Krittika, Kṛttikā, Kṛttika: 25 definitions


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

The Sanskrit terms Kṛttikā and Kṛttika can be transliterated into English as Krttika or Krittika, using the IAST transliteration scheme (?).

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In Hinduism

Jyotisha (astronomy and astrology)

Source: Wisdom Library: Jyotiṣa

Kṛttikā (भरणी):—Name for a particular section of the ecliptic. It is also known as Kṛttikānakṣatra. Nakṣatra means “Lunar mansion” and corresponds to a specific region of the sky through which the moon passes each day. Kṛttikā means “nurse of Kārttikeya, a son of Śiva” and is associated with the deity known as Agni (God of fire). The presiding Lord of this lunar house is Sūrya (Sun).

Indian zodiac: |26° 40' Meṣa| – |10° Vṛṣabha|
Meṣa (मेष, ‘ram’) corresponds with Aries and Vṛṣabha (वृषभ, ‘bull’) corresponds Taurus

Western zodiac: |22° 40' Taurus| – |6° Gemini|
Taurus corresponds with Vṛṣabha (वृषभ, ‘bull’) and Gemini corresponds with Mithuna (मिथुन, ‘twins’).

Source: Wisdom Library: Brihat Samhita by Varahamihira

Kṛttikā (कृत्तिका) (also Āgneya) refers to one of the twenty-eight Nakṣatra (constellations), according to the Bṛhatsaṃhitā (chapter 15) (“On the nakṣatras—‘asterisms’”), an encyclopedic Sanskrit work written by Varāhamihira mainly focusing on the science of ancient Indian astronomy astronomy (Jyotiṣa).—Accordingly, “Those who are born on the lunar day of Kṛttikā will delight in white flowers, will perform sacrificial rites, will be Brāhmins, potters, priests or astronomers. Those who are born on the lunar day of Rohiṇī will be devout men, merchants, rulers, rich men, Yogis, drivers, or men possessed of cows, cattle and the animals of water, farmers and men possessed of wealth derived from mountain produce”.

Source: Wikibooks (hi): Sanskrit Technical Terms

Kṛttikā (कृत्तिका).—The nakṣatra of Kṛttikā. Note: Kṛttikā is a Sanskrit technical term used in ancient Indian sciences such as Astronomy, Mathematics and Geometry.

Jyotisha book cover
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Jyotisha (ज्योतिष, jyotiṣa or jyotish) refers to ‘astronomy’ or “Vedic astrology” and represents the fifth of the six Vedangas (additional sciences to be studied along with the Vedas). Jyotisha 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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Purana and Itihasa (epic history)

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

1) Kṛttikā (कृत्तिका).—When Subrahmaṇya was born the Devas deputed six mothers to breast-feed him, and they are called Kṛttikās. Certain Purāṇas hold the view that six faces were caused to Subrahmaṇya as he had to feed on six breasts at the same time while others opine that six mothers were deputed to feed him as he was born with six faces. Again, according to certain Purāṇas it was Pārvatī, who deputed the Kṛttikās. The child came to be known as Kārttikeya also as it was fed by the Kṛttikās. (Skanda Purāṇa, Vālmīki Rāmāyaṇa, Bālakāṇḍa, Canto 37 and Kathāsaritsāgara, Lāvāṇakalambaka, Taraṅga 6).

After having fed Skanda the Kṛttikās entered into the sphere of the stars. (Vana Parva, Chapter 236, Verse 11). The star into which the Kṛttikās entered is called the Kṛttikā star. Nārada said once that if one feeds brahmins with ghee and pudding on Kārttika day one may ascend to Devaloka. (Anuśāsana Parva, Chapter 64, Verse 5).

2) Kṛttikā (कृत्तिका).—A holy place. He who bathes here will derive the benefits of performing an Atirātra Yajña. (Vana Parva, Chapter 84, Verse 51).

