Ghrita, aka: Ghṛta; 17 Definition(s)


Ghrita means something in Buddhism, Pali, Hinduism, Sanskrit, Jainism, Prakrit, 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 term Ghṛta can be transliterated into English as Ghrta or Ghrita, using the IAST transliteration scheme (?).

In Hinduism

Ayurveda (science of life)

Ghṛta (घृत) is a Sanskrit technical term translating to “ghee” (clarified butter), and is used throughout Āyurvedic literature such as the Caraka-saṃhitā and Suśruta-saṃhitā. Ghee is a liquid substance obtained from the milk of cows (after process according to traditional preparations).

Source: Wisdom Library: Āyurveda and botany

Medicated ghee (ghṛta) is used both externally and internally. For small children, [medicated] ghee is given just for licking. They are not made to drink ghee. At times, [medicated] ghee is applied on the joints. This normalizes and stabilizes the movements of vāta. This is the treatment for apasmāra.

Source: eJournal of Indian Medicine: Memoirs of Vaidyas (3)

Ghṛta (घृत) refers to the “clarified butter”, and is commonly found in literature dealing with the topics of dietetics and culinary art, also known as Pākaśāstra or Pākakalā.—Curds was widely used in Vedic period. Ṛgveda mentions a preparation in which the curds were mixed with Soma juice and barley meal. [...] According to Om Prakash, the cream of milk (santānikā), the cream of curds (sara), whey (mastu), fresh butter (navanīta), clarified butter (ghṛta) and the butter milk (takra) are all referred to in Ayurvedic preparations. Curds churned without water (ghola) is referred to in Suśrutasaṃhitā. [...] Later in the classical literature we can see that fresh butter (navanīta), butter prepared from the previous day’s milk (haiyaṅgavīna) and clarified butter (ghṛta) were widely referred to in. Clarified butter was considered a germicide in Matsyapurāṇa.

Ghṛta or “ghee” is mentioned in a list of potential causes for indigestion in the 17th century Bhojanakutūhala (dravyaguṇāguṇa-kathana).—A complete section in Bhojanakutūhala is devoted for the description of agents that cause indigestion [viz., ghṛta (ghee)]. These agents consumed on a large scale can cause indigestion for certain people. The remedies [viz., jambīrarasa (juice of citron) or jambharasa (extract of lemon)] for these types of indigestions are also explained therewith.

Ghṛta (ghee) is also mentioned as a remedy for indigestion caused by kadala (plantain).

Source: Shodhganga: Dietetics and culinary art in ancient and medieval India
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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Natyashastra (theatrics and dramaturgy)

Ghṛta (घृत) is a Sanskrit word referring to ghee (clarified butter). During the ceremony of “laying the foundation” of the playhouse (nāṭyamaṇḍapa), this ghṛta should be offered to Brahmins, according to the Nāṭyaśāstra 2.41-42.

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).

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Purana and Itihasa (epic history)

Ghrita in Purana glossary... « previous · [G] · next »

Ghṛta (घृत) refers to “purified butter”, forming part of a common diet in ancient Kashmir (Kaśmīra) as mentioned in the Nīlamatapurāṇa.—Ghṛta is referred to as food and unguent (verses 478, 787). Most of the references to the articles of diet occur in the Nīlamata in connection with the offerings made to the gods but it is not difficult to infer from them the food and drink of the common people because “what a man eats his gods eat”.

Source: Nilamata Purana: a cultural and literary study

Ghṛta (घृत).—A King of the Aṅga dynasty. He was the son of Gharman and father of Viduṣa. (Agni Purāṇa, Chapter 277).

Source: Puranic Encyclopaedia

1a) Ghṛta (घृत).—A son of Dharma and father of Durdama.*

  • * Matsya-purāṇa 48-8; Viṣṇu-purāṇa IV. 17. 4.

1b) An ocean of, surrounding Krauñcadvīpa.*

  • * Brahmāṇḍa-purāṇa II. 16. 12; IV. 31. 18; Matsya-purāṇa 13. 7.
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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Shaivism (Shaiva philosophy)

Ghṛta (घृत) refers to “ghee” (clarified butter). It is one of the six products of the cow, used in the worshop of the liṅga (known as goṣaḍaṅgavidhi), according to the Śivadharmottarapurāṇa

Source: Wisdom Library: Śaivism
Shaivism book cover
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Shaiva (शैव, śaiva) or Shaivism (śaivism) represents a tradition of Hinduism worshiping Shiva as the supreme being. Closely related to Shaktism, Shaiva literature includes a range of scriptures, including Tantras, while the root of this tradition may be traced back to the ancient Vedas.

