Ashtakshara, Aṣṭakṣāra, Aṣṭākṣarā, Aṣṭākṣara, Ashtan-akshara, Astakshara: 12 definitions


Ashtakshara 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.

The Sanskrit terms Aṣṭakṣāra and Aṣṭākṣarā and Aṣṭākṣara can be transliterated into English as Astaksara or Ashtakshara, using the IAST transliteration scheme (?).

In Hinduism

Vyakarana (Sanskrit grammar)

[«previous next»] — Ashtakshara in Vyakarana glossary
Source: Wikisource: A dictionary of Sanskrit grammar

Aṣṭākṣarā (अष्टाक्षरा).—A metre having eight syllables in a foot;cf.गायत्री सा चतुर्विंशत्यक्षरा । अष्टाक्षरास्त्रयः पादाः चत्वारो वा षडक्षराः (gāyatrī sā caturviṃśatyakṣarā | aṣṭākṣarāstrayaḥ pādāḥ catvāro vā ṣaḍakṣarāḥ) R. Pr.XVI.9.

Vyakarana book cover
context information

Vyakarana (व्याकरण, vyākaraṇa) refers to Sanskrit grammar and represents one of the six additional sciences (vedanga) to be studied along with the Vedas. Vyakarana concerns itself with the rules of Sanskrit grammar and linguistic analysis in order to establish the correct context of words and sentences.

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Ayurveda (science of life)

[«previous next»] — Ashtakshara in Ayurveda glossary

Toxicology (Study and Treatment of poison)

Source: Shodhganga: Kasyapa Samhita—Text on Visha Chikitsa

Aṣṭākṣara (अष्टाक्षर) or Aṣṭākṣaramantra is the name of a Mantra, as described in the Kāśyapa Saṃhitā: an ancient Sanskrit text from the Pāñcarātra tradition dealing with both Tantra and Viṣacikitsā—an important topic from Āyurveda which deals with the study of Toxicology (Viṣavidyā or Sarpavidyā).

Ayurveda book cover
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Āyurveda (आयुर्वेद, ayurveda) is a branch of Indian science dealing with medicine, herbalism, taxology, anatomy, surgery, alchemy and related topics. Traditional practice of Āyurveda in ancient India dates back to at least the first millenium BC. Literature is commonly written in Sanskrit using various poetic metres.

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Pancaratra (worship of Nārāyaṇa)

[«previous next»] — Ashtakshara in Pancaratra glossary
Source: Catalogue of Pancaratra Agama Texts

1) Aṣṭākṣara (अष्टाक्षर) refers to a particular method of making an image of Rāma, as discussed in the thirtieth chapter of the Agastyasaṃhitā (agastya-suīkṣṇa-saṃvāda edition), an ancient Pāñcarātra Āgama text dealing with the worship of Rāma, Sītā, Lakṣmaṇa and Hanumān.—[Cf. the chapter daśākṣaravidhi]:—[...] Three other methods—the “saptākṣara”, the “aṣṭākṣara” and the “ekākṣara”—are described : One reveals Rāma primarily as a warrior with Lakṣmaṇa, another as a warrior without Lakṣmaṇa, and the third as central figure among His male retinue and without Sītā. Other methods are alluded to, any one of which might be used for worship or meditation icons of Rāma. The way one worships any one of these ( groups of ?) images is by nyāsa, mūla-mantras (=japa), etc.—just so long as it has been “vitalized” [prāṇapratiṣṭhā] according to the rules. The mantras used for Lakṣmaṇa, Śatrughna and Hanumān are to be prepared according to the rules, also. [...]

2) Aṣṭākṣara (अष्टाक्षर) refers to a class of Mantras, according to the twenty-third chapter of the Īśvarasaṃhitā (printed edition), a Pāñcarātra work in 8200 verses and 24 chapters dealing with topics such as routines of temple worship, major and minor festivals, temple-building and initiation.—Description of the chapter [mantroddhāra-vidhi]: The sages ask Nārada to answer six questions. In this chapter his answers to the first two questions are recorded. [...] Second: what is the nature of mantras used in establishing an image? He replies that among mantras of Viṣṇu which are “vyāpaka”, there are three—namely, the aṣṭākṣara, dvādaśākṣara and ṣaḍakṣaramantras. All images may be worshipped with these mantras; some particular images, however, must have, in addition, their own appropriate, special mantras. But of all the mantras, the aṣṭākṣaramantra is best (51-61).