Source: Shiva Purana - English Translation

Kṛttikā (कृत्तिका) refers to a group of six ladies, according to the Śivapurāṇa 2.4.3 (“The boyhood sports of Kārttikeya”).—Accordingly, as Brahmā narrated to Nārada: “[...] Meanwhile the six ladies named Kṛttikās came there for bath and they saw the lordly boy [i.e., Guha / Kārttikeya]. All of them desired to take and fondle him O sage, as a result of their simultaneous desire for taking and fondling the boy, a dispute arose. In order to quell their mutual dispute, the boy assumed six faces and drank milk off their breasts. O sage, they were all satisfied. [...]”.

Note: According to V.S. Agrawal, Kṛttikās are the six yogic cakras located in the human body in the golden reed.

Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: The Purana Index

1a) Kṛttika (कृत्तिक).—The Pleidas; a lunar mansion; personified. Six in number, nursed Kumāra: wives of Soma, childless due to Dakṣa's curse.1 An important day for the śrāḍdha offerings, sacred to moon.2 A constellation containing six stars.3

  • 1) Bhāgavata-purāṇa IV. 7. 64; VI. 6. 14 and 23; Brahmāṇḍa-purāṇa IV. 30. 100; Matsya-purāṇa 5. 27; 54. 11; 55. 12; 158. 41; Vāyu-purāṇa 72. 43; Viṣṇu-purāṇa I. 15. 115; II. 8. 76.
  • 2) Brahmāṇḍa-purāṇa II. 21. 77 and 145; 24. 130; III. 10. 44; 18. 2.
  • 3) Vāyu-purāṇa 66. 48. 82. 2.

1b) A parva; when the sun goes to the first aṃśa, the moon is in the fourth aṃśa of Viśākha.*

  • * Vāyu-purāṇa 23. 107; 50. 96; 53. 105.
Source: JatLand: List of Mahabharata people and places

Kṛttika (कृत्तिक) refers to the name of a Tīrtha (pilgrim’s destination) mentioned in the Mahābhārata (cf. III.82.46). Note: The Mahābhārata (mentioning Kṛttika) is a Sanskrit epic poem consisting of 100,000 ślokas (metrical verses) and is over 2000 years old.

Kṛttikā is also mentioned in the Mahābhārata (cf. I.60.23) and represents one of the many proper names used for people and places.

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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Shaktism (Shakta philosophy)

Source: Google Books: Manthanabhairavatantram

1) Kṛttikā (कृत्तिका) refers to one of the eight Kaula consorts (dūtī-aṣṭaka) associated with Tisrapīṭha (located in the ‘end of sound’—nādānta), according to the Manthānabhairavatantra, a vast sprawling work that belongs to a corpus of Tantric texts concerned with the worship of the goddess Kubjikā.—[...] The eight Kaula consorts (dūtyaṣṭaka): Revatī, Bhagavatī, Rāmā, Rohiṇī, Kṛttikā, Khecarī, Khaṇḍinī, Kṣānti

2) Kṛttika (कृत्तिक) refers to one of the eight Guardians (kṣetrapāla-aṣṭaka) also associated with Tisrapīṭha.—[...] The eight Guardians (kṣetrapālāṣṭaka): Śrīdhara, Bhāsura, Raudra, Durācāra, Śāntika, Kṛttika, Kālavṛṣṭi, Vasiṣṭha

Shaktism book cover
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Shakta (शाक्त, śākta) or Shaktism (śāktism) represents a tradition of Hinduism where the Goddess (Devi) is revered and worshipped. Shakta literature includes a range of scriptures, including various Agamas and Tantras, although its roots may be traced back to the Vedas.

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Ayurveda (science of life)

Toxicology (Study and Treatment of poison)

Source: Shodhganga: Kasyapa Samhita—Text on Visha Chikitsa

Kṛttikā (कृत्तिका) (Nakṣatra) is considered negative for the recovery for a person to be bitten by snake, as taught in the Kāśyapa Saṃhitā: an ancient Sanskrit text from the Pāñcarātra tradition dealing with both Tantra and Viṣacikitsā—an important topic from Āyurveda which deals with the study of Toxicology (Agadatantra or Sarpavidyā).—The malignant asterisms and baneful lunar phases and astral combinations, with reference to snake-bite, are discussed in the tail-end of the fourth Adhyāya. [...] The Kāśyapasaṃhitā mentions the following details regarding the Nakṣatras:—The stars of a malignant nature that determine the virulence of the poison of the snake bite are [e.g., Kṛttikā] (Cf. verse IV.108)

