Madhyama, aka: Mādhyama; 15 Definition(s)


Madhyama 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

Natyashastra (theatrics and dramaturgy)

1) Madhyama (मध्यम) refers to the fourth of the seven “musical notes” (svara), according to the Nāṭyaśāstra chapter 6, chapter 19 and chapter 28. These seven notes are part of the ‘vocal representation’ (vācika), which is used in communicating the meaning of the drama and calling forth the sentiment (rasa). The seven notes (svara) are to be used in different sentiments (rasa). For example, madhyama and pañcama are to be used in the heroic (vīra), the furious (raudra) and the marvellous (adbhuta) sentiment.

The presiding deity of the madhyama musical note (svara) is defined by various sources:

Nāradīyā-śīkṣā 1.5.13-14 mentions that the madhyama note is sung by Viṣṇu.
Bṛhaddeśī 75-76 mentions Śiva as the presiding deity of madhyama.
Saṅgītaratnākara 1.3.57-58 mentions Śiva as the presiding deity of madhyama.
Saṃgītamakaranda 1.1.38, Idem.
Cf. Saṃgītarāja

The following animal sounds are associated with this note:

Nāradīyā-śīkṣā 1.5.3 assigns this note to the cry of the curlew (krauñca).
Bṛhaddeśī 64, p13, 2.1-5, Idem.
Saṃgītamakaranda 1.1.13, Idem.
Saṅgītaratnākara, Idem.
Cf. Saṃgītarāja

2) Madhyama (मध्यम) refers to one of the jātis (melodic class) related to the madhyama-grāma, according to the Nāṭyaśāstra chapter 28. It is therefore also known as madhyamajāti. Jāti refers to a recognized melody-type and can be seen as a precursor to rāgas which replaced them.

According to the Nāṭyaśāstra 28.128-130, “in the madhyama-jāti the aṃśa (key note) is ṣaḍja, ṛṣabha, madhyama, pañcama and dhaivata, and they are the apanyāsa (semi-terminal note), and the nyāsa (terminal note) is madhyama. The two notes of two śrutis (i.e, gāndhāra and niṣāda) are to be weakened, and its pentatonic treatment (auḍava / auḍavita) excludes gāndhāra and niṣāda, while its hexatonic treatment (ṣāḍava / ṣāḍavita) excludes gāndhāra. In it the amplification (bahutva) of ṣaḍja and madhyama, and weakness (alpatva, reduction) of gāndhāra have been prescribed”.

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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Purana and Itihasa (epic history)

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Madhyama (मध्यम, “middling”) refers to a classifications of maṇḍapa (halls attached to the temple), according to the Matsya-purāṇa (verses 270.1-30). The Matsyapurāṇa is one of the eighteen major purāṇas dating from the 1st-millennium BCE.

Source: Wisdom Library: Purāṇas

1a) Madhyama (मध्यम).—The eighteenth kalpa; the beginning of madhyama svara.*

  • * Vāyu-purāṇa 21. 38.

1b) A name of a svara sacred to Dhaivata.*

  • * Va. 21. 39.
Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: The Purana Index

Madhyama (मध्यम) is a name mentioned in the Mahābhārata (cf. XIV.8.19, XIV.8) and represents one of the many proper names used for people and places. Note: The Mahābhārata (mentioning Madhyama) is a Sanskrit epic poem consisting of 100,000 ślokas (metrical verses) and is over 2000 years old.

Source: JatLand: List of Mahabharata 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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Shiksha (linguistics: phonetics, phonology etc.)

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Madhyama (मध्यम) refers to the fourth of six notes (svara) in Indian music.—The essence of madhyama is in the air, which, rising from the navel, striking the chest and the heart, reaches the navel as a big sound. (Nāradīyā-śikṣā 1. 5.7-11)

Source: Google Books: Dattilam: A Compendium of Ancient Indian Music [shiksha]
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Shiksha (शिक्षा, śikṣā) deals with Sanskrit linguistics and represents a branch of vedanga (vedic ancillary science). Shiksha deals with subjects such as phonetics, phonology, study of sound, letters of the Sanskrit alphabet and related topics. Much attention is also given to the study of recitation (patha) of Vedic verses.

