Astra, aka: Ashtra, Aṣṭrā, Āṣṭra, Āstra; 8 Definition(s)


Astra 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 Aṣṭrā and Āṣṭra can be transliterated into English as Astra or Ashtra, using the IAST transliteration scheme (?).

In Hinduism

Purana and Itihasa (epic history)

Astra (अस्त्र):—They are mostly magical weapons supposed to have been used.

Source: Google Books: Cultural History from the Vāyu Purāna

Astra (अस्त्र).—After killing the demoness, Tāṭakā, Viśvāmitra reveals to Rāma and Lakṣmaṇa the secret of using a great many varieties of Divyāstras (Divyāstra is missile charged with power by holy incantation). Some of those astras are named below:

Daṇḍacakra 2. Dharmacakra

Kālacakra 4. Viṣṇucakra

Indracakra 6. Vajrāstra

Śaivaśūla 8. Aiṣīka

Brahmaśirāstra 10. Brahmāstra

Modakīśikharī 12. Dharmapāśa

Kālapāśa 14. Vāruṇāstra

Vāruṇapāśa 16. Paramāstra

Pinākāstra 18. Nārāyaṇāstra

Āgneyāstra 20. Śikharāstra

Vāyavyāstra 22. Prathanāstra

Krauñcāstra 24. Hayaśśirāstra

Kaṅkālāstra 26. Musalāstra

Kapālāstra 28. Kaṅkaṇāstra

Mānavāstra 30. Prasthāpanāstra

Praśamanāstra 32. Saurāstra

Varṣaṇāstra 34. Śoṣaṇāstra

Santāpanāstra 36. Vilāpanāstra

Madanāstra 38. Mohāstra

Saumanāstra 40. Saṃvartāstra

Satyāstra 42. Māyādharāstra

Tejaprabhāstra 44. Saumyāstra

Śiśirāstra 46. Tvāṣṭāstra

Sudāmanāstra Śrī Rāma received all these astras standing facing east. (Sarga 27, Bālakāṇḍa, Vālmīki Rāmāyaṇa)

Source: Puranic Encyclopaedia

Astra (अस्त्र).—Arranged alphabetically: Asiratnam, Āgneyam, Aindram, Aiṣīkāmam, Kampanam, Kāpalam, Kālamudgaram, Kainkaram, Krauñcam, Gāndharvam, Tāpanam, Tvāṣtram, Nandakam, Nārasimham, Nārāyaṇāstram, Pāśupatam, Paiśācam, Pramathanam, Prasthāpanam, Prasvāpanam, Brahmaśiras, Brāhmam, Bhāvanam, Bhairavam, Mathanam, Mahābalam, Māyādharam, Mohanam, Mausalam, Raudram, Vāruṇam, Vikampanam, Vāyavyam, Śātanam, Śāmanam, Śailam, Ṣośadam, Samvartanam, Sārpam, Sāvitram, Somāstram, Hayaśiras;1 used by Hiraṇyakaśipu against Narasimha; arms used in Bhaṇḍāsura war.2

  • 1) Matsya-purāṇa 150. 113, 164, 205; 151. 24, 31; 153. 83, 87, 90, 97; 162. 22-7; 179. 6.
  • 2) Brahmāṇḍa-purāṇa IV. 29. 62-74.
Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: The Purana Index
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)

Astra (अस्त्र): A missile charged with power by a holy incantation.

Source: WikiPedia: Hinduism

Languages of India and abroad

Marathi-English dictionary

astra (अस्त्र).—n (S) A weapon charmed by the recitation over it of some mystic formula: also the formula or mantra. Ex. of comp. agnyastra, vārūṇāstra, mēghāstra, sarpāstra, astravidyā, astraprayōga. 2 S A Weapon gen.

Source: DDSA: The Molesworth Marathi and English Dictionary

astra (अस्त्र).—n A charmed weapon; a weapon generally. अ. yuddha n Fighting with weapons.

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

Aṣṭrā (अष्ट्रा).—[akṣyate cālyate'nayā akṣ-karaṇe ṣṭran]

1) A prick or goad for driving cattle, whip; Rv.4.57.4,6.53.9.

2) A part of the wheel of a chariot.

-vin a. obeying the goad (as a bull); शुनमष्ट्राव्यचरत् कपर्दी (śunamaṣṭrāvyacarat kapardī) Rv.1.12.8.

