Bhasha, aka: Bhāsā, Bhāṣā, Bhāsa, Bhasa, Bhaṣa; 12 Definition(s)


Bhasha means something in Buddhism, Pali, 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 Bhāṣā and Bhaṣa can be transliterated into English as Bhasa or Bhasha, using the IAST transliteration scheme (?).

In Hinduism

Ayurveda (science of life)

Bhāsa (भास) is a Sanskrit word referring to the animal “beared vulture”. The meat of this animal is part of the māṃsavarga (‘group of flesh’), which is used throughout Āyurvedic literature. The animal Bhāsa is part of the sub-group named prasaha, refering to animals “who take their food by snatching”. It was classified by Caraka in his Carakasaṃhitā sūtrasthāna (chapter 27), a classical Āyurvedic work. Caraka defined such groups (vargas) based on the dietic properties of the substance.

(Source): Wisdom Library: Āyurveda and botany

Bhāsa (भास)—Sanskrit word for a bird corresponding to “lammergeier” (the bearded vulture, or, Gypaetus barbatus). This animal is from the group called Prasaha (‘carnivorous birds’). Prasaha itself is a sub-group of the group of animals known as Jāṅghala (living in high ground and in a jungle).

(Source): Sushruta samhita, Volume I
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.


1a) Bhāsa (भास).—A Vānara chief.*

  • * Brahmāṇḍa-purāṇa III. 7. 242.

1b) Sons of Bhāsī and Garuḍa;1 kites of Tāmrā line.2

  • 1) Brahmāṇḍa-purāṇa III. 7. 455.
  • 2) Viṣṇu-purāṇa I. 21. 16.
(Source): Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: The Purana Index
Purāṇa book cover
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The Purāṇas (पुराण, purana) refers to Sanskrit literature preserving ancient India’s vast cultural history, including historical legends, religious ceremonies, various arts and sciences. The eighteen mahāpurāṇas total over 400,000 ślokas (metrical couplets) and date to at least several centuries BCE.

Nāṭyaśāstra (theatrics and dramaturgy)

Bhāṣā (भाषा, “language”).—There are four types of languages occuring in dramatic plays (nāṭya), according to Nāṭyaśāstra chapter 18.

They are as follows:

  1. atibhāṣā (the Super-human Language),
  2. āryabhāṣā (the Noble Language),
  3. jātibhāṣā (the Common Language),
  4. yonyantarībhāṣā (the Language of Other Animals).

Bhāṣā can also refer to “major dialects” of language, of which there are seven defined:

  1. Māgadhī,
  2. Āvantī (Avantijā),
  3. Prācyā,
  4. Śaurasenī (Śūrasenī),
  5. Ardhamāgadhī,
  6. Bāhlīkā,
  7. Dākśinātyā

The minor dialects of language are known as Vibhāṣā.

(Source): Wisdom Library: Nāṭya-śāstra

Bhāṣā (भाषा).—There are four kinds of bhāṣā defined according to Mataṅga in his 9th century Bṛhaddeśī:

  1. mūla,
  2. saṅkīrṇa,
  3. deśaja,
  4. chāyā-āśraya.

These are established in grāma-rāgas. Mataṅga says that the grāmarāgas are derived from the 2 grāmas, and from the grāmarāgas are derived bhāṣās. From these vibhāṣās originate, and from them, antarabhāṣās.

(Source): The Ragas Of Karnatic Music
Nāṭyaśāstra book cover
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Nāṭyaśāstra (नाट्यशास्त्र, natya-shastra) refers to both the ancient Indian tradition of performing arts, (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 (nāṭya) and poetic works (kāvya).

Kathā (narrative stories)

Bhāsa (भास).—The Trivedrum plays appear to he the composition of a later poet. They were ascribed to Bhāsa. Kālidāsa in the prologue to Mālavikāgnimitra mentions, “How can there he a great regard for the work of a contemporary poet, leaving aside the composition of Bhāsa, Kaviputra, Saumillaka and others of established fame?”.

(Source): Shodhganga: A critical appreciation of soddhalas udayasundarikatha
Kathā book cover
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Kathās (कथा) are special kind of Sanskrit literature: they are a kind of a mix between Itihāsa (historical legends) and Mahākāvya (epic poetry). Some Kathās reflect socio-political instructions for the King while others remind the reader of the historical deeds of the Gods, sages and heroes.

Vyākaraṇa (Sanskrit grammar)

Bhāṣā (भाषा).—Spoken language as opposed to the archaic Vedic Language; cf. भाषायां सदवसश्रुवः (bhāṣāyāṃ sadavasaśruvaḥ);P.III2.108;प्रत्यये भाषायां नित्यम् (pratyaye bhāṣāyāṃ nityam) . P. VIII. 4, 45 Vārt. 1 ; cf. also R. T. 96, 212; cf also नेति प्रतिषेधार्थीयो भाषायाम् । उभयमन्वध्यायम् (neti pratiṣedhārthīyo bhāṣāyām | ubhayamanvadhyāyam) Nir. I.4.

