Graha; 13 Definition(s)


Graha means something in Hinduism, Sanskrit, Jainism, Prakrit, 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

Jyotisha (astronomy and astrology)

Nine grahas (Navagrahas) are used. The Nine Planets of Vedic Astrology or Jyotiṣa are the forces that capture or eclipse the mind and the decision making of the human being-thus the term 'Graha'. When the Grahas are active in their Daśās or periodicities they are particularly empowered to direct the affairs of the person or the inanimate being as the case may be. Even otherwise, Grahas are always busy capturing us in some way or other, for better or for worse.

etymology: graha; from Grah (Devanāgarī: ग्रह, Sanskrit: graha, 'seizing, laying hold of, holding')

Source: WikiPedia: Hindu Astrology

Graha (ग्रह).—Planet. Note: Graha is a Sanskrit technical term used in ancient Indian sciences such as Astronomy, Mathematics and Geometry.

Source: Wikibooks (hi): Sanskrit Technical Terms
Jyotisha book cover
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Jyotiṣa (ज्योतिष, jyotisha or jyotish) basically refers to ‘astronomy’ or “Vedic astrology” and represents one of the six additional sciences to be studied along with the Vedas. Jyotiṣa concerns itself with the study and prediction of the movements of celestial bodies, in order to calculate the auspicious time for rituals and ceremonies.

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Ayurveda (science of life)

These malignant stars (Graha) or demons affect the person of a child in the cases where the directions laid down before (in the Śārira-sthāna) in respect of the conduct of the mother or the nurse during the time the child is brought-up on the breast are not followed, and consequently where proper benedictory rites are not performed and the child is allowed to remain in an uncleanly state, or where the child becoming anyhow uneasy gets frightened, is rebuked, or begins to cry.

The influences of malignant stars (Graha) or demons (that cause the diseases of infancy) number nine in all and are called

  1. Skanda-graha,
  2. Skandapasmara-graha,
  3. Shakuni-graha,
  4. Revati-graha,
  5. Putana-graha,
  6. Andha-putana-graha,
  7. Shita-putana-graha,
  8. Mukha-mandika-graha,
  9. and Naigamesha-graha or Pitri-graha.
Source: Sushruta samhita, Volume III
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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Vedanta (school of philosophy)

Graha in Sanskrit means both ‘planet’ and ‘seizure.’ The eclipses of the sun and moon are popularly ascribed by Hindu mythology to the periodical attacks by their enemy Rahu, a demon whom they prevented from drinking the nectar.

Source: Vivekachudamani
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Vedanta (वेदान्त, vedānta) refers to a school of orthodox Hindu philosophy (astika), drawing its subject-matter from the Upanishads. There are a number of sub-schools of Vedanta, however all of them expound on the basic teaching of the ultimate reality (brahman) and liberation (moksha) of the individual soul (atman).

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1a) Graha (ग्रह).—A Parā god.*

  • * Brahmāṇḍa-purāṇa IV. 1. 57.

1b) Planets, seven in number excluding Rāhu and Ketu; known as Vaimānikas in the current epoch (Vaivasvata)—Rāhu and Ketu are planets which tease the sun and moon;1 each graha has three sthānas, dakṣiṇa, uttara and madhyama.^2

  • * Vāyu-purāṇa 3. 14; 7. 16; 30. 146; 31. 35; 51. 8; 53. 29, 109.
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)

Graha (ग्रह, “seizing”) refers to “the note in which the song begins” and is one of the ten characteristics (gati) of the jāti (melodic class), according to the Nāṭyaśāstra chapter 28. It is also known as grahagati or grahasvara. Jāti refers to a recognized melody-type and can be seen as a precursor to rāgas which replaced them.

According to the Nāṭyaśāstra 28.75, “grahas have been like the aṃśa of all the jātis. That note which is taken up in the beginning of a song is the graha, and is an alternative term for the aṃśa”.

