Gatha, Gāthā, Gātha: 20 definitions

Introduction

Introduction:

Gatha 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.

In Hinduism

Purana and Itihasa (epic history)

Source: Google Books: Cultural History from the Vāyu Purāna

The term ‘gāthā’ (गाथा) occurs in the Ṛg-veda meaning usually a song or verse. The gāthās, though religious in content, are not mantras and hence are non-Vedic. In the aśvamedha sacrifice, as described in the Brāhmaṇas, we find mention of two lute-prayers, a Brahmin and a warrior, who in verses of their own composition (gāthās), glorified the generosity and war-like deeds of the sacrificer and his ancestors. With the fate of the aśvamedha, recitation of such gāthās also seems to have gone out of existence.

Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: The Purana Index

Gātha (गाथ).—Ancient popular songs; a feature of the Purāṇas; Nāraḍa on Vāli's sacrifices; on Pitṛs, on Yayāti, on Kārtavīrya, on Rāma;1 about Gayā and the Narmadā;2 sung by divine ṛṣis in Khaṭvānga's Yajña;3 by Prahlāda on Hari.4

  • 1) Brahmāṇḍa-purāṇa II. 34. 21: III. 7. 272: 19. 9: 63. 192: 68. 96: 69. 19. IV. 15. 32: Matsya-purāṇa 43. 23: 204. 2 and 19: Viṣṇu-purāṇa III. 6. 15.
  • 2) Matsya-purāṇa 22. 5: 186. 5: 207. 39-40.
  • 3) Vāyu-purāṇa 60. 21: 73. 41: 83. 10: 88. 191: 93. 94: 94. 19: 96. 13.
  • 4) Viṣṇu-purāṇa I. 17. 29.
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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Chandas (prosody, study of Sanskrit metres)

Source: Shodhganga: a concise history of Sanskrit Chanda literature

1) Gāthā (गाथा).—Piṅgala gives the definition of gāthā metres in the 8th chapter in 19 sūtras, where he discusses 18 gāthā metres. He says the metres which are not discussed in previous chapters is called as gāthā metres.

2) Gāthā (गाथा).—Śrī Kṛṣṇabhaṭṭa Kavikalānidhi (C. 1669-1744 C.E.), in his Vṛttamuktāvalī, divides the Gāthā type metres into seven viz. gāthikā, gāthā, vigāthā, udgāthā, gāthinī, siṃhinī, skandhā. He discusses the Gāthāprakaraṇa and other mātrā metres in the second chapters. Totally 44 metres in 67 verses are described in the second chapter.

3) Gāthā (गाथा) refers to one of the twenty-seven mātrāvṛttas (quantitative verse) dealt with in the second chapter of the Vṛttamuktāvalī, ascribed to Durgādatta (19th century), author of eight Sanskrit work and patronised by Hindupati: an ancient king of the Bundela tribe (presently Bundelkhand of Uttar Pradesh). A Mātrāvṛtta (e.g., gāthā) refers to a type of metre found in classical Sanskrit poetry.

Source: Journal of the University of Bombay Volume V: Apabhramsa metres (2)

1) Gāthā (गाथा) is probably the oldest of the Prakrit meters and also the first mātrā-vṛtta which came to be very generally employed by the Sanskrit Pandits for the purposes of their scientific compositions and became their favourite owing to the great freedom and facility which it affords to the writer, in comparison with the epic Anuṣṭubh. It seems very probable that it was developed out of the epic Anuṣṭubh. It is interesting to note in this connection that according to a tradition of the older metricians followed also by Hemacandra, any metre which does not follow the laws governing the regular metres and hence cannot be included in any one of them, is to be called ‘Gāthā’.

The term gāthā is again used in Vedic Literature for any irregular metre; cf. the ‘Gāthās’ in the Hariścandra episode in the Aitareya-brāhmaṇa. [...] It appears however, that the Gāthā assumed its final form in the hands of the Sanskrit poet-philosophers, who as said above, abundantly used it for their scientific compositions. [...] That the Gāthā was a song metre is evident from the song of the Naṭī in the introduction to the Śākuntalam.

There are three main kinds of a Gāthā, i.e., Pathyā, Vipulā and Capalā. On the other hand, we get 26 varieties of a Gāthā if we base our division upon the number of short letters which they contain. The smallest number of short letters which a Gāthā may contain is 3 and such a Gāthā is called Kamalā; the largest number of short letters which it might contain is 55 and then it is called Gaurī. Among the metres derived from the Gāthā, Gīti, Upagīti and Udgīti are most important. Gīti is made with two first halves of a Gāthā, Upagīti with two second halves of it and Udgīti is nothing but an inverted or a reversed Gāthā.

