Gitaka, aka: Gītaka; 5 Definition(s)


Gitaka means something in Hinduism, Sanskrit, Buddhism, Pali. 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

Natyashastra (theatrics and dramaturgy)

Gītaka (गीतक) refers to “songs”, to be played as part of the first preliminary performed after the removal of the stage curtain, according to the Nāṭyaśāstra chapter 5. The type of song can be either of the Madraka or Vardhamānaka class.

Performing the gītaka preliminary pleases the Gods (devas). According to Nāṭyaśāstra 5.57-58, “The performance of the Preliminaries which means worshipping (pūjā) the gods (devas), is praised by them (i.e. gods) and is conducive to duty, fame and long life. And this performance whether with or without songs, is meant for pleasing the Daityas and the Dānavas as well as the gods.”

Source: Wisdom Library: Nāṭya-śāstra

Gītaka (गीतक, “melodious”) refers to one of the sixteen words that together make up the elā musical composition (prabandha), according to the Saṅgītaśiromaṇi 67-84. Elā is an important subgenre of song and was regarded as an auspicious and important prabandha (composition) in ancient Indian music (gāndharva). According to nirukta analysis, the etymological meaning of elā can be explained as follows: a represents Viṣṇu, i represents Kāmadeva, la represents Lakṣmī.

Gītaka is one of the sixteen words of elā and has a presiding deity named gaurī (the brilliant one) defined in the Saṅgītaśiromaṇi (“crest-jewel of music”), which is a 15th-century Sanskrit work on Indian musicology (gāndharvaśāstra).

Source: Wisdom Library: Saṅgītaśiromaṇi

Gitaka is a well structured song format. There were major divisions or groups of Gitakas, each group having seven song-forms. The seven forms of the first Division were (Sapta-rupa): Madraka; Aparantaka; Ullopyaka; Prakari; Ovenaka; Rovindaka; and, Uttara. And, the seven forms under the second Division were: Asarita; Vardhamana; Chandaka; Panika; Rik; Gatha; and, Sama.

Every Gitaka, in turn, had two sections: Vastu and Anga. The different forms of Gitaka were classified according to the variations of their Vastu (section of the text) and Anga (styles of rendering the texts). The other distinguishing features were: Svara; Tala; and, Pada.

Source: Sreenivasarao’s blog: Music of India
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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Languages of India and abroad

Pali-English dictionary

Gitaka in Pali glossary... « previous · [G] · next »

Gītaka, (nt.) & gītikā (f.) a little song J.III, 507. (Page 252)

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

Gītaka (गीतक).—A song; Y.3.113.

Derivable forms: gītakam (गीतकम्).

Source: DDSA: The practical 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

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

Gaurī.—a virgin; cf. gaurī-varāṭikā. Note: gaurī is defined in the “Indian epigraphical glossar...
Uttara (उत्तर).—m. (and nt., see 8) (1) n. of a former Buddha: Mv iii.239.2 f.; (2) n. of a fol...
Varṇa (वर्ण, “color”) refers to “color karma” and represents one of the various kinds...
Ela (एल).—(1) m. or nt., a high number: Mvy 7759 (m.) = Tibetan yal ḥdas, ya lad; 7872 (nt.) =...
Pravṛtta (प्रवृत्त).—mfn. (-ttaḥ-ttā-ttaṃ) 1. Fixed, settled, determined, done. 2. Engaged in, ...
Madraka (मद्रक).—mfn. (-kaḥ-kā-kaṃ) Produced, &c. in the country of Madra. E. madra a count...
Aparāntaka (अपरान्तक).—f. °ikā, adj. of the western border, or of the country called Aparānta; ...
Māhājanika (माहाजनिक).—a. (-kī f.) [māhājanīna] a. (-nī f.)1) Fit for merchants.2) Fit for grea...
Prakarī (प्रकरी).—1) An interlude or episode inserted in a drama to explain what is to follow.2...
Avagāḍha (अवगाढ).—p. p.1) Plunged into, entered into, immersed; जलावगाढस्य वनद्विपस्य (jalāvagā...
1) Oveṇaka (ओवेणक) refers to one of the seven types of song (gitaka), according to the Nāṭyaśās...
1) Rovindaka (रोविन्दक) refers to one of the seven types of song (gitaka), according to the Nāṭ...
Utthāpanī (उत्थापनी).—After performing the songs (gītaka) and the vardhamāna, one shou...
Bahiryavanika (बहिर्यवनिक) refers to the ten limbs (aṅga) “performed after the removal of th...
1) Ullopyaka (उल्लोप्यक) refers to one of the seven types of song (gitaka), according to the Nā...

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