(Source): Wikisource: A dictionary of Sanskrit grammar
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Vyākaraṇa (व्याकरण, vyakarana) refers to Sanskrit grammar and represents one of the six additional sciences (vedāṅga) to be studied along with the Vedas. Vyākaraṇa concerns itself with the rules of Sanskrit grammar and linguistic analysis in order to establish the correct context of words and sentences.

In Buddhism


bhāsā : (f.) language; dialect.

(Source): BuddhaSasana: Concise Pali-English Dictionary

Bhāsā, (f.) (cp. Epic Sk. bhāṣā) speech, language, esp. vernacular, dialect J. IV, 279 (manussa° human speech), 392 (caṇḍāla°); KhA 101 (saka-saka°-anurūpa); SnA 397 (Milakkha°); DA. I, 176 (Kirātā-Yavanâdi-Millakkhānaṃ bhāsā); MA. I, 1 (Sīhaḷa°); VbhA. 388 (18 dialects, of which 5 are mentioned; besides the Māgadhabhāsā). (Page 503)

— or —

Bhāsa, (cp. Epic Sk. bhāsa) —sakuṇa a bird of prey, a vulture (Abhp. 645, 1049); as one of the lucky omens enumd (under the so-called maṅgala-kathā) at KhA 118 (with v. l. SS. cāta° & vāca°, BB cāba°)=Nd1 87 (on Sn. 790) (T. reads vāta°; v. l. SS vāpa°, BB chapa°). (Page 503)

(Source): Sutta: The Pali Text Society's Pali-English Dictionary
Pali book cover
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Pali is the language of the Tipiṭaka, which is the sacred canon of Theravāda Buddhism and contains much of the Buddha’s speech. Closeley related to Sanskrit, both languages are used interchangeably between religions.

Languages of India and abroad

Marathi-English dictionary

bhāṣa (भाष).—f (bhāṣā S) A promise or an assurance. v . 2 A mutual assurance; a compact or co-agreement. v . bhāṣa satya karaṇēṃ To redeem or make good one's promise.

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bhāṣā (भाषा).—f (S) A speech, language, tongue, dialect.

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bhāsa (भास).—m (S) Impression made on the mind; perception; fancy or view of as actual or probable. Ex. bāhēra kōṇhī ālā asā malā bhāsa jhālā. 2 Semblance, seeming, likeness, appearance. Ex. śarīrānta jvarācā bhāsa hōtō or disatō. 3 Likelihood or verisimilitude. 4 f Manner, fashion, style.

(Source): DDSA: The Molesworth Marathi and English Dictionary

bhāṣa (भाष).—f A promise. A mutual assurance. A compact,

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bhāṣā (भाषा).—f A speech, language. Promise.

--- OR ---

bhāsa (भास).—m Perception; semblance; likeli- hood. f Style.

(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.

Sanskrit-English dictionary

Bhaṣa (भष).—A dog.

Derivable forms: bhaṣaḥ (भषः).

See also (synonyms): bhaṣaka.

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Bhasa (भस).—a. Shining; तनुवारभसो भास्वान् (tanuvārabhaso bhāsvān) Ki.15.23.

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Bhāṣā (भाषा).—[bhāṣ-a]

1) Speech, talk; as in चारुभाषः (cārubhāṣaḥ).

2) Language, tongue; सत्या न भाषा भवति यद्यपि स्यात् प्रतिष्ठिता (satyā na bhāṣā bhavati yadyapi syāt pratiṣṭhitā) Ms.8.164.

3) A common or vernacular dialect; (a) the spoken Sanskṛt language (opp. chandas or veda); विभाषा भाषायाम् (vibhāṣā bhāṣāyām) P.VI.1.181; (b) any Prākṛta dialect (opp. saṃskṛta); भाषाश्च विविधा नृणाम् (bhāṣāśca vividhā nṛṇām) Ms.9.332; see प्राकृत (prākṛta).

4) Definition, description; स्थितप्रज्ञस्य का भाषा (sthitaprajñasya kā bhāṣā) Bg.2.54.

5) An epithet of Sarasvatī, the goddess of speech.

6) (In law) The first of the four stages of a law-suit; the plaint, charge or accusation; यदावेदयते राज्ञे तद्भाषेत्यभि- धीयते (yadāvedayate rājñe tadbhāṣetyabhi- dhīyate) Y.

7) (In music) Name of a Rāgiṇī.

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Bhāsa (भास).—[bhās-bhāve ghañ]

1) Brightness, light, lustre.

2) Fancy.

3) A cock; Mb.12.36.23; Bhāg.8.1.1.

4) A vulture.

5) A cow-shed (goṣṭha).

6) Name of a poet; भासो हासः कविकुलगुरुः कालिदासो विलासः (bhāso hāsaḥ kavikulaguruḥ kālidāso vilāsaḥ) P.R.1.22; M.1.

7) A kind of bird; कृत्रिमं भासमारोप्य वृक्षाग्रे शिल्पिभिः कृतम् (kṛtrimaṃ bhāsamāropya vṛkṣāgre śilpibhiḥ kṛtam) Mb.1.132.68 (com. bhāsaṃ nīlapakṣaṃ pakṣiṇaṃ śakuntamityanye gṛdhramityapare).

Derivable forms: bhāsaḥ (भासः).

(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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