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Shilpashastra (iconography)

Madhyama (मध्यम).—Illustration of the madhyama-svara according to 15th century art.—The colour of the body of madhyama-svara is yellow like gold. He has four hands. His upper right hand is in the varada-mudrā; and lotus is in his left hand; in lower right hand there is a jar (kalaśa) and in the left hand a vīṇā (Indian lute). His vehicle is a Krauñca bird. The colour of his scarf is green with a black design and the colour of the lower garment is rosy with a red design.

The illustrations (of, for example Madhyama) are found scattered throughout ancient Jain manuscripts from Gujarat. The descriptions of these illustrations of this citrāvalī are based on the ślokas of Vācanācārya Gaṇi Sudhākalaśa’s Saṅgītopaniṣatsāroddhāra (14th century) and Śārṅgadeva’s Saṅgītaratnākara (13th century).

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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Arthashastra (politics and welfare)

Mādhyama refers to “intermediary situated close to the conqueror and the latter’s immediate enemy” and represents one of the twelve categories of the maṇḍala system laid out by Kauṭilya (4th century BCE) and Kāmandaka (7th century A.D.). These twelve cateogires of state can be broadly applied to Gaṇapatideva  (r. 1199-1262 A.D.) and the Kākatīya empire.—The Telugu Coḍas of Nellore are an example of Mādhyama.

Source: Shodhganga: Kakati Ganapatideva and his times (artha)
Arthashastra book cover
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Arthashastra (अर्थशास्त्र, arthaśāstra) literature concerns itself with the teachings (shastra) of economic prosperity (artha) statecraft, politics and military tactics. The term arthashastra refers to both the name of these scientific teachings, as well as the name of a Sanskrit work included in such literature. This book was written (3rd century BCE) by by Kautilya, who flourished in the 4th century BCE.

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Vyakarana (Sanskrit grammar)

Madhyama in Vyakarana glossary... « previous · [M] · next »

1) Madhyama (मध्यम).—The middle person (मध्य-मपुरुष (madhya-mapuruṣa)), cf. युष्मद्युपपदे (yuṣmadyupapade)...मध्यमः (madhyamaḥ) P. I. 4.105; cf. also Nir. VII. 7;

2) Madhyama.—Middling tone or effort cf. मध्यमेन स वाक्ययोगः (madhyamena sa vākyayogaḥ) T. Pr. XVIII. 4, where the commentator explains the word as उच्चनीचसमाहारविलक्षणः वाक्प्रयोगः । (uccanīcasamāhāravilakṣaṇaḥ vākprayogaḥ |) the word मध्यमा (madhyamā) is used in this sense as qualifying a mode of utterance. वृत्ति (vṛtti); cf. अभ्यासार्थे द्रुतां वृत्तिं प्रयोगार्थे तु मध्यमाम् । (abhyāsārthe drutāṃ vṛttiṃ prayogārthe tu madhyamām |) Ṟ. Pr. XIII. 19; cf also चतुष्कला मध्यमायार्म् (catuṣkalā madhyamāyārm) R. T. 32;

3) Madhyama.—One of the seven modes of speech or tones. cf सप्त वाचः स्थानानि भवन्ति । उपांशुध्वान-निमदेपव्दिमन्मन्द्रमध्यमताराणि (sapta vācaḥ sthānāni bhavanti | upāṃśudhvāna-nimadepavdimanmandramadhyamatārāṇi) T. Pr. XXIII.4 and 5 and also कण्ठे मध्यमम् (kaṇṭhe madhyamam) XVIII.11 where the commentatator explains मध्यम (madhyama) as यत्र कण्ठे स्थाने प्रयोग उपलभ्यते तन्मध्यमं नाम षष्ठं वाचस्स्थानम् । (yatra kaṇṭhe sthāne prayoga upalabhyate tanmadhyamaṃ nāma ṣaṣṭhaṃ vācassthānam |)

4) Madhyama.—One of the seven musical notes originating or proceeding from the Svarita accent cf., स्वरित-प्रभवा ह्येते षड्जमध्यमपञ्चमाः (svarita-prabhavā hyete ṣaḍjamadhyamapañcamāḥ) Pāṇ Śikṣā.