3) Aṣṭākṣara (अष्टाक्षर) refers to the “eight-syllable mantra”, as discussed in chapter 25 (Caryāpāda) of the Padmasaṃhitā: the most widely followed of Saṃhitā covering the entire range of concerns of Pāñcarātra doctrine and practice (i.e., the four-fold formulation of subject matter—jñāna, yoga, kriyā and caryā) consisting of roughly 9000 verses.—Description of the chapter [aṣṭākṣara-mantra-vaibhava]: This chapter answers Brahmā’s question about the eight-syllable aṣṭākṣara-mantra by outlining the meaning of each of the mantra’s three words (3-28a ), the various ways of doing japa-repetition when aspirants of different abilities wish to employ this mantra as a means to salvation (28b-98a) [...]

Source: Shodhganga: Kasyapa Samhita—Text on Visha Chikitsa (p)

Aṣṭākṣara (अष्टाक्षर) (or the Garuḍa-Aṣṭākṣara-Mantra) refers to one of the three Garuḍa-Saṃjñā-Mantras, according to the Kāśyapa Saṃhitā: an ancient Sanskrit text from the Pāñcarātra tradition dealing with both Tantra and Viṣacikitsā (Toxicology).—Kāśyapa gives the details of the Garuḍa-samjñāmantra which is composed of the words ‘vainateyāya namaḥ’ and concluding with praṇava as—oṃ vainateyāya namaḥ oṃ. The Ṛṣi of this mantra is Pulastya, metre is paṅkti; Garuḍa is the deity with ‘va’ as bīja; ‘namaḥ’ is said to be the śakti.

Pancaratra book cover
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Pancaratra (पाञ्चरात्र, pāñcarātra) represents a tradition of Hinduism where Narayana is revered and worshipped. Closeley related to Vaishnavism, the Pancaratra literature includes various Agamas and tantras incorporating many Vaishnava philosophies.

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Languages of India and abroad

Marathi-English dictionary

[«previous next»] — Ashtakshara in Marathi glossary
Source: DDSA: The Molesworth Marathi and English Dictionary

aṣṭakṣāra (अष्टक्षार).—m pl (S) The eight salts; viz. palāśa- kṣāra, snuhīkṣāra, sarjikākṣāra, apāmārgakṣāra, arkakṣāra, tilakṣāra, yavakṣāra, ṭaṅkaṇakṣāra, or popularly, paḷasācā khāra, nivaḍuṅgācā -sajī -aghāḍyācā -ruīcā -tiḷācā -javācā -ṭāṅkaṇa -khāra Ashes of Butea frondosa, ashes of Prickly pear, impure carbonate of soda, ashes of Achyranthes aspera, ashes of Gigantic swallowwort, ashes of Sesamum, ashes of Barley, and Borax.

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 dictionary

[«previous next»] — Ashtakshara in Sanskrit glossary
Source: DDSA: The practical Sanskrit-English dictionary

Aṣṭākṣara (अष्टाक्षर).—a. consisting of eight letters or parts; अष्टाक्षरं ह वा एकं गायत्र्यै पदम् (aṣṭākṣaraṃ ha vā ekaṃ gāyatryai padam) Bṛ. Up.5.14.1.

-raḥ Name of a metre.

Aṣṭākṣara is a Sanskrit compound consisting of the terms aṣṭan and akṣara (अक्षर).

Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: Aufrecht Catalogus Catalogorum

Aṣṭākṣara (अष्टाक्षर) as mentioned in Aufrecht’s Catalogus Catalogorum:—a name of Nārāyaṇa (8 letters), son of Paśupati (Śāṅkhāyanasūtrapaddhati). W. p. 28.

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

1) Aṣṭākṣara (अष्टाक्षर):—[from aṣṭa > aṣṭan] mf(ā)n. containing eight syllables, [Vājasaneyi-saṃhitā; Aitareya-brāhmaṇa; Śatapatha-brāhmaṇa]

2) [v.s. ...] m. Name of an author.

[Sanskrit to German]

Ashtakshara in German

context information

Sanskrit, also spelled संस्कृतम् (saṃskṛtam), is an ancient language of India commonly seen as the grandmother of the Indo-European language family (even English!). 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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Kannada-English dictionary

[«previous next»] — Ashtakshara in Kannada glossary
Source: Alar: Kannada-English corpus

Astākṣara (ಅಸ್ತಾಕ್ಷರ):—[noun] the omission a vowel, syllable, etc. in pronunciation; elision.

context information

Kannada is a Dravidian language (as opposed to the Indo-European language family) mainly spoken in the southwestern region of India.

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