Matri, Mātṛ, Mātrī: 13 definitions

Introduction

Matri 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.

The Sanskrit term Mātṛ can be transliterated into English as Matr or Matri, using the IAST transliteration scheme (?).

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In Hinduism

Natyashastra (theatrics and dramaturgy)

Source: archive.org: The mirror of gesture (abhinaya-darpana)

Mātṛ (मातृ, “mother”).—One of the Eleven Hands denoting Relationships.—(Instructions:) Left hand Ardha-candra, right hand Saṃdaṃsa, the left hand then placed on the stomach, showing the Strī hand; indicating mother or daughter.

Note: The Strī (woman) hand is not separately described, but it will be seen that it consists in placing either hand on the stomach, indicating the womb.

Natyashastra book cover
context information

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)

Source: archive.org: Naisadhacarita of Sriharsa (purana)

Mātṛ (मातृ) or Mātṛkā refers to a set of Goddesses.—As has been pointed out by Avalon in the Introduction (p. 35) to Prapañcasāra-tantra, the Mātṛs are seven [viz., Saptamātṛkā (seven mothers)]:—

  1. Brahmāṇī,
  2. Rudrāṇī,
  3. Kaumārī,
  4. Vaiṣṇavī,
  5. Vārāhī,
  6. Aindrī,
  7. Cāmuṇḍā or Mahābharavī.

Usually eight are spoken of and sometimes nine; the others being Aparājitā and Nārasiṃhī.

Skandapurāṇa (Kāśīkhaṇḍa, 83.33 of Uttarārdha) mentions the following Nine Mātṛs:

  1. Brahmāṇī,
  2. Vaiṣṇavī,
  3. Raudrī,
  4. Vārāhī,
  5. Nārasiṃhī,
  6. Kaumārī,
  7. Māhendrī,
  8. Cāmuṇḍā,
  9. Caṇḍakā.

Nine Mātṛs are invoked in the Mātṛ hymn found in Devīpurāṇa (chapter 87) and the worship of the following nine is prescribed in Brahmavaivartapurāṇa (Prakṛtikhaṇḍa) 64.87-88 in connection with the Durgā cult.

Devībhāgavata (12.11.57-58), on the other hand, mentions Eight Mātṛs [viz., Aṣṭamātṛkā (eight mothers)], namely:

  1. Brāhmī,
  2. Māheśvarī,
  3. Kaumārī,
  4. Vaiṣṇavī,
  5. Vārāhī,
  6. Indrāṇī,
  7. Cāmuṇḍā,
  8. Mahālakṣmī.

The characteristics of these eight are described in detail in the Nityāṣoḍaśikārṇava belonging to Vāmakeśvara-tantra (8.126ff).

Source: archive.org: Shiva Purana - English Translation

Mātṛ (मातृ) are the divine mothers or personified energies of the principal deities reckoned variously as seven, eight, nine or sixteen in numbers. They are closely connected with the worship of Śiva and are described as attending on his son Kārttikeya to whom at first only seven Mātṛs were assigned.

Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: The Purana Index

Mātṛ (मातृ).—A Deva gaṇa;1 fought with Utkala in the Devāsura war, but were put to flight by Kṛṣṇa.2

  • 1) Vāyu-purāṇa 72. 50.
  • 2) Bhāgavata-purāṇa II. 10. 38; VI. 8. 25; VIII. 10. 33; X. 63. 11.
Purana book cover
context information

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

Mahayana (major branch of Buddhism)

Source: Wisdom Library: Maha Prajnaparamita Sastra

Mātṛ (मातृ, “mother ”).—According to the 2nd century Mahāprajñāpāramitāśāstra (chapter XIV), “all beings obtained the mind of equanimity (samacitta) by thinking of one another with the feelings one would feel (for example) for one’s mother (mātṛ)”.

In the course of innumerable generations, all beings have been one’s mother (mātṛ), father, elder brother, younger brother, elder sister, younger sister and relative. Furthermore, according to the true nature (satyalakṣaṇa) of dharmas, there is no father or mother, no elder or younger brother; but people who are submerged in the error of self believe in their existence and thus there is the question of father and mother, elder and younger brother. Therefore it is not a lie when, by virtue of a wholesome mind (kuśalacitta), we consider one another with the feelings we would feel (for example) for a mother (mātṛ).