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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In Jainism

General definition (in Jainism)

Graha (ग्रह) participated in the war between Rāma and Rāvaṇa, on the side of the latter, as mentioned in Svayambhūdeva’s Paumacariu (Padmacarita, Paumacariya or Rāmāyaṇapurāṇa) chapter 57ff. Svayambhū or Svayambhūdeva (8th or 9th century) was a Jain householder who probably lived in Karnataka. His work recounts the popular Rāma story as known from the older work Rāmāyaṇa (written by Vālmīki). Various chapters [mentioning Graha] are dedicated to the humongous battle whose armies (known as akṣauhiṇīs) consisted of millions of soldiers, horses and elephants, etc.

Source: Een Kritische Studie Van Svayambhūdeva’s Paümacariu

Graha (ग्रह, “planets”) refers to a class of “stellar celestial beings” (jyotiṣī), itself a category of devas (celestial beings), according to the 2nd-century Tattvārthasūtra 4.10. What is the duration of existence of planet Jupiter (guru)? It is one pit-measured-period. Mercury revolves 888 yojana above the earth (Citrā) level. It resides three yojana above Venus. Venus is situated three yojana above Mercury. Jupiter revolves three yojana above Venus. Mars revolves three yojana above Jupiter. Saturn revolves three yojana above Mars.What is the duration of existence of planets Mars (maṅgala), Mercury (buddha), Saturn etc? It is half pit-measured-period.

Stellar celestial beings (eg., Graha) are named after their vehicle which is endowed with shining light. These are called by the significant general name luminaries or stellar.

Source: Encyclopedia of Jainism: Tattvartha Sutra 4: The celestial beings (deva)
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

graha (ग्रह).—m (S) Taking, accepting, seizing. 2 Eclipse of the sun or moon; seizure (by Rahu). 3 A planet. There are nine according to Hindu astronomy, and the sun is included. 4 An imp of a particular class. Hence fig. A mischievous, pestilent fellow. 5 A fancy; a conception; an opinion. 6 Tenacity. 7 Apprehension or perception (as of one's meaning); an understanding: apprehension of a sense or an acceptation; believing, receiving, holding.

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grāha (ग्राह).—m S A shark; according to some the Gangetic alligator, according to others, the water-elephant (the hippopotamus). 2 Any large marine animal.

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graha (ग्रह).—. Add:--8 A large marine and rapacious fish, probably, shark.

Source: DDSA: The Molesworth Marathi and English Dictionary

graha (ग्रह).—m Taking. A planet. An opinion, fan- cy, prejudice. A mischievous fellow.

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grāha (ग्राह).—m A shark; any large marine ani- mal.

Source: DDSA: The Aryabhusan school dictionary, Marathi-English
context information

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

Graha (ग्रह).—[grah-ac]

1) Seizing, grasping, laying hold of, seizure, रुरुधुः कचग्रहैः (rurudhuḥ kacagrahaiḥ) R.19.31.

2) A grip, grasp, hold; विक्रम्य कौशिकं खड्गं मोक्षयित्वा ग्रहं रिपोः (vikramya kauśikaṃ khaḍgaṃ mokṣayitvā grahaṃ ripoḥ) Mb.3.157.11; कर्कटक- ग्रहात् (karkaṭaka- grahāt) Pt.1.26.

3) Taking, receiving, accepting; receipt.

4) Stealing, robbing; अङ्गुलीग्रन्थिभेदस्य छेदयेत्प्रथमे ग्रहे (aṅgulīgranthibhedasya chedayetprathame grahe) Ms.9.277; so गोग्रहः (gograhaḥ).

5) Booty, spoil.

6) Eclipse; see ग्रहण (grahaṇa).

7) A planet, (sometimes more particularly 'Rāhu'; vadhyamāne graheṇātha āditye manyurāviśat Mb.1.24.7.) (the planets are nine :-sūryaścandro maṅgalaśca budhaścāpi bṛhaspatiḥ | śukraḥ śanaiścaro rāhuḥ ketuśceti grahā nava ||); नक्षत्रताराग्रहसंकुलापि (nakṣatratārāgrahasaṃkulāpi) (rātriḥ) R.6.22;3.13;12.28; गुरुणा स्तनभारेण मुखचन्द्रेण भास्वता । शनैश्चराभ्यां पादाभ्यां रेजे ग्रहमयीव सा (guruṇā stanabhāreṇa mukhacandreṇa bhāsvatā | śanaiścarābhyāṃ pādābhyāṃ reje grahamayīva sā) || Bh.1.17.