2) Gātha (गाथ) is another name for Upagīti, which is a variation of Gāthā:—[...] Nanditāḍhya (Gāthālakṣaṇa, vv. 63-65) mentions Gīti, Upagīti and Udgīti respectively Udgātha, Gātha and Vigātha. Nanditāḍhya’s names are perhaps the older ones and are also adopted by Piṅgala at I.48, 49, 60-63.

3) Gātha (गाथ) is mentioned as another derivation of Gāthā.—Among the metres derived from the Gāthā, Gīti, Upagīti and Udgīti are most important. [...] By adding 1, 2, 4, 6, 8, 10, 12, and 14 caturmātras before the last long letter in the first half of a Gāthā, we respectively get a Jātiphala, Gātha, Udgātha, Vigātha, Avagātha, Saṃgātha, Upagātha and Gāthinī.

4) Gātha (गाथ) is also the name of a catuṣpadi metre (as popularly employed by the Apabhraṃśa bards), as discussed in books such as the Chandonuśāsana, Kavidarpaṇa, Vṛttajātisamuccaya and Svayambhūchandas.—Gātha (SIS, IIS, SS) is really varṇa-vṛtta, though it is defined as the mātrā-vṛtta with 13 mātrās in its lines.

Chandas book cover
context information

Chandas (छन्दस्) refers to Sanskrit prosody and represents one of the six Vedangas (auxiliary disciplines belonging to the study of the Vedas). The science of prosody (chandas-shastra) focusses on the study of the poetic meters such as the commonly known twenty-six metres mentioned by Pingalas.

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Natyashastra (theatrics and dramaturgy)

Source: Wisdom Library: Nāṭya-śāstra

Gāthā (गाथा) refers to one of the ten kinds of dhruvā (“songs”) defined in the Nāṭyaśāstra chapter 32. Accordingly, “the dhruvā is so called, because in it words, varṇas, alaṃkāra, tempo (laya), jāti and pāṇis are regularly (dhruva) connected with one another”.

Natyashastra book cover
context information

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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In Buddhism

Mahayana (major branch of Buddhism)

Source: Wisdom Library: Maha Prajnaparamita Sastra

Gathā (गथा, “stanza”) refers to one of the twelve members of Buddhist texts (dvādaśāṅga), according to a note attached to the Mahāprajñāpāramitāśāstra chapter 51.—All the kie ‘verses’, if they are composed of six, three or five metric feet (pada) or an undetermined number of metric feet, are called k’i-ye ‘geya’ and also k’ie-to, ‘gathā, stanza’

 

Mahayana book cover
context information

Mahayana (महायान, mahāyāna) is a major branch of Buddhism focusing on the path of a Bodhisattva (spiritual aspirants/ enlightened beings). Extant literature is vast and primarely composed in the Sanskrit language. There are many sūtras of which some of the earliest are the various Prajñāpāramitā sūtras.

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Theravada (major branch of Buddhism)

Source: Pali Kanon: Pali Proper Names

A portion of the Tipitaka classified according to the matter (anga) of each one.

It includes the Dhammapada, the Theragatha and Therigatha, and those suttas, composed of stanzas only, found in the Sutta Nipata and not included under the term Sutta. DA.i.23f; Vin.iii.8.

Source: Dhamma Dana: Pali English Glossary

F Knowledge and ethics imparted by means of speech or scriptures. Formula expressing some knowledge under the shapes of verses.

context information

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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General definition (in Buddhism)

Source: Buddhist Door: GlossaryAncient Indian verse.

Languages of India and abroad

Pali-English dictionary

Source: BuddhaSasana: Concise Pali-English Dictionary

gāthā : (f.) deep. (m.), depth; a safe stand; foothold.

