Grama, aka: Grāma; 14 Definition(s)


Grama means something in 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

Natyashastra (theatrics and dramaturgy)

Grāma (ग्राम) refers to “musical scale” (number of tones), according Nāṭyaśāstrahapter chapter 28. There are two different musical scales (grāmas) defined, having for each musical note (svāra) a various amount of quarter tones (śruits).

Ṣaḍja-grāma scheme is defined as follows:

  1. ṛṣabha-svara: 3 śrutis,
  2. gāndhāra-svara: 2 śrutis,
  3. madhyama-svara: 4 śrutis,
  4. pañcama-svara: 4 śrutis,
  5. dhaivata-svara: 3 śrutis
  6. niṣāda-svara: 2 śrutis,
  7. ṣaḍja-svara: 4 śrutis.

Madhyama-grama scheme is defined as follows:

  1. madhyama-svara: 4 śrutis,
  2. pañcama-svara: 3 śrutis,
  3. dhaivata-svara: 4 śrutis
  4. niṣāda-svara: 2 śrutis,
  5. ṣaḍja-svara: 4 śrutis.
  6. ṛṣabha-svara: 3 śrutis,
  7. gāndhāra-svara: 2 śrutis,

Grāma represents an aspect of musical notes (svara) arising from the vīṇā, according to the Nāṭyaśāstra chapter 28. These svaras (notes) represent an aspect of ‘musical performance’ (gāndharva), together with tāla (time-measure) and pada (verbal theme). Gāndharva is a combination of vocal music and the music of instruments (ātodya) employed in dramatic performance (nāṭya/ nāṭaka).

Source: Wisdom Library: Nāṭya-śāstra

Grāma (ग्राम, “musical scale”).—Seven grāmas namely, ṣāḍava, pañcama, ṣaḍjagrāma, sādhāritā, kaiśikā, madhyama, gāndhāra-grāma are referred to in Nāradīya-śikṣā. Ṣaḍja, madhyama and gāndhāra were the popular grāmas in ancient Indian music. Dhanapāla in Tilaka-mañjarī has specifically mentioned gāndhāra-grāma.

Source: Google Books: Dhanapāla and His Times (arts and learning)

Grāma (ग्राम).—The word grāma means a village. By a transference of epithet and by analogy, a “cluster of notes” came to be termed grāma. The ṣaḍja-grāma (sa) was, however, not found adequate for acoustic and musical reasons. Therefore, Bharata also gives another under the title madhyama-grāma (ma). A thid grama (the gāndhāra-grāma) is mentioned by other authors.

Source: Google Books: Indian Music

Grāma (ग्राम).—A grāma means the construction of a scale or group of notes (svara) with a definite and distinct allocation of śruti intervals. (The notes of a grāma cover a full octave). The sa, ma and ga-grāmas are constituted into distinct scales or groups of notes with śrutis allocated in definite and clearly distinguished sequence.

Source: The Ragas Of Karnatic Music
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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1a) Grāma (ग्राम).—A village; outside the kheṭa; between the village and kheṭa is (1/2) yojana; the limits of boundary are two krośas and of kṣetra (fields) four dhanus; the roads of twenty dhanus leading to twenty directions and also roads to grāmas and roads on the limits, 10 dhanus; also rājapatha; four dhanus for branch streets; two dhanus between the houses.*

  • * Brahmāṇḍa-purāṇa II. 7. 94 and 105; Vāyu-purāṇa 8. 100; 62. 171; 78. 57; 87. 28; 94. 40; 98. 119; 106. 73-75; Viṣṇu-purāṇa 2. 13; 36. 6.

1b) As a present to learned men, as distinct from towns at the time of Pṛthu. Grāma behind the forest and the forest behind the grāma explained by Yayāti to Aṣṭaka; reference to ascetics and sages who, as residents of village should not use forest produce, and as residents of forests should not use village produce; deserted during the time of anarchy.*

  • * ^1 Brahmāṇḍa-purāṇa II. 34. 39; 36. 197; III. 7. 308; Matsya-purāṇa 143. 3; 246. 45. ^2 Matsya-purāṇa 10. 32; 40. 9-13; 41. 2; 47. 257.
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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Shilpashastra (iconography)

Grāma (ग्राम).—The word grāma has three meanings.—1. Village, 2. Shelter, 3. Group. In this citrāvalī, pictures of three grāmas are included—1. mandra, 2. madhya and 3. tāra. In ordinary usage, it is of three kinds; it is called mandra in the heart (mandra is the lowest; it is the deep tone), madhya in the throat (madhya: medium) and tāra in the head (tāra: very high); and each succeeding one is double (the previous).

