Gita, aka: Gīta, Gītā; 16 Definition(s)


Gita 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)

Gītā (गीता).—See under Bhagavad Gītā.

Source: Puranic Encyclopaedia

Gīta (गीत).—Of apsaras and Gandharvas;1 in connection with worship of trees and in founding new shrines.2 Kinnaras famous for;3 five deities of.4

  • 1) Matsya-purāṇa 7. 14; 61. 23; 82. 29; 105. 6; 120. 31.
  • 2) Ib. 232. 15; 265. 7 and 51.
  • 3) Vāyu-purāṇa 54. 6; 69. 37.
  • 4) Ib. 87. 30.
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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Natyashastra (theatrics and dramaturgy)

Gīta (गीत) refers to “song”. According to the Nāṭyaśāstra 1.17-18, when Brahmā created the Nāṭyaveda he took gīta (song) from the Sāmaveda. The term is used throughout nāṭyaśāstra literature.

Source: Wisdom Library: Nāṭya-śāstra

Gīta (गीत, “song”) is derived from gīr or gīrṇi (swallowing).—When we swallow food and when we sing and utter the word, we control or obstruct our breath. Therefore, singing was called gīr (as in gīrbāṇi or ghīrvāṇi) in the Veda and from it is derived the word gīta or song.

Source: Google Books: Music Therapy
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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Shaivism (Shaiva philosophy)

Gīta (गीत) or Gītāgama refers to one of upāgamas (supplementary scriptures) of the Prodgītāgama which is one of the twenty-eight Siddhāntāgama: a classification of the Śaiva division of Śaivāgamas. The Śaivāgamas represent the wisdom that has come down from lord Śiva, received by Pārvatī and accepted by Viṣṇu. The purpose of revealing upāgamas (eg., Gīta Āgama) is to explain more elaborately than that of mūlāgamas (eg., Prodgīta-āgama) and to include any new idea if not dealt in mūlāgamas.

Source: Shodhganga: Iconographical representations of Śiva

Gīta (गीत) refers to “classical singing” (specific rāga during certain rituals) and represents one of the various upacāras (offerings), in pūjā (ritual worship), as defined in the Śaivāgamas.—Pūjā consists of offering hospitality, in the form of water to wash the feet, to drink, water for ablutions, offering a bath, new clothes, fragrant unguents, fragrant flowers and ornaments, food and so on. Each step in the pūjā process is called “saṃskāra” and each offering is called “upacāra” [viz., Gīta].

Source: Shodhganga: Temple management in the Āgamas
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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General definition (in Hinduism)

Gītā (गीता): See Bhagwad Gita

Source: WikiPedia: Hinduism

In Buddhism

Mahayana (major branch of Buddhism)

Gītā (गीता) refers to “knowledge of chants”, having its roots in the four Vedas, according Mahāprajñāpāramitāśāstra (chapter IV). Accordingly, at the time of the Buddha, the knowledge of chants (gītā) was commonly exchanged between Brahmins and cow-herders.

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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Tibetan Buddhism (Vajrayana or tantric Buddhism)

Gītā (गीता) is the name of a Ḍākinī who, together with the Vīra (hero) named Gīta forms one of the 36 pairs situated in the Ākāśacakra, according to the 10th century Ḍākārṇava chapter 15. Accordingly, the ākāśacakra refers to one of the three divisions of the dharma-puṭa (‘dharma layer’), situated in the Herukamaṇḍala. The 36 pairs of Ḍākinīs [viz., Gītā] and Vīras are dark blue in color; they each have one face and four arms; they hold a skull bowl, a skull staff, a small drum, and a knife. Alternatively, the Ḍākinīs have their own marks and motions according to the taste instead of a small drum and a skull staff.

Source: The Structure and Meanings of the Heruka Maṇḍala
Tibetan Buddhism book cover
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Tibetan Buddhism includes schools such as Nyingma, Kadampa, Kagyu and Gelug. Their primary canon of literature is divided in two broad categories: The Kangyur, which consists of Buddha’s words, and the Tengyur, which includes commentaries from various sources. Esotericism and tantra techniques (vajrayāna) are collected indepently.

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Languages of India and abroad

Pali-English dictionary

gīta : (nt.) a song; singing. (pp. of gāyati), sung; recited.