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Madhyamā (मध्यमा).—(or मध्यमवृत्ति (madhyamavṛtti)) See मध्यम (madhyama) (2).

Source: Wikisource: A dictionary of Sanskrit grammar
context information

Vyakarana (व्याकरण, vyākaraṇa) refers to Sanskrit grammar and represents one of the six additional sciences (vedanga) to be studied along with the Vedas. Vyakarana concerns itself with the rules of Sanskrit grammar and linguistic analysis in order to establish the correct context of words and sentences.

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Pancaratra (worship of Nārāyaṇa)

Madhyamā (मध्यमा).—Parā, Paśyantī, Madhyamā and Vaikharī are the four stages through which sounds pass through before they become audible. At first, it is in the form of air. Then it teaches the stage of Paśyantī. The next stage is called Madhyamā (Kal P. 182) and the last one is Vaikharī where it is uttered, tridhā: into three.

Source: Isvara Samhita Vol 5
Pancaratra book cover
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Pancaratra (पाञ्चरात्र, pāñcarātra) represents a tradition of Hinduism where Narayana is revered and worshipped. Closeley related to Vaishnavism, the Pancaratra literature includes various Agamas and tantras incorporating many Vaishnava philosophies.

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In Jainism

General definition (in Jainism)

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Madhyama (मध्यम, “middle”) refers to a classification of a śrāvaka (laymen), based on his progress through the pratimās, according to Āśādhara. Madhyama refers to the seventh to ninth pratimās, also known as a Varṇin.

Source: Jaina Yoga
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

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madhyama (मध्यम).—a (S) Middle, mediate, centrical. 2 fig. Middling, moderate, holding the mean.

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madhyama (मध्यम).—m (S) The fifth note of the Hindu gamut.

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madhyamā (मध्यमा).—f (S) The middle finger. 2 A female just attained to puberty. 3 Speech in the third of its four stages of progress from the first stirring of the air or breath in the trachea or the larynx unto vaikharī Articulate utterance. See parā, paśyantī, vaikharī. 4 A form of metre.

Source: DDSA: The Molesworth Marathi and English Dictionary

madhyama (मध्यम).—a Middle. Fig. Moderate, middling. time.

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

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Madhyama (मध्यम).—a. [madhye bhavaḥ ma]

1) Being or standing in the middle, middle, central; पितुः पदं मध्यममुत्पतन्ती (pituḥ padaṃ madhyamamutpatantī) V.1.19; मध्यमोपलम् (madhyamopalam) Ki.9.2; so मध्यमलोकपालः, मध्यमपदम्, मध्यमरेखा (madhyamalokapālaḥ, madhyamapadam, madhyamarekhā) q. q. v. v.

2) Intermediate, intervening; नाप्नोद्योऽयं मध्यमः प्राणस्तानि ज्ञातुं दध्रिरे (nāpnodyo'yaṃ madhyamaḥ prāṇastāni jñātuṃ dadhrire) Bṛ. Up.1.5.21.

3) Middling condition or quality, mediocre; as in उत्तमाधममध्यम (uttamādhamamadhyama).

4) Middling, moderate; तेन मध्यमशक्तीनि मित्राणि स्थापितान्यतः (tena madhyamaśaktīni mitrāṇi sthāpitānyataḥ) R.17.58.

5) Middle-sized.