8) Mentioning; utterance, repeating (as of a name) नामजातिग्रहं त्वेषामभिद्रोहेण कुर्वतः (nāmajātigrahaṃ tveṣāmabhidroheṇa kurvataḥ) Ms.8.271; Amaru.85.

9) A shark, crocodile.

1) An imp in general.

11) A particular class of evil demons supposed to seize upon children and produce convulsions &c. cf. Mb. Crit. ed. 3.219.26; कृष्णग्रहगृहीतात्मा न वेद जगदीदृशम् (kṛṣṇagrahagṛhītātmā na veda jagadīdṛśam) Bhāg.7.4.38.

12) Apprehension, perception; ज्योतिश्चक्षुर्गुणग्रहः (jyotiścakṣurguṇagrahaḥ). ...... श्रोत्रं गुणग्रहः (śrotraṃ guṇagrahaḥ) Bhāg.2.1.21-22.

13) An organ or instrument of apprehension; Bṛ. Up.3.2.1.

14) Tenacity, perseverance, persistence; नृणां स्वत्वग्रहो यतः (nṛṇāṃ svatvagraho yataḥ) Bhāg.7.14.11.

15) Purpose, design.

16) Favour, patronage.

17) The place of a planet in the fixed zodiac.

18) The number 'nine'.

19) Any state of mind which proceeds from magical influences.

2) A house.

21) A spoonful, ladleful; ग्रहान्त्सोमस्य मिमते द्वादश (grahāntsomasya mimate dvādaśa) Rv.1.114.5.

22) A ladle or vessel; चमसानां ग्रहाणां च शुद्धिः प्रक्षालनेन तु (camasānāṃ grahāṇāṃ ca śuddhiḥ prakṣālanena tu) Ms.5.116.

23) The middle of a bow.

24) A movable point in the heavens.

25) Keeping back, obstructing.

26) Taking away, depriving; प्राण° (prāṇa°) Pt.1.295.

27) Preparation for war; ग्रहोऽवग्रहनिर्बन्धग्रहणेषु रणोद्यमे । सूर्यादौ पूतनादौ च सैंहिकेयेऽपि तत् त्रिषु (graho'vagrahanirbandhagrahaṇeṣu raṇodyame | sūryādau pūtanādau ca saiṃhikeye'pi tat triṣu) | Nm.

28) A guest (atithi); यथा सिद्धस्य चान्नस्य ग्रहायाग्रं प्रदीयते (yathā siddhasya cānnasya grahāyāgraṃ pradīyate) Mb.13.1.6.

29) Imprisoning, imprisonment; Mb.13.136.11.

Derivable forms: grahaḥ (ग्रहः).

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Grāha (ग्राह).—a. (- f.) [ग्रह् भावे घञ् (grah bhāve ghañ)] Seizing, clutching; taking, holding, receiving &c.

-haḥ 1 Seizing, grasping; हस्तग्राहं तु तं मत्वा (hastagrāhaṃ tu taṃ matvā) Rām.7.34.2.

2) A crocodile, shark; रागग्राहवती (rāgagrāhavatī) Bh.3.45.

3) A prisoner.

4) Accepting.

5) Understanding, knowledge.

6) Persistence, importunity; तव मातुरसद्ग्राहं विद्म पूर्वं यथा श्रुतम् (tava māturasadgrāhaṃ vidma pūrvaṃ yathā śrutam) Rām.2.35.18.

7) Determination, resolve; मूढग्राहेणात्मनो यत्पीडया क्रियते तपः (mūḍhagrāheṇātmano yatpīḍayā kriyate tapaḥ) Bg. 17.19.

8) A disease.

9) Any large fish or marine animal; जग्राहाजगरो ग्राहो भुजयोरुभयोर्बलात् (jagrāhājagaro grāho bhujayorubhayorbalāt) Mb.3.178.28; Ki.13.24.

1) Morbid affection, disease.

11) Beginning, undertaking.

12) The handle (of a sword &c.).

13) Paralysis.

-hī A female crocodile.

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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