Mahayana book cover
context information

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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India history and geogprahy

Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: Indian Epigraphical Glossary

Mātṛ.—(EI 9), the Divine Mothers, often described as seven in number; cf. mātṛ-maṇḍala, various forms of the Mother- goddess installed around a Śiva temple. Note: mātṛ is defined in the “Indian epigraphical glossary” as it can be found on ancient inscriptions commonly written in Sanskrit, Prakrit or Dravidian languages.

India history book cover
context information

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-English dictionary

Source: DDSA: The practical Sanskrit-English dictionary

Mātṛ (मातृ).—f. [mān pūjāyāṃ tṛc nalopaḥ Uṇ.2.94]

1) A mother; मातृवत् परदारेषु यः पश्यति स पश्यति (mātṛvat paradāreṣu yaḥ paśyati sa paśyati); सहस्रं तु पितॄन् माता गौरवेणातिरिच्यते (sahasraṃ tu pitṝn mātā gauraveṇātiricyate) Subhāṣ माता किल मनुष्याणां देवतानां च दैवतम् (mātā kila manuṣyāṇāṃ devatānāṃ ca daivatam) Madhyamavyāyoga 1.37; माता च परमं दैवतं समा च पुत्रेषु इत्येतैरुपबध्यमानो जननीवचनोऽवगम्यते (mātā ca paramaṃ daivataṃ samā ca putreṣu ityetairupabadhyamāno jananīvacano'vagamyate) ŚB. on MS.1.1.14.

2) Mother as a term of respect or endearment; मातर्लक्ष्मि भजस्व कंचिदपरम् (mātarlakṣmi bhajasva kaṃcidaparam) Bh.3.64,87; अयि मातर्देवयजनसंभवे देवि सीते (ayi mātardevayajanasaṃbhave devi sīte) U.4.

3) A cow.

4) An epithet of Lakṣmī.

5) An epithet of Durgā.

6) Ether, sky.

7) The earth.

8) A divine mother; मातृभ्यो बलिमुपहर (mātṛbhyo balimupahara) Mk.1.

9) An epithet of Revatī.

1) Name of several plants; आखुकर्णी, इन्द्रवारुणी (ākhukarṇī, indravāruṇī) and जटामांसी (jaṭāmāṃsī) &c. -pl.

1) An epithet of the divine mothers, said to attend on Śiva, but usually on Skanda. (They are usually said to be 8 :-brāhmī māheśvarī caṇḍī vārāhī vaiṣṇavī tathā | kaumārī caiva cāmuṇḍā carciketyaṣṭa mātaraḥ || or, according to some, only seven :-brāhmī māheśvarī caiva kaumārī vaiṣṇavī tathā | māhendrī caiva vārāhī cāmuṇḍā sapta mātaraḥ || Some increase the number to sixteen).

2) Name of eight classes of female ancestors of Manes. -m.

1) A measurer.

2) Ved. A maker, builder, creator.

3) A knower, one having true knowledge.

4) Life or soul (jīva) [cf. L. Mater.]

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

Mātrī (मात्री).—adj. f. (to m. *mātra, from Sanskrit mātṛ plus a?), of the mother, maternal: (svaka-svakā yeva) mātrīyo bhaginīyo parasparasya vivāhitā Mahāvastu i.351.4, (the princes) gave to each other in marriage each their own sisters by the same mother (thus avoiding the marriage of any with his co-uterine sister). So the Tibetan version cited by Senart p. 625; Senart misunderstands the Sanskrit text; he reads mātṛyo with v.l. (and with both mss. line 8 below), but this can only be a corruption. The Pali adj. mātiya which he cites is not known to [Pali Text Society’s Pali-English Dictionary]; Childers cites it with no textual reference; even if a genuine Pali word, it can hardly be concerned here.

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

Matr (मत्र्).—[(i,) matri] r. 1st and 10th cls. (mantrati mantrayati) To speak privately, to counsel or advise. With āṅ, To address or salute. With ni, To invite.

