Giri; 12 Definition(s)


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

Ayurveda (science of life)

Giri (गिरि) is synonymous with Mountain (śaila) and is mentioned in a list of 24 such synonyms according to the second chapter (dharaṇyādi-varga) of the 13th-century Raj Nighantu or Rājanighaṇṭu (an Ayurvedic encyclopedia). The Dharaṇyādi-varga covers the lands, soil, mountains [viz., Giri], jungles and vegetation’s relations between trees and plants and substances, with their various kinds.

Source: Wisdom Library: Raj Nighantu
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)

1a) Giri (गिरि).—A son of Śvaphalka.*

  • * Bhāgavata-purāṇa IX. 24. 16.

1b) A son of Balarāma.*

  • * Brahmāṇḍa-purāṇa III. 71. 167.

1c) Worship of: Instituted by Kṛṣṇa as a substitute for Indra worship among the Gopas.1 ety. of; precious stones and herbs in.2

  • 1) Bhāgavata-purāṇa X. 24. 25-32.
  • 2) Brahmāṇḍa-purāṇa II. 7. 11; 19. 137; Matsya-purāṇa 10. 25-6.
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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General definition (in Hinduism)

Giri (गिरि, ‘mountain’ or ‘height’), is a word that occurs repeatedly in the Ṛgveda. Thus reference is made to the trees on the hills, hence called ‘tree-haired ’ (vṛkṣa-keśāḥ), and to the streams proceeding from the hills to the sea (samudra). The term is frequently coupled with the adjectival parvata. The Ṛgveda mentions the waters from the hills, and the Atharvaveda refers to the snowy mountains.

Source: Vedic index of Names and Subjects

In Buddhism

Theravada (major branch of Buddhism)

1. Giri - A Nigantha who occupied the Nigantharama, later destroyed by Vattagamani to make room for the construction of Abhayagiri Vihara, The Niganthas name was included in that of the new Vihara. Mhv.xxxiii.43f, 83; Dpv.xix.14.

2. Giri - See Giridipa.

3. Giri - One of the palaces occupied by Sikhi Buddha in his last lay life (Bu.xxi.16). The Commentary (BuA., p.201) calls it Giriyasa.

4. Giri - A district in South Ceylon. Its capital was Mahagama. It included the villages of Nitthulavitthika, birthplace of Gothaimbara (Mhv.xxiii.49), and Kutumbiyangama, birthplace of Velusumana (Mhv.xxiii.68). The district was also evidently called Girimandala. The chieftain of Giri was Giribhojaka (Mhv.xxiii.69, 70, 75; MT.454), sometimes called Girimandalika (MT.452).

5. Giri - A Nigantha who lived at Anuradhapura during the time of Pandukabhaya. See also Giri (1). Mhv.x.98.

Source: Pali Kanon: Pali Proper Names
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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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Mahayana (major branch of Buddhism)

Giri (गिरि) is the name of a Nāga-king (nāgarāja) according to the 2nd century Mahāprajñāpāramitāśāstra (chapter XVI). Accordingly, “there were two Nāga-kings (nāgarāja) at Mo k’ie t’o (Magadha): the first was called Ki li (Giri) and the second A k’ie lo (Agra). They brought the rain at the proper time and the country did not experience the years of famine. The people were grateful to them and regularly, in the second month of spring (caitra), they went in a crowd to the nāgas to hold a great festival (mahāsamāja): they played music (vādya) and palavered the whole day. From early times up until today, this assembly was never missed and to this reunion was given the same name as that of the Nāgas [namely, giryagrasamāja]”.

Source: Wisdom Library: Maha Prajnaparamita Sastra
Mahayana book cover
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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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India history and geogprahy

Giri.—(IE 7-1-2), ‘seven’. Note: giri 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

giri : (m.) mountain.

Source: BuddhaSasana: Concise Pali-English Dictionary

Giri, (Vedic giri, Obulg. gora mountain) a mountain; as a rule only in cpds, by itself (poetical) only at Vism.206 (in enumeration of the 7 large mountains).

Source: Sutta: The Pali Text Society's 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

giri (गिरि).—m S A hill. 2 An order or an individual of it among Gosavis.

Source: DDSA: The Molesworth Marathi and English Dictionary

girī (गिरी).—m A hill, a mountain.

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

Giri (गिरि).—a. [gṝ-i kicca Uṇ.4.142] Venerable, respectable, worshipful.

-riḥ 1 A hill, mountain, an elevation; पश्याधः खनने मूढ गिरयो न पतन्ति किम् (paśyādhaḥ khanane mūḍha girayo na patanti kim) Subhāṣ.; ननु प्रवातेऽपि निष्कम्पा गिरयः (nanu pravāte'pi niṣkampā girayaḥ) Ś.6.

2) a huge rock.

3) *** A disease of the eyes.

4) An honorific title given to Saṃnyāsins; e. g. आनन्दगिरिः (ānandagiriḥ)

5) (In math.) The number 'eight'.

6) A ball with which children play (genduka).

7) A cloud.

8) A peculiar defect in quicksilver.

-riḥ f.

1) Swallowing.

2) A rat; mouse (written also girī in this sense).

Source: DDSA: The practical Sanskrit-English dictionary

Giri (गिरि).—n. of a nāga-king (compare next): Māy 246.32. In LV 393.3 (verse) I am doubtful of -giri-, which seems to stand for a form of gir(ā), speech, words, and suggest em. to -gira-, m.c. for -girā, see prec. Text apagata-giri-vākpatho hy alipto, said of the Buddha: unstained, because beyond the range of speech in words; in Sanskrit (atīta-)vākpatha (not well defined in BR) means (beyond) the range of words, inexpressi- ble, indescribable; some such meaning must be involved here. Mss. vākyatho, but Tibetan, otherwise not clear, confirms a form of -path(a): tshig bral dag gi lam (= way) gyis (inst.; does this point to a reading -pathā?) mi gos pa, which seems to mean not stained by the way of those deprived of speech. But Calc. and Foucaux understand apagatagiri as a separate word (loc. absolute), which may be right.

Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: Edgerton Buddhist Hybrid Sanskrit 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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