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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General definition (in Hinduism)

Source: Vedic index of Names and Subjects

Kṛttikā (कृत्तिका).—They are unquestionably η Tauri, etc., the Pleiades. The names of the seven stars forming this constellation, and given above from Yajurveda texts, include three—abhrayantī, ‘forming clouds’; meghayantī, ‘making cloudy’; varṣayantī, ‘causing rain’—which clearly refer to the rainy Pleiades. The word kṛttikā possibly means ‘web,’ from the root kṛt, ‘spin’.

In Buddhism

Mahayana (major branch of Buddhism)

Source: Wisdom Library: Maha Prajnaparamita Sastra

Kṛttikā (कृत्तिका) refers to one of the twenty-seven constellations (nakṣatra) according to according to Mahāprajñāpāramitāśāstra (chapter XIV).—Kṛttikā is the Sanskrit equivalent of Chinese Mao, Tibetan Smin-drug and modern Tauri (Pleiades).

Kṛttikā is classified in the first group: “The moon revolves around the earth in 28 days. If the moon enters one of the six following constellations (e.g., Kṛttikā), then at that moment, the earth trembles (bhūmicala) as if it would collapse, this shaking extends up to the god of fire (Agni). Then there is no more rain, the rivers dry up, the year is bad for grain, the emperor (T’ien tseu) is cruel and the great ministers are evil”.

Source: Bulletin of the French School of the Far East (volume 5)

Kṛttikā (कृत्तिका) is the name of a Nakṣatra mentioned in chapter 18 of the Candragarbha: the 55th section of the Mahāsaṃnipāta-sūtra, a large compilation of Sūtras (texts) in Mahāyāna Buddhism partly available in Sanskrit, Tibetan and Chinese.—Chapter 18 deals with geographical astrology and, in conversation with Brahmarāja and others, Buddha explains how he entrusts the Nakṣatras [e.g., Kṛttikā] with a group of kingdoms for the sake of protection and prosperity.

The Kṛttikānakṣatra comprises the following realms:

  1. Po-lo-tan-lo (Parataṃra?),
  2. Tche-chou-kia (Ṭiśuka?),
  3. P'o-lou-tchö (Baluca?),
  4. Chou-lou-na (Śroṇa),
  5. Kia-p'i-lo-p'o (Kapilava or Kapilavastu),
  6. Chö-ye (Śaya),
  7. Ma-mien (Aśvamukha),
  8. Kia-leou-tch'a (Garuḍa),
  9. Kiao-lo-po-t'o (Gaurapāda?),
  10. Wou-ti (‘the land of Wou’),
  11. Chö-p'o-po-ti (Javapati?),
  12. Pi-leou (Veru?),
  13. Kia-leou-ho (Garuha?),
  14. Yu-t'ien (Khotan),
  15. Kia-p'o-lo (Kaphala?),
  16. Keou-mien (Śvamukha),
  17. Ni-p'o-lo (Nepāla),
  18. Kiu-na-so (Gonāsa?).
Mahayana book cover
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Mahayana (महायान, mahāyāna) is a major branch of Buddhism focusing on the path of a Bodhisattva (spiritual aspirants/ enlightened beings). Extant literature is vast and primarely composed in the Sanskrit language. There are many sūtras of which some of the earliest are the various Prajñāpāramitā sūtras.

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Tibetan Buddhism (Vajrayana or tantric Buddhism)

Source: Wisdom Library: Tibetan Buddhism

Kṛttikā (कृत्तिका) refers to one of the various Nakṣatras mentioned as attending the teachings in the 6th century Mañjuśrīmūlakalpa: one of the largest Kriyā Tantras devoted to Mañjuśrī (the Bodhisattva of wisdom) representing an encyclopedia of knowledge primarily concerned with ritualistic elements in Buddhism. The teachings in this text originate from Mañjuśrī and were taught to and by Buddha Śākyamuni in the presence of a large audience (including Kṛttikā).

