Matra, aka: Mātrā; 13 Definition(s)


Matra 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

Dharmashastra (religious law)

The term ‘mātrā,’ ‘moment,’ stands for that point of time which is taken up in the pronouncing of a simple unmodified vowel; and in as much as this cannot be consistent with the time-limit prescribed by Yājñavalkya, this latter cannot be accepted as applicable to what is prescribed by Gautama; in which connection again no mantras are laid down. From this it is clear that there can be ‘ Breath-suspensions ’ even without the uttering of the syllable ‘oṃ.’ And thus there need be no mutual interdependence. (Manubhāṣya, II.75)

Source: Google Books: Manusmṛti with the Manubhāṣya
Dharmashastra book cover
context information

Dharmashastra (धर्मशास्त्र, dharmaśāstra) contains the instructions (shastra) regarding religious conduct of livelihood (dharma), ceremonies, jurisprudence (study of law) and more. It is categorized as smriti, an important and authoritative selection of books dealing with the Hindu lifestyle.

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Mātrā (मात्रा).—The shortest period of time.*

  • * Viṣṇu-purāṇa VI. 3. 6.
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)

Mātrā (मात्रा) refers to one of the twenty aspects of tāla (time-measure), according to the Nāṭyaśāstrahapter chapter 28. In musical performance, tāla refers to any rhythmic beat or strike that measures musical time. It is an important concept in ancient Indian musical theory (gāndharvaśāstra) traceable to the Vedic era.

Source: Wisdom Library: Nāṭya-śāstra

Mātrā (मात्रा, “measure”).—A verse in Sanskrit is of four feet or quarters or pādas. Each pāda is regulated either by a number of syllables (akṣaras) or by a number of syllabic instant or measures (mātrās). The metres regulated by akṣaras are called vṛttas and those regulated by mātrās are called jātis. A vṛtta is divided into three classes viz. samavṛtta, ardhasamavṛtta, and viṣamavṛtta. Again, yati or pause or caesura is a part of a verse, at which the reader is required to stop his breath and then proceed on.

Source: Shodhganga: Mankhaka a sanskrit literary genius (natya)
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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Vastushastra (architecture)

Mātra (मात्र).—The neuter noun mātram aiso derives from √, “to measure”. Lexicographers give its meaning as “a measure”, in the concrete and not abstract sense, that is, an actual measurement of any kind (length, breadth, height, depth, distance, size, number and so on). It is usually found at the end of compounds, such as rekhāmātra and arthamātra. In such cases, the compounds are interpreted as tatpuruṣa compounds; thus rekhāmātra would be glossed as rekhāyaḥ mātram, “the measurement (such as length) of a line”, and arthamātra as arthasya mātram, “a certain sum of money”.

Source: McGill: The architectural theory of the Mānasāra
Vastushastra book cover
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Vastushastra (वास्तुशास्त्र, vāstuśāstra) refers to the ancient Indian science (shastra) of architecture (vastu), dealing with topics such architecture, sculpture, town-building, fort building and various other constructions. Vastu also deals with the philosophy of the architectural relation with the cosmic universe.

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Vyakarana (Sanskrit grammar)

1) Mātrā (मात्रा).—Measure, quantity ; cf भवति हि तत्र या च यावती च अर्थमात्रा (bhavati hi tatra yā ca yāvatī ca arthamātrā) M. Bh. on P.I.2.45 and II.1.1 ;

2) Mātrā.—Mora, prosodial unit of one instant i.e. the length of time required to pronounce a short vowel: cf. भूयसी मात्रा इवर्णोवर्णयोः, अल्पीयसी अवर्णस्य (bhūyasī mātrā ivarṇovarṇayoḥ, alpīyasī avarṇasya), M.Bh. on I.1.48 Vart. 4: cf. मात्रा ह्रस्वस्तावद-वग्रहान्तरं, द्वे दीर्धः,तिस्रः प्लुत उच्यते स्वरः (mātrā hrasvastāvada-vagrahāntaraṃ, dve dīrdhaḥ, tisraḥ pluta ucyate svaraḥ) R. Pr.I.16: cf also R. Pr. I.34, T. Pr.I.37, V.Pr.I.59, R.T.28 also cf अर्धमात्रालाघवेन पुत्रोत्सवं मन्यन्ते वैयाकरणाः (ardhamātrālāghavena putrotsavaṃ manyante vaiyākaraṇāḥ) Par. Sek. Pari. 132. The instant is taken to be equal to the throbbing of the eye, or a flash of lightning, or a note of a wood-cock.