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Rasashastra (chemistry and alchemy)

Ghritam refers to “clarified butter”. (see Bhudeb Mookerji and his Rasajalanidhi)

Source: Rasa-Jala-Nidhi: Or Ocean of indian chemistry and alchemy
Rasashastra book cover
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Rasashastra (रसशास्त्र, rasaśāstra) is an important branch of Ayurveda, specialising in chemical interactions with herbs, metals and minerals. Some texts combine yogic and tantric practices with various alchemical operations. The ultimate goal of Rasashastra is not only to preserve and prolong life, but also to bestow wealth upon humankind.

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Dharmashastra (religious law)

Ghṛta (घृत) refers to “ hardened butter” (preferably made of the milk of cows).—According to the Aitareya-Brāhmaṇa I, 3, “Ājya is sweet or fragrant to the gods, ghṛta to men, ayuta to the manes, navanīta to children”. Here the commentator explains that ājya is butter, when melted (vilīnaṃ sarpis), ghṛta, when hardened. Ayuta, sometimes called astu, is butter, when slightly melted, niṣpakva, when thoroughly melted. According to Kātyāyana I, 8, 37, ājya is of different kinds. It may be simple ghṛta, which, as a rule, should be made of the milk of cows. But in the absence of ājya, the milk of buffaloes (māhiṣa), or oil (taila), or sesam-oil (jārtila), or linseed oil (atasīsneha), &c., may be taken.

Source: Sacred Texts: The Grihya Sutras, Part 2 (SBE30)
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.

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In Buddhism

General definition (in Buddhism)

Ghṛta (घृत, “buttery”) or Ghṛtasāgara refers to one of the “seven oceans” (sāgara) as defined in the Dharma-saṃgraha (section 126). The Dharma-samgraha (Dharmasangraha) is an extensive glossary of Buddhist technical terms in Sanskrit (eg., ghṛta). The work is attributed to Nagarjuna who lived around the 2nd century A.D.

Source: Wisdom Library: Dharma-samgraha

In Jainism

General definition (in Jainism)

Ghṛta (घृत) refers to “clarified butter” and is one of the four products of milk (gorasa). Dairy farming was carried on in a big way in ancient India. There were large cow-sheds (gomaṇḍava or gomaṇḍapa) where the herds of cows, bulls and calves were kept. There was abundant supply of milk (dugdha or khira) and its four products (gorasa) viz. curd (dadhi), butter milk (udasi or maṭṭhā), butter (ṇavaṇiya or navanīta), clarified butter or ghee (ghṛta or ghaya). Milk and milk products were available in plenty at the dairy (dohaṇa-vāḍaga). The products were stored in ‘khira sālā’. Many articles of daily food were prepared with the help of milk and its products. People could get highly nutritious food because of the easy and large supply of the dairy products.

Source: Economic Life In Ancient India (as depicted in Jain canonical literature)

Ghṛta (घृत, “ghee”) refers to one of the ten classifications of food (āhāra), also known as vikṛtis, according to the 12th century Yogaśāstra (verse 3.130) by Hemacandra. Ghṛta may be from cow’s, buffalo’s, goat’s or sheep’s milk, but not from camel’s milk.

Source: Jaina Yoga
General definition book cover
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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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Languages of India and abroad

Marathi-English dictionary

ghṛta (घृत).—n (S) Clarified butter, ghee.

Source: DDSA: The Molesworth Marathi and English Dictionary

ghṛta (घृत).—n Clarified butter, ghee.

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

Ghṛta (घृत).—a. [ghṛ-kta]

1) Sprinkled.

2) Illumined.

-tam 1 Ghee, clarified butter; (sarpirvilīnamājyaṃ syād ghanībhūtaṃ ghṛtaṃ bhavet Sāy.).

2) Butter.

3) Water.

4) Spirit, energy (tejas); मधुच्युतो घृतपृक्ता विशोकास्ते नान्तवन्तः प्रतिपालयन्ति (madhucyuto ghṛtapṛktā viśokāste nāntavantaḥ pratipālayanti) Mb.1.92.15.

Source: DDSA: The practical Sanskrit-English dictionary

Ghṛta (घृत).—mfn.

(-taḥ-tā-taṃ) 1. Sprinkled. 2. Illumined. n.

(-taṃ) 1. Ghee, clarified butter, or butter which has been boiled gently, and allowed to cool: it is then used for culinary and religious purpose and is highly esteemed by the Hindus. 2. Water. f.

(-tā) The name of a tree: see ghṛtamaṇḍā. E. ghṛ to sprinkle Unadi affix kta.

Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: Shabda-Sagara 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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