Source: BuddhaSasana: Concise Pali-English Dictionary

Gīta, (pp. of gāyati) 1. (pp.) sung, recited, solemnly proclaimed, enunciated: mantapadaṃ gītaṃ pavuttaṃ D.I, 104 (cp. gira).—2. (nt.) singing, a song; grouped under vācasikā khiḍḍā, musical pastimes at Nd2 219; SnA 86. Usually combined with nacca, dancing: A.I, 261; Vv8110 as naca gītādi J.I, 61; VvA.131; referring to nacca-gīta-vādita, dancing with singing & instrumental accompaniment D.III, 183 (under samajja, kinds of festivities); Vv 324. Same with visūkadassana, pantomimic show at D.I, 5≈(cp. DA.I, 77; KhA 36).

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.

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Marathi-English dictionary

gīta (गीत).—n (S) Song or singing: also a song. v gā, hmaṇa. Ex. agē majakaritāṃ ēka gīta hmaṇa ||. Also hmaṇuni sakala gōpī gōpati gīta gāyā ||. 2 m A measure of verse to be chanted. gīta gāṇēṃ To be ever harping upon one strain or piping one note.

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gīta (गीत).—p S Sung.

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gītā (गीता).—f (S) A name applied to sacred poems, as bhagavadgītā, śivagītā, nāradagītā, and, par excellence, to bhagavadgītā.

Source: DDSA: The Molesworth Marathi and English Dictionary

gīta (गीत).—n Song; a song. p Sung.

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gītā (गीता).—f A name applied to sacred poems, as bhagavagdītā, śivagītā, nāradagītā, and, par excellence, to bhagavagdītā.

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

Gīta (गीत).—p. p. [gai-kta]

1) Sung, chanted (lit.); आर्ये साधु गीतम् (ārye sādhu gītam) Ś.1; चारणद्वन्द्वगीतः शब्दः (cāraṇadvandvagītaḥ śabdaḥ) Ś.2.15.

2) Declared, told, said; गीतश्चायमर्थोऽङ्गिरसा (gītaścāyamartho'ṅgirasā) Māl.2; (see under gai also).

-tam Singing, a song; तवास्मि गीतरागेण हारिणा प्रसभं हृतः (tavāsmi gītarāgeṇa hāriṇā prasabhaṃ hṛtaḥ) Ś.1.5; गीतमुत्सादकारि मृगाणाम् (gītamutsādakāri mṛgāṇām) K.32.

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Gītā (गीता).—[gai karmaṇi kta] A name given to certain sacred writings in verse (often in the form of a dialogue) which are devoted to the exposition of particular religious and theosophical doctrines; e. g. शिवगीता, रामगीता, भगवद्गीता (śivagītā, rāmagītā, bhagavadgītā). But the name appears to be especially confined to the last, the Bhagavadgītā; गीतासुगीता कर्तव्या किमन्यैः शास्त्रविस्तरैः । या स्वयं पद्मनाभस्य मुखपद्माद्विनिःसृता (gītāsugītā kartavyā kimanyaiḥ śāstravistaraiḥ | yā svayaṃ padmanābhasya mukhapadmādviniḥsṛtā) || quoted by Śrīdharasvāmin.

Source: DDSA: The practical Sanskrit-English dictionary

Gītā (गीता).—Song, personified as one of eight deities or (324.6) yoginīs: Sādh 157.12 and 324.6 Lāsyā-Mālyā (324.6 Mālā)-Gītā-Nṛtyā-Puṣpā-Dhūpā-Dīpā-Gandhāś ca (324.6 °Gandhādy-aṣṭayoginībhir…); et alibi.

Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: Edgerton Buddhist Hybrid Sanskrit Dictionary

Gīta (गीत).—mfn.

(-taḥ-tā-taṃ) Sung, chaunted, sounded, &c. f.

(-tā) A name often applied to books, as the Siva Gita, Rama Gita, Gita Govinda, Bhagavad Gita, which last is also often called Gita only. n.

(-taṃ) Singing, song either general or particular. E. gṝ to sing, affix kta.

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

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

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Gītasadda refers to: id. J.IV, 3; Dhs.621; DhA.I, 15; Note: gītasadda is a Pali compound con...
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Ashtavakra Gita
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Vāyugīta (वायुगीत).—a. ('sung by the wind') universally known; अत्र गाथा वायुगीताः कीर्तयन्ति प...
Gītassara refers to: id. Vin.II, 108; A.III, 251; J.III, 188. (Page 251)Note: gītassara is a ...
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