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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Chandas (prosody, study of Sanskrit metres)

Mātrā (मात्रा).—The Classical metres are divided into three types viz. 1. vṛtta or varṇa, 2. mātrā or jāti 3. gadya. The metres (chandas) which are calculated through letters are called as varṇa type, and the mātrā type is calculated by syllabic instances. The gadya type of metres are not accepted by all prosodicians, but authorities like Gaṅgādāsa, Candraśekhara, Raghunātha and Gopīnātha advocate for this metre.

Source: Shodhganga: a concise history of Sanskrit Chanda literature
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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General definition (in Hinduism)

Mātrā; a word in Hindi and many languages of North India, means the length of time required to pronounce a syllable. Mātrā has several other meanings including measure, quantity, dose of medicine.

Source: WikiPedia: Hinduism

Languages of India and abroad

Marathi-English dictionary

mātra (मात्र).—n S The primitive subtil or invisible type of visible elementary matter. 2 The whole, the whole order or class, the entire thing. Ex. manuṣya- mātra pāpī āhē.

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mātra (मात्र).—ad (S) Only, merely, barely, solely. Ex. kāḍīmātra, aṇumātra, kṣaṇamātra, vitastimātra; bhātamātra khā bhājīpālā tulā varjya; tulā mātra bulāvilēṃ. 2 Used as s f and improperly for mātrā in its first sense.

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mātrā (मात्रा).—f (S) The oblique line raised upon the horizontal limb of the Nagari characters, conveying the power of the vowels ē or ओ; as ka with the matra becomes kē, kā with the matra becomes ; kai & kau are letters with double matra. 2 A short vowel; or the time that lapses in the utterance of it, a moment. 3 Quantity (in metre or prosody), a syllabic foot: musical or other measure. 4 A medicinal preparation of metals and minerals (esp. in the form of pill or powder): also, freely, any compound (mineral or herbal) of healing virtue, or any medicament or drug. 5 A small quantity. Ex. mṛdaṅgācē avājāpēkṣāṃ viṇyācā sūra ēka mātrā adhika āhē. 6 Wealth or property, material, substance, money or goods. Ex. mātrā āṇāvī majapāsīṃ || nāhīṃ tariṃ mukāla prāṇāsīṃ || mājhyā hastēṃ tatkāḷā ||. 7 In the vēdānta-philosophy. Any object of the affections or appetites.

Source: DDSA: The Molesworth Marathi and English Dictionary

mātra (मात्र).—ad Only. n The whole class, as mānuṣyamātrā.

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mātrā (मात्रा).—f A syllabic foot. A medicinal preparation. Wealth. The oblique line raised upon an alphabet. mātrā vara asaṇēṃ Have the upper hand or superiority.

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

Mātra (मात्र).—a. (-trā, -trī f.) [मा-त्रन् (mā-tran)] An affix added to nouns in the sense of 'measuring as much as', 'as high or long, or broad as', 'reaching as far as', as in ऊरुमात्री भित्तिः (ūrumātrī bhittiḥ); पञ्चदशयोजनमात्रमध्वानमतिचक्राम (pañcadaśayojanamātramadhvānamaticakrāma) K.; (in this sense the word may as well be considered to be mātrā at the end of comp. q. v. below).

-traḥ A Brāhmaṇa of the lower order (by brith).

-tram 1 A measure, whether of length, breadth, height, size, space, distance or number; अग्रे तिष्ठत मात्रं मे (agre tiṣṭhata mātraṃ me) Bhāg.6.11.5; usually at the end of comp, i. e. अङ्गुलिमात्रम् (aṅgulimātram) a 'finger's breadth'; किंचिन्मात्रं गत्वा (kiṃcinmātraṃ gatvā) 'to some distance'; क्रोशमात्रे (krośamātre) 'at the distance of a Krośa', रेखामात्रमपि (rekhāmātramapi) 'even the breadth of a line, as much as a line'; रेखामात्रमपि क्षुण्णादा मनोर्वर्त्मनः परम् (rekhāmātramapi kṣuṇṇādā manorvartmanaḥ param), (na vyatīyuḥ) R.1.17; so क्षणमात्रम्, निमिष- मात्रम् (kṣaṇamātram, nimiṣa- mātram) 'the space of an instant', शतमात्र (śatamātra) 'a hundred in number'; so गजमात्र (gajamātra) 'as high or big as an elephant'; तालमात्र, यवमात्र (tālamātra, yavamātra) &c.

