Gitaka, Gītaka: 5 definitions

Introduction

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)

Source: Wisdom Library: Nāṭya-śāstra

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: Saṅgītaśiromaṇi

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: Sreenivasarao’s blog: Music of India

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.

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

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

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

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

Source: DDSA: The practical Sanskrit-English dictionary

Gītaka (गीतक).—A song; Y.3.113.

Derivable forms: gītakam (गीतकम्).

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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