Source: The Indian Buddhist Iconography

Kṛttikā (कृत्तिका) refers to the third of the 28 nakṣatras (“constellations”) of the zodiac, as commonly depicted in Buddhist Iconography, and mentioned in the 11th-century Niṣpannayogāvalī of Mahāpaṇḍita Abhayākara.—The nakṣatras are described collectively in the dharmadhātuvāgīśvara-maṇḍala of the Niṣpannayogāvalī. In this maṇḍala the nakṣatras are given one face and two arms, which are clasped against the chest in the añjalimudrā:—“the deities [viz., Kṛttikā] are decked in bejewelled jackets and they all show the añjali-mudrā”.—In colour, however, they differ. [viz., Kṛttikā is given the colour green].

Tibetan Buddhism book cover
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Tibetan Buddhism includes schools such as Nyingma, Kadampa, Kagyu and Gelug. Their primary canon of literature is divided in two broad categories: The Kangyur, which consists of Buddha’s words, and the Tengyur, which includes commentaries from various sources. Esotericism and tantra techniques (vajrayāna) are collected indepently.

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Languages of India and abroad

Marathi-English dictionary

Source: DDSA: The Molesworth Marathi and English Dictionary

kṛttikā (कृत्तिका).—f (S) The third of the lunar mansions, Pleiades.

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

kṛttikā (कृत्तिका).—f The third of the lunar mansions.

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 dictionary

Source: DDSA: The practical Sanskrit-English dictionary

Kṛttikā (कृत्तिका).—(pl.) [kṛt-tikan kicca; Uṇādi-sūtra 3.147]

1) The third of the 27 lunar mansions or asterisms, (consisting of 6 stars) the Pleiades; Bhāgavata 6.14.3.

2) The six stars represented as nymphs acting as nurses to Kārtikeya, the god of war.

Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: Shabda-Sagara Sanskrit-English Dictionary

Kṛttikā (कृत्तिका).—f.

(-kā) 1. The third of the lunar mansions, or constellations in the moon’s path, consisting of six stars, and corresponding to the Pleiades. 2. (In mythology,) a nymph; one of six, the nurses of Kartike'Ya. E. kṛt to cut, ktin and kan affixes; the figure of the asterism is a razor or knife.

Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: Benfey Sanskrit-English Dictionary

Kṛttikā (कृत्तिका).—f., generally pl. The third of the lunar mansions, Mahābhārata 1, 2588.

Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: Cappeller Sanskrit-English Dictionary

Kṛttikā (कृत्तिका).—[feminine] [plural] (later sgl.) the Pleiads, personif. as the nurses of Skanda.

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

1) Kṛttikā (कृत्तिका):—[from kṛt] f. [plural] (rarely sg. [Mahābhārata iii, 14464; Bhāgavata-purāṇa vi, 14, 30]), Name of a constellation (the Pleiads, originally the first, but in later times the third lunar mansion, having Agni as its regent; this constellation, containing six stars, is sometimes represented as a flame or as a kind of razor or knife; for their oldest names See, [Taittirīya-saṃhitā iv, 4, 5, 1]; in mythol. the six Kṛttikās are nymphs who became the nurses of the god of war, Kārttikeya), [Atharva-veda; Taittirīya-saṃhitā; Śatapatha-brāhmaṇa] etc.

2) [v.s. ...] white spots, [Varāha-mihira’s Bṛhat-saṃhitā lxv, 5 [Scholiast or Commentator]]

3) [v.s. ...] a vehicle, cart, [Śatapatha-brāhmaṇa xiii [Scholiast or Commentator]]

Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: Yates Sanskrit-English Dictionary

Kṛttika (कृत्तिक):—[(kaḥ-kī-kaṃ) a.] Cutting, injured. () 1. f. The third of the lunar mansions; a nymph.

Source: DDSA: Paia-sadda-mahannavo; a comprehensive Prakrit Hindi dictionary (S)

Kṛttikā (कृत्तिका) in the Sanskrit language is related to the Prakrit word: Kattiyā.

[Sanskrit to German]

Krittika in German

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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