Source: Illustrations of Indian Music and Dance in Western Indian Style
Shilpashastra book cover
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Shilpashastra (शिल्पशास्त्र, śilpaśāstra) represents the ancient Indian science (shastra) of creative arts (shilpa) such as sculpture, iconography and painting. Closely related to Vastushastra (architecture), they often share the same literature.

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General definition (in Hinduism)

Grāma (Town): A grāma covers an area of one-fourth of a yojana (1 yojana = ~13km).

Source: Wisdom Library: Hinduism

India history and geogprahy

Grāma (ग्राम).—The villages, generally, are called grāma in Sanskrit inscriptions. Prakrit inscriptions, however, give a little changed form gāma. The term grāmaka is another expression, which was used todenote a smaller village or a hamlet. In the inscriptions of the South, the terms grāma and grāmaka are in some cases replaced by the terms pallī and pallikā. The villages were made in ancient times agrahāras by allowing the donees to have the priority orthe first charge-on the produce of the land, which was previously given to the king. The donees were exempted by the kings, the donors from certain liabilities (prihāras), and, instead, provided with certain facilities.

Source: Geography in Ancient Indian inscriptions

Grāma (ग्राम) refers to a name-ending for place-names mentioned in the Gupta inscriptions (reigned from 3rd century CE). Grāma means an inhabited place, village, hamlet. It seems that firstly the word grāma denoted the collective inhabitants of a place, community or race. Later on this sense was transferred to an inhabitation and was used in the sense of a village. Also see Pāṇini IV.2.142.

Villages (grāma) played an important role as a unit of rāṣṭra or city. Kheṭa was the half of a city and the village was the half of a kheṭa. Cities other than the capital are called karvaṭa, a little less is nigama and lesser is grāma and still lesser is a house. Grāma is changed into gaon, as Suvarṇagrāma, Sonārgaon; Kalahagrāma, Kahalgaon.

Source: Personal and geographical names in the Gupta inscriptions

Grāma (village) refers to administrative divsions of viṣayas and khollas of during the rule of Kannaḍa-speaking Śilāhāra dynasty (r. 765-1215 A.D.).—The viṣayas and khollas comprised nagaras or towns, and grāmas or villages. Very few towns in the kingdoms of the Śilāhāras find mention in their inscriptions. The deśa (administrative unit) was there divided into nāḍas or khollas.

Source: What is India: Inscriptions of the Śilāhāras

Grāma.—(IE 8-4), ‘a village’; often suffixed to the names of localities. (EI 24), a village assembly. (IE 8-4), sometimes used to indicate the number of villages in a territory or geographical unit; but the number was often either exaggerated or traditional without relation to reality; sometimes wrongly interpreted as ‘a unit of revenue assess- ment’. Cf. navanavati-sahasra-grāma-bhāj (IE 8-4), epithet of a territory. See Sircar, Stud. Geog. Anc. Med. Ind., pp. 200 ff. (Ep. Ind., Vol. XXXV, pp. 146-47), a villager; same as Grāmeyaka. Note: grāma 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

Marathi-English dictionary

grāma (ग्राम).—m (S) A village or a hamlet. 2 A scale in music, a gamut. 3 The head man or a respectable man of a village: also a forward and domineering fellow. 4 S An assembly or a collection. In comp. as indriyagrāma, guṇagrāma, puṇyagrāma, bhūtagrāma, svaragrāma.

Source: DDSA: The Molesworth Marathi and English Dictionary

grāma (ग्राम).—m A village. A scale in music. An assembly or collection.

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

Grāma (ग्राम).—[gras-man ādantādeśaḥ]

1) A village, hamlet; पत्तने विद्यमानेऽपि ग्रामे रत्नपरीक्षा (pattane vidyamāne'pi grāme ratnaparīkṣā) M.1; त्यजेदेकं कुलस्यार्थे ग्रामस्यार्थे कुलं त्यजेत् । ग्रामं जनपदस्यार्थे स्वात्मार्थे पृथिवीं त्यजेत् (tyajedekaṃ kulasyārthe grāmasyārthe kulaṃ tyajet | grāmaṃ janapadasyārthe svātmārthe pṛthivīṃ tyajet) || H.1.129; R.1.44; Me.3.

2) A race, community; कथा ग्रामं न पृच्छसि (kathā grāmaṃ na pṛcchasi) Rv.1.146.1.

3) A multitude, collection (of anything); e. g. गुणग्राम, इन्द्रियग्राम (guṇagrāma, indriyagrāma); Bg.8.19;9.8. शस्त्रास्त्र- ग्रामकोविदः (śastrāstra- grāmakovidaḥ) Bm.1.611,613.

4) A gamut, scale in music; स्फुटीभवद्ग्रामविशेषमूर्च्छनाम् (sphuṭībhavadgrāmaviśeṣamūrcchanām) Śi.1.1.

Derivable forms: grāmaḥ (ग्रामः).

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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