Duta, aka: Dūta; 9 Definition(s)


Duta means something in Hinduism, Sanskrit, Buddhism, Pali, 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

Dharmashastra (religious law)

Dūta (दूत) refers to “ambassador”, to be carefully appointed by the king. The ambassadors should be intelligent, pure-hearted man of noble family, efficient, well-versed in all the Śāstras, and capable of interpreting other men’s feelings from their means and demeanors. It is used throughout Dharmaśāstra literature such as the Manusmṛti and the Baudhāyana-dharmasūtra. (also see the Manubhāṣya verse 7.63 et seq.)

(Source): Wisdom Library: Dharma-śāstra
Dharmashastra book cover
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Dharmashastra (धर्मशास्त्र, dharmaśāstra) contains the instructions (shastra) regarding religious conduct of livelihood (dharma), ceremonies, jurisprudence (study of law) and more. It is categorized as smriti, an important and authoritative selection of books dealing with the Hindu lifestyle.


Dūta (दूत).—A messenger: to report as he has been told and to be skilled in languages of different countries; one who can adjust according to time and place;1 of Indra to Tāraka to get him ready for war after the birth of Kārttikeya;2 of Pauṇḍraka.3

  • 1) Matsya-purāṇa 215. 12-4; 254. 24.
  • 2) Matsya-purāṇa 38. 19; 159. 24.
  • 3) Viṣṇu-purāṇa V. 34. 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.

Natyashastra (theatrics and dramaturgy)

Dūta (दूत, “messenger”) refers to one of the twenty-one sandhyantara, or “distinct characteristics of segments (sandhi)” according to the Nāṭyaśāstra chapter 21. The segments are divisions of the plot (itivṛtta or vastu) of a dramatic play (nāṭaka) and consist of sixty-four limbs, known collectively as the sandhyaṅga.

(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).

Itihasa (narrative history)

Dūta (दूत) is a name mentioned in the Mahābhārata (cf. II.28.50) and represents one of the many proper names used for people and places. Note: The Mahābhārata (mentioning Dūta) is a Sanskrit epic poem consisting of 100,000 ślokas (metrical verses) and is over 2000 years old.

(Source): JatLand: List of Mahabharata people and places
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Itihasa (इतिहास, itihāsa) refers to ‘epic history’ and represents a branch of Sanskrit literature which popularly includes 1) the eighteen major Puranas, 2) the Mahabharata and 3) the Ramayana. It is a branch of Vedic Hinduism categorised as smriti literature (‘that which is remembered’) as opposed to shruti literature (‘that which is transmitted verbally’).

Languages of India and abroad

Pali-English dictionary

dūta : (m.) a messenger; envoy.

(Source): BuddhaSasana: Concise Pali-English Dictionary

1) Dūta, 2 (nt.) (Sk. dyūta, see jūta) play, gaming, gambling J.IV, 248. (Page 328)

2) Dūta, 1 (Ved. dūta, prob. to dūra (q. v.) as “one who is sent (far) away, ” also perhaps Gr. dou=los slave. See Walde, Lat. Wtb. under dudum) a messenger, envoy Vin.I, 16; II, 32, 277; D.I, 150; S.IV, 194; Sn.411 (rāja°), 417. ‹-› deva° Yama’s envoy, Death’s messenger A.I, 138, 142; M.II, 75 sq.; J.I, 138.—°ṃ pāheti to send a messenger Miln.18, PvA.133. (Page 328)

(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.

Marathi-English dictionary

dūta (दूत).—m (S) A messenger or an envoy; a carrier of errands or intelligence. Ex. dēvadūta, rājadūta, yamadūta, viṣṇudūta, śivadūta.

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

Relevant definitions

Search found 39 related definition(s) that might help you understand this better. Below you will find the 15 most relevant articles:

Devadūta (देवदूत).—A messenger of the Devas. When Dharmaputra refused to live in heaven without...
Yamadūta (यमदूत).—One of the Brahmavādī sons of Viśvāmitra. (Mahābhārata Anuśāsana Parva, Chapt...
Rājadūta (राजदूत).—a king's ambassador, an envoy. Derivable forms: rājadūtaḥ (राजदूतः).Rājadūta...
Vasantadūta (वसन्तदूत).—1) the cuckoo. 2) the month called Chaitra. 3) the musical mode हिन्दोल...
Rāmadūta (रामदूत).—1) Name of Hanumat. 2) a monkey. -tī a kind of basil. Derivable forms: rāmad...
Viṣṇudūta (विष्णुदूत).—Met Yamadūtas at the death of Ajāmila and argued that the uttering...
Duta Jataka
1) Dūta, 2 (nt.) (Sk. dyūta, see jūta) play, gaming, gambling J.IV, 248. (Page 328)2) Dūta, 1 (...
Agradūta (अग्रदूत).—a harbinger; कृष्णाक्रोधा- ग्रदूतः (kṛṣṇākrodhā- gradūtaḥ) Ve.1.22; °दूतिका...
Varṇadūta (वर्णदूत).—a letter. Derivable forms: varṇadūtaḥ (वर्णदूतः).Varṇadūta is a Sanskrit c...
Pratidūta (प्रतिदूत).—a messenger sent in return. Derivable forms: pratidūtaḥ (प्रतिदूतः).Prati...
Yama (यम) refers to a deity that was once worshipped in ancient Kashmir (Kaśmīra) according to ...
1) Deva (देव) or Devāyu refers to “heavenly/celestial realms or states of existence” and r...
Māraṇa (मारण) or Māraṇāgama refers to one of upāgamas (supplementary scriptures) of the Kāraṇāg...
Brāhmaṇa (ब्राह्मण) is the name of a caste (varṇa) mentioned in the Nīlamatapurāṇa.—The Brāhmaṇ...
1) Jara (जर).—A forester. It was this forester who shot an arrow at Śrī Kṛṣṇa and killed him mi...

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