Ketumati, Ketumatī, Ketu-mati: 7 definitions



Ketumati means something in Buddhism, Pali, Hinduism, Sanskrit, the history of ancient India. 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

1) Ketumatī (केतुमती) refers to a type of syllabic metre (vṛtta), according to the Nāṭyaśāstra chapter 16. In this metre, the first and the third pāda (feet) consist of sa (LLG), ja (LGL), sa (LLG), ga (G), while the second and the fourth pāda consists of bha (GLL), ra (GLG), na (LLL), ga (G), ga (G).


In the above description, G stands for guru (‘heavy syllable’) while L stands for laghu (‘light syllable’).

2) Ketumatī (प्रमिताक्षरा) is the name of a meter belonging to the Natkuṭa class described in the Nāṭyaśāstra chapter 32:—“the metre which has in its first foot fourteen mātrās, and in each of the remaining feet sixteen mātrās, is ketumatī”.

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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Chandas (prosody, study of Sanskrit metres)

Source: Shodhganga: a concise history of Sanskrit Chanda literature

Ketumatī (केतुमती) refers to one of the twelve ardhasama-varṇavṛtta (semi-regular syllabo-quantitative verse) mentioned in the 333rd chapter of the Agnipurāṇa. The Agnipurāṇa deals with various subjects viz. literature, poetics, grammar, architecture in its 383 chapters and deals with the entire science of prosody (e.g., the ketu-matī metre) in 8 chapters (328-335) in 101 verses in total.

Chandas book cover
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Chandas (छन्दस्) refers to Sanskrit prosody and represents one of the six Vedangas (auxiliary disciplines belonging to the study of the Vedas). The science of prosody (chandas-shastra) focusses on the study of the poetic meters such as the commonly known twenty-six metres mentioned by Pingalas.

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Purana and Itihasa (epic history)

[«previous next»] — Ketumati in Purana glossary
Source: Puranic Encyclopedia

Ketumatī (केतुमती).—Mother of Prahasta, a minister of Rāvaṇa. Ketumatī had two sisters Sundarī and Vasudhā. These three were daughters of a Gandharva woman.

Giant Heti, the son of Brahmā married Bhayā and Vidyutkeśa was born to the couple. Sukeśa was born to Vidyutkeśa by his wife Sālakaṭaṅkā. Three sons Mālyavān, Sumālī and Mālī were born to Sukeśa by his wife Daivavatī. Sundarī, Ketumatī and Vasudhā the three beautiful sisters mentioned above, were married by the giants Mālyavān, Sumālī and Mālī respectively. Thus Ketumatī became the wife of Sumālī. To Sumālī and Ketumatī were born ten sons, Prahasta, Akampana, Vikaṭa, Kālakāmukha, Dhūmrākṣa, Daṇḍa, Supārśva, Saṃhrāda, Prakvāta and Bhāsakarṇa and four daughters Vekā, Puṣpotkaṭā, Kaikasī and Kumbhīnasī. Most of the sons were ministers of Rāvaṇa. (Uttara Rāmāyaṇa).

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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In Buddhism

Theravada (major branch of Buddhism)

Source: Pali Kanon: Pali Proper Names

1. Ketumati - The future name of Baranasi. It will be at the head of eighty four thousand towns, the capital of the Cakkavatti Sankha and the birthplace of the Buddha Metteyya. D.iii.75f;; Anagat., vv.8, 30; according to v.8 it is the same as Kusavati.

2. Ketumati - A river in the Himalaya region. Vessantara, with his wife and children, had a meal on its banks, bathed and drank in the river, and from there went to Nalika.

3. Ketumati - The palace of the deva Mahasena (a previous birth of Nagasena). (Mil., p.6).

4. Ketumati - The Pali name for the Burmese city of Taungu (Bode: op. cit., 45).

Ketumati is in Jeyyavaddhanarattha. It was once the capital of King Mahasirijeyyasura who possessed a famous elephant, called Devanaga. Buddhism was established in Ketumati by a monk from Ceylon who was named Mahaparakkama. It later became the residence of famous monks. Sas., pp.80, 81; see also 101, 118, 162.

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Theravāda is a major branch of Buddhism having the the Pali canon (tipitaka) as their canonical literature, which includes the vinaya-pitaka (monastic rules), the sutta-pitaka (Buddhist sermons) and the abhidhamma-pitaka (philosophy and psychology).

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India history and geography

Source: Ancient Buddhist Texts: Geography of Early Buddhism

Ketumatī (केतुमती) is the name of a river situated in Majjhimadesa (Middle Country) of ancient India, as recorded in the Pāli Buddhist texts (detailing the geography of ancient India as it was known in to Early Buddhism).—It is stated in the Vessantara Jātaka that the King Vessantara with his wife and children proceeded to Gandhamādana. Then setting his face northward he passed by the foot of Mount Vipula and rested on the bank of the river Ketumatī. He crossed the stream and then went on to the hill called Nālika. Still moving northward he reached the lake Mucalinda.

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

Sanskrit dictionary

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

Ketumatī (केतुमती).—name of the capital of the future Buddha Maitreya: Mahāvastu iii.240.12; compare Pali Ketumatī, given as a future name for Benares and the birthplace of Metteyya.

Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: Monier-Williams Sanskrit-English Dictionary

1) Ketumatī (केतुमती):—[=ketu-matī] [from ketu-mat > ketu] f. a metre (of 2 x 21 syllables)

2) [v.s. ...] Name of the wife of Sumālin, [Rāmāyaṇa vii, 5, 37]

3) [v.s. ...] Name of a locality, [Horace H. Wilson]

context information

Sanskrit, also spelled संस्कृतम् (saṃskṛtam), is an ancient language of India commonly seen as the grandmother of the Indo-European language family (even English!). 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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