6) Neither youngest nor oldest, the middleborn (as a brother); प्रणमति पितरौ वां मध्यमः पाण्डवोऽयम् (praṇamati pitarau vāṃ madhyamaḥ pāṇḍavo'yam) Ve.5.26; ततोऽर्धं मध्यमस्य स्यात् तुरीयं तु यवीयसः (tato'rdhaṃ madhyamasya syāt turīyaṃ tu yavīyasaḥ) Ms.9.112.

7) Impartial, neutral.

8) Mean (in astr.).

9) Belonging to the meridian.

-maḥ 1 The fifth note in music.

2) A particular musical mode.

3) The mid-land country; see मध्यदेश (madhyadeśa).

4) The second person (in grammar).

5) A neutral sovereign; धर्मोत्तरं मध्यममाश्रयन्ते (dharmottaraṃ madhyamamāśrayante) R.13.7.

6) the middle-most prince; मध्यमस्य प्रचारं च विजिगीषोश्च चेष्टितम् (madhyamasya pracāraṃ ca vijigīṣośca ceṣṭitam) Ms.7.155.

7) the middle character in plays.

8) The governor of a province.

9) An epithet of Bhīma; (cf. madhvamavyāyoga).

-mā 1 The middle finger.

2) A marriageable girl, one arrived at the age of puberty.

3) The pericarp of a lotus.

4) One of the classes of heroines (Nāyikās) in poetic compositions, a woman in the middle of her youth; cf. S. D. 1.

5) A central blossom.

-mam 1 The middle.

2) The waist; तदैव यन्न दग्धस्त्वं धर्षयंस्तनुमध्यमाम् (tadaiva yanna dagdhastvaṃ dharṣayaṃstanumadhyamām) Rām.6.111.24.

3) The defectiveness.

4) (In astr.) The meridian ecliptic point.

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Mādhyama (माध्यम).—a. (- f.) [मध्यम-अण् (madhyama-aṇ)] Belonging to the middle portion, central, middle, middlemost.

Source: DDSA: The practical Sanskrit-English dictionary
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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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Relevant definitions

Search found 162 related definition(s) that might help you understand this better. Below you will find the 15 most relevant articles:

Madhyamapuruṣa (मध्यमपुरुष).—m. (-ṣaḥ) The second person, (in gram.)
Sumadhyamā (सुमध्यमा).—f. (-mā) A woman with a handsome waist. E. su, madhyama middle.
Madhyamaloka (मध्यमलोक).—m. (-kaḥ) The earth, the world of mortals. E. madhyama middle, and lok...
Madhyamagrāma (मध्यमग्राम).—(in music) the middle scale. Derivable forms: madhyamagrāmaḥ (मध्यम...
Madhyamāharaṇa (मध्यमाहरण).—n. (-ṇaṃ) The elimination of the middle term in an equation, (in al...
Madhyamavayaska (मध्यमवयस्क).—a. middle-aged. Madhyamavayaska is a Sanskrit compound consisting...
Madhyamamadhyama (मध्यममध्यम) is a Sanskrit technical term, referring to a classification of...
Madhyamasvara (मध्यमस्वर) is another name for madhyama: one of the three svaras (notes) used in...
Sabhā-madhyama.—(SITI), the village common or waste land in the village belonging to the sabhā;...
Madhyamabhṛtaka (मध्यमभृतक).—a husbandman or cultivator (who works both for himself and his mas...
Madhyamagati (मध्यमगति).—(in astr.) the mean motion of a planet. Derivable forms: madhyamagatiḥ...
Madhyamarātra (मध्यमरात्र).—midnight. Derivable forms: madhyamarātraḥ (मध्यमरात्रः).Madhyamarāt...
Madhyamasavana (मध्यमसवन).—Mean solar day. Note: Madhyama-savana is a Sanskrit technical term u...
Madhyamāgama (मध्यमागम).—one of the four Āgamas; Buddh. Derivable forms: madhyamāgamaḥ (मध्यमाग...
Madhyamapāṇḍava (मध्यमपाण्डव).—an epithet of Arjuna. Derivable forms: madhyamapāṇḍavaḥ (मध्यमपा...

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