), according to the 2nd-century Tattvārthasūtra 3.10. What are the human beings of most auspicious Bhogabhūmi called? They are called Ārya. They use the wishing trees (kalpavṛkṣa) to get their food, clothing, etc. They are conceived when the life of their parents is just nine months only i.e. the parents die after giving birth to a twin (boy and a girl).

Jambūdvīpa (where live the Āryas) is in the centre of all continents and oceans; all continents and oceans are concentric circles with Jambūdvīpa in the centre. Like the navel is in the centre of the body, Jambūdvīpa is in the centre of all continents and oceans. Sumeru Mount is in the centre of Jambūdvīpa. It is also called Mount Sudarśana.

2) Ārya (आर्य, “civilized”) refers to one of the two types of human beings according to the 2nd-century Tattvārthasūtra 3.36.—The human beings who have virtues and live with virtuous people are called civilized (āryas). How many subclasses are there amongst the civilized people (ārya)? There are two subclasses of the civilized people, namely: those have attained extraordinary powers (ṛddhi) and those who are without such extraordinary powers.

Who are called civilized people who perform activities with attachment ‘sāvadhyakarma-ārya’? Those who perform the six occupations: defense (asi), professional and accounting (masi), agriculture (kṛṣi), education (vidhyā), trade (vāṇijya) and crafts (śilpa) activities and do not observe vows completely and become non observers of vows (avirati). They are called sāvadhyakarma-ārya.

Source: Encyclopedia of Jainism: Tattvartha Sutra 3: The Lower and middle worlds

Ārya (आर्य, “noble”).—In earlier ancient times, the word ārya (noble) and anārya (ignoble) were used for ethnically different groups of people. In the time of Lord Mahāvīra, these words acquired technical meaning. Ārya stood for the ethically superior people and anārya for the ethically inferior ones. In the Sutrakṛtāṅga, there is a mention of āryamārga (the path followed by the ārya (1.3.66). The word ārya-satya (noble truth) in Buddhism is well known. In the present context anārya appears to stand for one who does not believe in the discipline of ahimsā, the antidote of this is ārya who believes in such discipline.

The āryas say: “We however declare that no creature should be killed or tortured”. This is the view of the noble.

Source: HereNow4U: Acharanga Bhasyam
General definition book cover
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Jainism is an Indian religion of Dharma whose doctrine revolves around harmlessness (ahimsa) towards every living being. The two major branches (Digambara and Svetambara) of Jainism stimulate self-control (or, shramana, ‘self-reliance’) and spiritual development through a path of peace for the soul to progess to the ultimate goal.

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India history and geogprahy

Arya (“venerable”) is one of the gotras (clans) among the Kurnis (a tribe of South India). Kurni is, according to the Census Report 1901, “a corruption of kuri (sheep) and vanni (wool), the caste having been originally weavers of wool”. The gotras (viz., Arya) are described as being of the Brāhman, Kshatriya, and Vaisya sub-divisions of the caste, and of Shanmukha’s Sudra caste.

Source: Project Gutenberg: Castes and Tribes of Southern India, Volume 1

Arya.—(CII 1), same as Vaiśya. Note: arya is defined in the “Indian epigraphical glossary” as it can be found on ancient inscriptions commonly written in Sanskrit, Prakrit or Dravidian languages.

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Ārya.—cf. Tamil ayyar (EI 25), the father. Cf. bhadatasa aya-Isipālitasa, ‘of the Reverend Lord Ṛṣipālita’ (Ind. Ant., Vol. XI, p. 29). (SII 1), a [Jain] saint. Note: ārya is defined in the “Indian epigraphical glossary” as it can be found on ancient inscriptions commonly written in Sanskrit, Prakrit or Dravidian languages.

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Āryā.—cf. āī (EI 9), the mother. Note: āryā is defined in the “Indian epigraphical glossary” as it can be found on ancient inscriptions commonly written in Sanskrit, Prakrit or Dravidian languages.

Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: Indian Epigraphical Glossary
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The history of India traces the identification of countries, villages, towns and other regions of India, as well as royal dynasties, rulers, tribes, local festivities and traditions and regional languages. Ancient India enjoyed religious freedom and encourages the path of Dharma, a concept common to Buddhism, Hinduism, and Jainism.

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Languages of India and abroad

Marathi-English dictionary

1) Ārya (आर्य).—a (S) Of a good family, noble, genteel, respectable. 2 Proper, suitable, becoming.

2) āryā (आर्या).—f (S) A kind of metre: each foot is equal to four short syllables or to two long and two short. It admits of many modifications. See As. R. Vol. 10, 400. 2 A stanza of this measure.

Source: DDSA: The Molesworth Marathi and English Dictionary

1) Ārya (आर्य).—a Of a good family; noble. Proper.

2) āryā (आर्या).—f A kind of metre. A stanza of this measure.

Source: DDSA: The Aryabhusan school dictionary, Marathi-English
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

Arya (अर्य).—a. [ṛ-yat]

1) Excellent, best.

2) Respectable.

3) Attached, true, devoted.

4) Dear, kind; Rv.1. 123.1.