2) The full measure of anything, the whole or entire class of things, totality; जीवमात्रम् (jīvamātram) or प्राणिमात्रम् (prāṇimātram) 'the entire class of living beings'; मनुष्य- मात्रो मर्त्यः (manuṣya- mātro martyaḥ) 'every man is mortal'; वस्तुमात्रपक्षकोऽनुपसंहारी (vastumātrapakṣako'nupasaṃhārī) (hetuḥ) Tarka K.; मानुषमात्रदुष्करं कर्मानुष्ठितम् (mānuṣamātraduṣkaraṃ karmānuṣṭhitam) Dk.

3) The simple measure of anything, the one thing and no more, often translateable by 'mere', 'only', 'even'; जातिमात्रेण (jātimātreṇa) H.1.58 'by mere caste', टिट्टिभमात्रेण समुद्रो व्याकुलीकृतः (ṭiṭṭibhamātreṇa samudro vyākulīkṛtaḥ) 2.149. 'by a mere wag-tail', वाचामात्रेण जाप्यसे (vācāmātreṇa jāpyase) Ś.2 'merely by words'; so अर्थमात्रम्, संमानमात्रम् (arthamātram, saṃmānamātram) Pt.1.83; used with past participles मात्र (mātra) may be translated by 'as soon as', 'no sooner than', 'just'; विद्धमात्रः (viddhamātraḥ) R.5.51 'as soon as pierced'; 'when just pierced'; भुक्तमात्रे (bhuktamātre) 'just after eating'; प्रविष्टमात्र एव तत्र- भवति (praviṣṭamātra eva tatra- bhavati) Ś.3 &c.

4) An element, elementary matter; अहं पयो ज्योतिरथानिलो नभो मात्राणि देवा मन इन्द्रियाणि (ahaṃ payo jyotirathānilo nabho mātrāṇi devā mana indriyāṇi) Bhāg. 1.59.31.

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Mātrā (मात्रा).—1 A measure; see मात्रम् (mātram) above.

2) A standard of measure, standard, rule.

3) The correct measure; तस्य मात्रा न विद्यते (tasya mātrā na vidyate) Mb.13.93.45.

4) A unit of measure, a foot.

5) A moment.

6) A particle, an atom; पृथिवी च पृथिवीमात्रा (pṛthivī ca pṛthivīmātrā) &c. Praśna Up.4.8.

7) A part, portion; लभेमहि धनमात्रान् (labhemahi dhanamātrān) Ch. Up.1.1.6; सुरेन्द्रमात्राश्रितगर्भगौरवात् (surendramātrāśritagarbhagauravāt) R.3.11.

8) A small portion, a little, trifle, a little quantity, a small measure only; see मात्र (mātra) (3).

9) Account, consideration; राजेति कियती मात्रा (rājeti kiyatī mātrā) Pt.1.4 'of what account or consideration is a king', i. e. I hold him of no account; कायस्थ इति लध्वी मात्रा (kāyastha iti ladhvī mātrā) Mu.1.

1) Money, wealth, property; शून्यमठिकायां मात्राः समवतार्य (śūnyamaṭhikāyāṃ mātrāḥ samavatārya) Dk.2.8; नक्तंदिनं कक्षा- न्तरात्तां मात्रां न मुञ्चति (naktaṃdinaṃ kakṣā- ntarāttāṃ mātrāṃ na muñcati) Pt.1; कथमस्यार्थमात्रा हर्तव्या (kathamasyārthamātrā hartavyā) ibid.

11) (In prosody) A prosodial or syllabic instant, the time required to pronounce a short vowel; गच्छेत् षोडशमात्राभिः (gacchet ṣoḍaśamātrābhiḥ) Śukra.4.963; एकमात्रो भवेद् ह्रस्वः (ekamātro bhaved hrasvaḥ).

12) An element.

13) The material world, matter.

14) The upper part of the Nāgarī characters.

15) An ear-ring.

16) An ornament; a jewel.

17) A measure of time (in music.).

18) Function of the organs (indriyavṛtti).

19) Change (vikāra); सन्निवेश्यात्ममात्रासु सर्वभूतानि निर्ममे (sanniveśyātmamātrāsu sarvabhūtāni nirmame) Ms.1.16.

2) = बुद्धिः (buddhiḥ); न मात्रामनुरुध्यन्ते (na mātrāmanurudhyante) Mb.12.27.12. (com. mīyate viṣayā anayeti mātrā buddhiḥ).

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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Relevant definitions

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