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Astra (अस्त्र).—[asyate kṣipyate as ṣṭran Uṇ.4.158.]

1) A missile; a weapon in general; प्रयुक्तमप्यस्त्रमितो वृथा स्यात् (prayuktamapyastramito vṛthā syāt) R.2.34; प्रत्याहतास्त्रो गिरिशप्रभावात् (pratyāhatāstro giriśaprabhāvāt) 2.41;3.58; अशिक्षतास्त्रं पितुरेव (aśikṣatāstraṃ pitureva) R.3.31 the science of missiles. महर्षेरग्निवेशस्य सकाशमह- मच्युत । अस्त्रार्थमगमं पूर्वं धनुर्वेदचिकीर्षया (maharṣeragniveśasya sakāśamaha- macyuta | astrārthamagamaṃ pūrvaṃ dhanurvedacikīrṣayā) || Mb.1.131.4. धनुर्वेद- संहिता (dhanurveda- saṃhitā) mentions various kinds of missiles (179-82) as ब्रह्मास्त्र, ब्रह्मदण्डक, ब्रह्मशिरस, पाशुपत, वायव्य, आग्नेय, नारसिंह (brahmāstra, brahmadaṇḍaka, brahmaśirasa, pāśupata, vāyavya, āgneya, nārasiṃha) &c.

2) An arrow; sword.

3) A bow.

Derivable forms: astram (अस्त्रम्).

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Āṣṭra (आष्ट्र).—[aś-vyāptā ṣṭran Uṇ.4.159] Sky, ether, atmosphere.

-ṣṭrā A prick or goad for driving cattle.

Derivable forms: āṣṭram (आष्ट्रम्).

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Āstra (आस्त्र).—a. [astrasyedaṃ aṇ] Belonging to a missile; चतुर्थमास्त्रिकवलम् (caturthamāstrikavalam) Śukra.4.866.

See also (synonyms): āstrika.

Source: DDSA: The practical Sanskrit-English dictionary

Astra (अस्त्र).—n.

(-straṃ) 1. A weapon in general. 2. A sword. 3. A bow. 4. A missile weapon. E. asa to throw, ṣṭran Unadi aff.

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Āṣṭra (आष्ट्र).—n.

(-ṣṭraṃ) Æther, the sky or atmosphere. E. as to throw, to send, ṣṭran Unadi aff.

Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: Shabda-Sagara 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

Search found 95 related definition(s) that might help you understand this better. Below you will find the 15 most relevant articles:

Brahmāstra (ब्रह्मास्त्र).—n. (-straṃ) The Brahma'S weapon, a fabulous weapon originally from B...
Pāśupatāstra (पाशुपतास्त्र).—n. (-straṃ) Siva'S trident. E. pāśupata, and astra a weapon.
Āgneyāstra (आग्नेयास्त्र).—A powerful weapon or missile. One night Arjuna fought against a gand...
Nārāyaṇāstra (नारायणास्त्र).—n. (-straṃ) A weapon of undefined form and mystical nature. E. nār...
Mohanāstra (मोहनास्त्र).—n. (-straṃ) A weapon which fascinates the person against whom it is di...
Astramantra (अस्त्रमन्त्र) is the name of a mantra to be uttered during certain preparations of...
Astrāghāta (अस्त्राघात).—m. (-taḥ) A wound, a cut. E. astra and āghāta a blow.
Astrajīva (अस्त्रजीव).—m. (-vaḥ) A soldier, a warrior. E. astra a weapon, and jīva who lives by...
Astrasāyaka (अस्त्रसायक).—m. (-kaḥ) An iron arrow. E. astra, ṣo to destroy, vun affix; what des...
Astracikitsā (अस्त्रचिकित्सा).—f. (-tsā) Surgery. E. astra a knife, a lancet, and cikitsā heali...
Mukhāstra (मुखास्त्र).—m. (-straḥ) A crab. E. mukha the mouth, and astra a weapon.
Astrayuddha (अस्त्रयुद्ध).—m. (-ddhaḥ) Fighting with weapons. E. astra and yuddha battle.
Agnyastra (अग्न्यस्त्र).—n. (-straṃ) Fire-arms; in poetry, it is usually applied to a superhuma...
Astravidyā (अस्त्रविद्या).—f. (-dyā) The military science. E. astra and vidyā knowledge.
Astraveda (अस्त्रवेद).—n. (-daṃ) The science of arms and war. E. astra a weapon, and veda a Ved...

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