Devi, aka: Devī; 16 Definition(s)


Devi means something in Buddhism, Pali, 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

Shaktism (Shakta philosophy)

From the Purāṇic point of view, Devī is the sister of Viṣṇu (Harisahodarī) and the wife of Śiva (Kapāliprāṇanāyikā) and the mother of Gaṇeśa and Subrahmaṇya. Thus she is the centre of the supreme group of deities.

From the point of view of religious sādhana, the Devī who is the giver of the intuitive knowledge of God (Śivajñānapradāyinī) is herself the supreme Sādhana as shown in the Kenopaniṣad.

Source: Google Books: Auspicious Wisdom: The Texts and Traditions of Srividya Sakta Tantrism in South India
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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) Devī (देवी, “lady”) refers to a specific “mode of address” (nāman) used in drama (nāṭya), according to Nāṭyaśāstra chapter 19. Devī is used by servants and attendants addressing the king’s wives. Similair terms to be used in the same situation would be Bhaṭṭini and Svāmini.

2) Devī (देवी, “queen”) refers to one of the classes of “women” (strī) who have dealings with the king, according to the Nāṭyaśāstra chapter 34. Accordingly, “those wives of the king who have all these qualities except that they are denied proper consecration, and who are proud and of royal descent, are eager for enjoying affection, are pure and always brilliantly dressed, jealous of their rivals, and maddened on account of their young age and many other qualities, are called queens (devī)”.

Source: Wisdom Library: Nāṭya-śāstra

Devi has three lines on her throat representing gati, gamaka and gītam, the three grāmas of music, and from her throat emanate different types of sweet rāgas. Devi being a beautiful woman has this sign of beauty on her neck, and it represents her chastity since she has a maṅgalyasūtra of three threads by birth and by Sāmudrikaśāstra she is the pūrṇa-strī.

Source: Google Books: Music Therapy
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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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Ayurveda (science of life)

Devī (देवी) is another name (synonym) for Pāṭhā, which is a Sanskrit name for the plant Cissampelos pareira (velvetleaf). This synonym was identified by Narahari in his 13th-century Rājanighaṇṭu (verses 6.119-121), which is an Āyurvedic medicinal thesaurus.

Source: Wisdom Library: Āyurveda and botany

1) Devī (देवी) is another name for Mūrvā, a medicinal plant identified with Marsdenia tenacissima from the Asclepiadoideae or “milkweed family” of flowering plants, according to verse 3.19-21 of the 13th-century Raj Nighantu or Rājanighaṇṭu. The third chapter (guḍūcyādi-varga) of this book contains climbers and creepers (vīrudh). Together with the names Devī and Mūrvā, there are a total of twenty-eight Sanskrit synonyms identified for this plant.

2) Devī (देवी) is also mentioned as a synonym for Liṅginī, an unidentified medicinal plant, according to verse 3.45-47.

3) Devī (देवी) is also mentioned as a synonym for Vandhyākarkoṭakī, a medicinal plant identified with Momordica dioica (spiny gourd) from the Cucurbitaceae or “gourd family” of flowering plants, according to verse 3.61-63.

4) Devī (देवी) is also mentioned as a synonym for Śāliparṇī, a medicinal plant identified with Desmodium gangeticum (sal leaved desmodium), from the Fabaceae or “legume” family of flowering plants, according to verse 4.17-20. The fourth chapter (śatāhvādi-varga) of this book enumerates eighty varieties of small plants (pṛthu-kṣupa).

Source: WorldCat: Rāj nighaṇṭu
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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Purana and Itihasa (epic history)

Devī (देवी).—(Mahāmāyā). Though Devī is without a beginning it is told how she became first visible to living beings. Beginning: While Mahāviṣṇu was resting on a fig leaf in the assumed form of a child he began thinking as to who he was, who created him and how he should act. And then a celestial voice announced as follows: (See full article at Story of Devī from the Puranic encyclopaedia by Vettam Mani)

Source: Puranic Encyclopaedia

1a) Devī (देवी).—The first charioteer; a Śakti.*

  • * Brahmāṇḍa-purāṇa IV. 6. 17; 20. 91.

1b) The image of.*

  • * Matsya-purāṇa 258. 75; 266, 42.

1c) An Apsaras.*

  • * Vāyu-purāṇa 69. 6.
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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In Buddhism

Theravada (major branch of Buddhism)

Mother of Mahinda and Sanghamitta and wife of Asoka.

She was the daughter of Deva of Vedisagiri.

Asoka met and married her while on his way to Ujjeni, there to become Viceroy.

When he became king, Devi continued to live at Vedisagiri (Mhv.xiii.6ff;; Sp.i.70).

She is sometimes called Vedisa devi (MT.324).

Source: Pali Kanon: Pali Proper Names

F Female counterpart of deva (see this world).

Source: Dhamma Dana: Pali English Glossary
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Theravāda is a major branch of Buddhism having the the Pali canon (tipitaka) as their canonical literature, which includes the vinaya-pitaka (monastic rules), the sutta-pitaka (Buddhist sermons) and the abhidhamma-pitaka (philosophy and psychology).

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In Jainism

General definition (in Jainism)

Devī (देवी) is the mother of Aranātha according to Śvetāmbara (but she is named Mitrā according to Digambara), according to the Ācāradinakara (14th century work on Jain conduct written by Vardhamāna Sūri). Aranātha is the eighteenth of twenty-four Tīrthaṅkaras in Janism. A Tīrthaṅkara is an enlightened being who has conquered saṃsāra (cycle of birth and death), leaving behind him a path for others to follow.