-ryaḥ 1 A master, lord; अर्यः प्रेम्णा नो तथा वल्लभस्य (aryaḥ premṇā no tathā vallabhasya) Śi.18.52; Śānti.1.18; तेन वह्येन हन्तासि त्वमर्यं पुरुषाशिनम् (tena vahyena hantāsi tvamaryaṃ puruṣāśinam) Bk.6.51.

2) A man of the third tribe, Vaiśya. cf. अर्यः स्वामिवैश्ययोः (aryaḥ svāmivaiśyayoḥ) P.III.1.13. cf. also... अर्यस्तु बाहुजे (aryastu bāhuje), and स्यादर्यः स्वामिवणिजोः (syādaryaḥ svāmivaṇijoḥ) Nm.

-ryā 1 A mistress.

2) A woman of the Vaiśya tribe.

-ryī 1 The wife of a Vaiśya.

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Ārya (आर्य).—a. [ṛ-ṇyat]

1) Āryan, an inhabitant of आर्यावर्त (āryāvarta), Name of the race migrated into India in Vedic times.

2) Worthy of an Ārya.

3) Worthy, venerable, respectable, honourable, noble, high; यदार्यमस्यामभिलाषि मे मनः (yadāryamasyāmabhilāṣi me manaḥ) Ś.1.22; R.2.33; so आर्यवेषः (āryaveṣaḥ) respectable dress; oft. used in theatrical language as an honorific adjective and a respectful mode of address; आर्यचाणक्यः, आर्या अरुन्धती (āryacāṇakyaḥ, āryā arundhatī) &c.; आर्य (ārya) revered or honoured Sir; आर्ये (ārye) revered or honoured lady. The following rules are laid down for the use of आर्य (ārya) in addressing persons:-(1) वाच्यौ नटीसूत्रधारावार्यनाम्ना परस्परम् (vācyau naṭīsūtradhārāvāryanāmnā parasparam) | (2) वयस्येत्युत्तमैर्वाच्यो मध्यैरार्येति चाग्रजः (vayasyetyuttamairvācyo madhyairāryeti cāgrajaḥ) | (3) (vaktavyo) अमात्य आर्येति चेतरैः (amātya āryeti cetaraiḥ) | (4) स्वेच्छया नामभिर्विप्रैर्विप्र आर्येति चेतरैः (svecchayā nāmabhirviprairvipra āryeti cetaraiḥ) | S. D.431.

4) Noble, fine, excellent.

-ryaḥ 1 Name of the Hindu and Iranian people, as distinguished from अनार्य, दस्यु (anārya, dasyu) and दास (dāsa); विजानीह्यार्यान्ये च दस्यवः (vijānīhyāryānye ca dasyavaḥ) Rv.1.51.8.

2) A man who is faithful to the religion and laws of his country; कर्तव्यमाचरन् कार्यमकर्तव्यमनाचरन् । तिष्ठति प्रकृताचारे स वा आर्य इति स्मृतः (kartavyamācaran kāryamakartavyamanācaran | tiṣṭhati prakṛtācāre sa vā ārya iti smṛtaḥ) ||

3) Name of the first three castes (as opp. to śūdra).

4) respectable or honourable man, esteemed person; वृत्तेन हि भवत्यार्यो न धनेन न विद्यया (vṛttena hi bhavatyāryo na dhanena na vidyayā) Mb.; परमार्यः परमां कृपां बभार (paramāryaḥ paramāṃ kṛpāṃ babhāra) Bu. Ch.5.6.

5) A man of noble birth.

6) A man of noble character.

7) A master, owner.

8) A preceptor; वैमानि- कार्यसमभूमा (vaimāni- kāryasamabhūmā) Viś. Guṇā.124; Mu.3.33.

9) A friend.

1) A Vaiśya.

11) A father-in-law (as in āryaputra).

12) A Buddha.

13) (With the Buddhists) A man who has thought on the four chief principles of Buddhism and lives according to them.

14) A son of Manu Sāvarṇa.

-ryā 1 Name of Pārvatī.

2) A mother-in-law.

3) A respectable woman; यत्रार्या रुदती भीता पाण्डवानिदमब्रवीत् (yatrāryā rudatī bhītā pāṇḍavānidamabravīt) Mb.3.12.87.

4) Name of a metre; राजानमुद्दिश्य आर्यामिमां पपाठ (rājānamuddiśya āryāmimāṃ papāṭha) K. °gītiḥ f. A variety of the Āryā metre, see Appendix.

5) That which comes from truth; आराद् याता तत्त्वेभ्य इति आर्या (ārād yātā tattvebhya iti āryā).

-ryam 1 Virtue, sacredness; नहि दुष्टा- त्मनामार्यमावसत्यालये चिरम् (nahi duṣṭā- tmanāmāryamāvasatyālaye ciram) Rām.3.5.12.

2) Discrimination (viveka); कोपमार्येण यो हन्ति स वीरः पुरुषोत्तमः (kopamāryeṇa yo hanti sa vīraḥ puruṣottamaḥ) Rām.4.31.6.

Source: DDSA: The practical Sanskrit-English dictionary
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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Relevant definitions

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