Source: Sutta: The Pali Text Society's Pali-English Dictionary

Gāthā, (f.) (Vedic gāthā, on dern see gāyate) a verse, stanza, line of poetry, usually referring to an Anuṭṭhubbaṃ or a Tuṭṭhubbaṃ, & called a catuppādā gāthā, a stanza (śloka) of four half-lines A.II, 178; J.IV, 395. Def. as akkhara-padaniya-mita-ganthita-vacanaṃ at KhA 117. For a riddle on the word see S.I, 38. As a style of composition it is one of the nine Aṅgas or divisions of the Canon (see navaṅga Satthu sāsana). Pl. gāthā Sn.429; J.II, 160; gāthāyo Vin.I, 5, 349; D.II, 157. gāthāya ajjhābhāsati to address with a verse Vin.I, 36, 38; Kh v. intr.—gāthāhi anumodati to thank with (these) lines Vin.I, 222, 230, 246, 294, etc.—gāthāyo gīyamāna uttering the lines Vin.I, 38.—anantaragāthā the foll. stanza J.IV, 142; Sn.251; J.I, 280; Dh.102 (°sataṃ).

Pali book cover
context information

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

Source: DDSA: The Molesworth Marathi and English Dictionary

gāṭhā (गाठा).—m (gāṇṭha) A large silver ring worn by the worshipers of Khanḍoba around the neck.

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gāthā (गाथा).—f (S) Unmetrical composition; simple prose. 2 A period or sentence. 3 Idle chat; floating news. v sāṅga, kuṭa.

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gāthā (गाथा).—m Jumbledness, confusedly mingled state. 2 Rumpled state.

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

gāthā (गाथा).—f Unmetrical composition, simple prose. A period or sentence. Idle chat, floating news. v sāṅga, kūṭa. m Thumbled- ness, confusedly mingled state.

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

Source: DDSA: The practical Sanskrit-English dictionary

Gātha (गाथ).—See under गै (gai) .

See also (synonyms): gāthaka.

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Gātha (गाथ).—A song, singing.

Derivable forms: gāthaḥ (गाथः).

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Gāthā (गाथा).—

1) Verse.

2) A religious verse, but not belonging to any one of the Vedas.

3) A stanza.

4) A song; कदा वाहेयिका गाथाः पुनर्गास्यामि शाकले (kadā vāheyikā gāthāḥ punargāsyāmi śākale) Mb.8.44.26.

5) A Prākṛta dialect.

6) Name of the Aryā metre.

7) Legend, history (ākhyāna); द्विजोपसृष्टः कुहकस्तक्षको वा दशत्वलं गायत विष्णुगाथाः (dvijopasṛṣṭaḥ kuhakastakṣako vā daśatvalaṃ gāyata viṣṇugāthāḥ) Bhāg.1.19.15.

Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: Shabda-Sagara Sanskrit-English Dictionary

Gāthā (गाथा).—f.

(-thāṃ) 1. A verse, a stanza. 2. Metre, rhythm. 3. A song, a chant or verse to be chanted or sung. 4. Prakrita or any language not Sanskrit. 5. The same as the Aryya Metre, in which the verse contains sixty syllabic instants, variously arranged. E. gai to sing, than Unadi aff.

Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: Benfey Sanskrit-English Dictionary

Gāthā (गाथा).—i. e. gai + tha, f. A song, a verse, [Indralokāgamana] 2, 28; [Mānavadharmaśāstra] 9, 42.

Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: Cappeller Sanskrit-English Dictionary

Gātha (गाथ).—[masculine] song; [feminine] gāthā the same, [especially] a kind of rel. verse or stanza; [Name] of a metre ( = āryā).

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

1) Gātha (गाथ):—[from ] a m. a song, [Ṛg-veda i, 167, 6 and ix, 11, 4; Sāma-veda]

2) Gāthā (गाथा):—[from gātha > gā] a f. idem, [Ṛg-veda]

3) [v.s. ...] a verse, stanza (especially one which is neither Ṛc, nor Sāman, nor Yajus, a verse not belonging to the Vedas, but to the epic poetry of legends or Ākhyānas, such as the Śunaḥśepa-Ākhyāna or the [Suparṇādhyāya]), [Atharva-veda; Taittirīya-saṃhitā; Taittirīya-brāhmaṇa; Śatapatha-brāhmaṇa] etc.

4) [v.s. ...] the metrical part of a Sūtra, [Buddhist literature]

5) [v.s. ...] Name of the Āryā metre

6) [v.s. ...] any metre not enumerated in the regular treatises on prosody (cf. ṛg-gāthā, riju-gātha, yajña-gāthā.)

7) [from ] b f. of tha q.v.

8) Gātha (गाथ):—[from gātu] b See 3. .

9) Gāthā (गाथा):—[from gātu] c See 3. .

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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