The husband of Devī is Sudarśana. It is an ancient Jain practice to worship the Tīrthaṅkara’s parents in various rites, such as the pratiṣṭhāvidhi.

Source: Wisdom Library: Jainism
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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

Devī.—(IE 8-2; CII 1, 3; LL), a title originally of wives of independent monarchs and later also of feudatory rulers; often used as a termination of the names of wives of rulers of all classes; cf. Mahādevī; also means the Mother-goddess. Note: devī 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
India history book cover
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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

Pali-English dictionary

devī : (f.) a goddess; a queen.

Source: BuddhaSasana: Concise Pali-English Dictionary
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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.

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Marathi-English dictionary

dēvī (देवी).—f (S) A goddess, the wife of any divine being; but used esp. of Durga or wife of Shiva. 2 pl The small pox;--it being considered as a visitation of Durga. Ex. dēvī ālyā-kāḍhalyā-kānapa- lyā-sukalya. dēvī kāḍhaṇēṃ To inoculate for the small pox. dēvī jāgaviṇēṃ To hold a wake before dēvī. A portion of a dēvīcēṃ vrata. (Amongst women.) Pr. dēvī raḍē hagatāṃ prasanna hōyagē bhaktāṃ Used in reproof of extravagant selfishness. dēvī dēvaḷānta paṇa nāyaṭē mulakānta Used where the vices or wicked doings (as of an embroiler or a slanderer) extend far and wide. Of dēvī in the sense of Small pox the varieties are āgyā -kathalyā -cighaḷyā-kōthimbiṛyā khēḷatyā- ghāgaṛyā-masuṛyā-sītaḷā-dēvī; and Inoculated small pox is kumbhārācyā dēvī or mātā. dēvīcā thāṭa The array (i. e. full or dense eruption) of the small pox.

Source: DDSA: The Molesworth Marathi and English Dictionary

dēvī (देवी).—f A goddess. pl The small-pox. dēvī kāḍhaṇēṃ Inoculate for the small-pox; vaccinate.

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

Devī (देवी).—

1) A female deity, a goddess.

2) Name of Durgā.

3) Name of Sarasvatī.

4) Name of Sāvitrī.

5) A queen, especially a crowned queen (agramahiṣī who has undergone the consecration along with her husband); प्रेष्य- भावेन नामेयं देवीशब्दक्षमा सती । स्नायीयवस्त्रक्रियया पत्त्रोर्णं वोपयुज्यते (preṣya- bhāvena nāmeyaṃ devīśabdakṣamā satī | snāyīyavastrakriyayā pattrorṇaṃ vopayujyate) M.5.12; देवीभावं गमिता परिवारपदं कथं भजत्येषा (devībhāvaṃ gamitā parivārapadaṃ kathaṃ bhajatyeṣā) K. P.1.

6) A respectful title applied to a lady of the first rank.

7) A kind of bird (śyāmā).

8) A particular supernatural power (kuṇḍalinī).

Source: DDSA: The practical Sanskrit-English dictionary
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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 1215 related definition(s) that might help you understand this better. Below you will find the 15 most relevant articles:

Devīkoṭa (देवीकोट).—1) the city of Bāṇa (śoṇitapura). 2) Devikotta (on the Coromandal coast). D...
Śrutadevī (श्रुतदेवी).—A sister of Vasudeva, father of Śrī Kṛṣṇa. Vasudeva had five sisters who...
Devībhāgavata (देवीभागवत).—The Śaivas venerate this book as one of the eighteen Purāṇas. But ac...
Surādevī (सुरादेवी).—n. of a devakumārikā in the northern quarter: Mv iii.309.8 = LV 391.3.
Śrīdevī (श्रीदेवी) is the name of a deity who was imparted with the knowledge of the Pārameśvar...
bhūdēvī (भूदेवी).—f (S) The tutelar divinity of a village, of the soil, or of a spot.
Devīsūkta (देवीसूक्त).—a Sūkta addressed to Devī.Derivable forms: devīsūktam (देवीसूक्तम्).Devī...
Paṭṭadevī (पट्टदेवी).—f. (-vī) A principal queen. E. paṭṭa a fillet or tiara, devī a queen.
Sādhudevī (साधुदेवी).—a mother-in-law. Sādhudevī is a Sanskrit compound consisting of the terms...
Māyādevī (मायादेवी).—Name of the mother of Buddha. °सुतः (sutaḥ) Buddha. Māyādevī is a Sanskrit...
Śrāddhadevī (श्राद्धदेवी).—One of Vasudeva's wives: mother of Ganeṣa.** Brahmāṇḍa-purāṇa ...
Nandādevī (नन्दादेवी) is the name of a mountain peak and temple, and possible corresponds to th...
Nīlā-devī (भूदेवी):—In most Śrī vaiṣṇava temples Lord Nārāyaṇa is usually accompanied ...
Lagna-devī.—(IA 30), Jain; a stone-cow. Note: lagna-devī is defined in the “Indian epigraphical...
Agradevī (अग्रदेवी).—the chief queen; समग्रदेवीनिवहाग्र- देवी (samagradevīnivahāgra- devī)... ...

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