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

Mātṛ (मातृ).—f.

(-tā) 1. A mother. 2. A divine mother, the personified energy of a deity or his wife; in a figurative sense, a mother to mortals; eight divine Matris are enumerated, Brahmi, the Matri of Brahma; Maheswari, the Matri of Siva; Vaishnavi, of Vishnu; Aindri, of Indra; Varahi, of Vishnu, as the Varaha Avatar; Kaumari, of Kartikeya; Kauveri or Chamunda of Kuvera, and Charchika of Siva, in one of his minor incarnations; another list calls them Mahes'Wari, Brahmi, Narayani, Aindri, Varahi, Kaumari, Narasinhi, and Aparajita, differing from the preceding one in the two last names, the first one of which, is the energy of Vishnu in the Narasinha Avatar, and the latter a form of Durga; another enumeration makes the Matris sixteen, and another but seven. 3. A cow. 4. A female of the Brahmana tribe, or the wife of a Brahman. 5. The earth. 6. A name of Lakshmi. 7. A name of Revati. 8. Space, ether. E. māna to respect, Unadi aff. tṛc, and the final of the radical rejected.

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

Mātṛ (मातृ).—[mā + tṛ], f. 1. A mother, [Pañcatantra] ii. [distich] 190. 2. A divine mother, the personified energy of a deity, [Pañcatantra] pr. [distich] 1; Mahābhārata 9, 2619 sqq. 3. The wife of a Brāhmaṇa. 4. The earth. 5. A cow. 6. Space, æther.

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

Mātṛ (मातृ).—1. [feminine] mother (applied also to the earth, the cow, the sticks of attrition, in respectful address to near relatives or elderly women i.[grammar]); [Epithet] of Lakṣmī & Durgā; [dual] father and mother, heaven and earth; [dual] & [plural] the sticks of attrition; [plural] the (7, 8, 9, or 16) divine mothers, or the (8) female Manes.

--- OR ---

Mātṛ (मातृ).—2. [masculine] measurer ([accusative]), knower.

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

1) Mātṛ (मातृ):—[from ] 1. mātṛ m. (for 2. mātṛ f. See p. 807, col. 1) a measurer,[ Nirukta, by Yāska xi, 5]

2) [v.s. ...] one who measures across or traverses, [Ṛg-veda viii, 41, 4] (cf. 10)

3) [v.s. ...] a knower, one who has true knowledge, [Catalogue(s)]

4) [v.s. ...] Name of a Partic. caste, [ib.] ([wrong reading] for māḍava?)

5) [v.s. ...] of an author, [Bṛhad-devatā]

6) 2. mātṛ f. (derivation from √3. very doubtful; for 1. mātṛ See p. 804, col. 2) a mother, any mother (applicable to animals), [Ṛg-veda] etc. etc. (sometimes ifc. e.g. kuntī-m, having K° for a mother)

7) [dual number] father and mother, parents, [Ṛg-veda iii, 3, 33; vii, 2, 5] (also mātarā-pitarā, [iv, 6, 7], and pitarā-mātarā, [Pāṇini 6-3, 33]; cf. mātarapitarau, [column]2)

8) the earth ([dual number] heaven and earth), [Ṛg-veda]

9) (with or [scilicet] lokasya), a cow, [Mahābhārata]

10) ([dual number] and [plural]) the two pieces of wood used in kindling fire, [Ṛg-veda] (cf. dvi-m)

11) ([plural]) the waters, [Ṛg-veda] (cf. saptam and, [Naighaṇṭuka, commented on by Yāska i, 13])

12) ([plural]) the divine mothers or personified energies of the principal deities (sometimes reckoned as 7 in number, viz. Brāhmī or Brahmāṇī, Māheśvarī, Kaumārī, Vaiṣṇavī, Vārāhī, Indrāṇī or Aindrī or Māhendrī, Cāmuṇḍā; sometimes 8, viz. Brāhmi, Māheśvarī, Kaumārī, Vaiṣṇavī, Vārāhī, Raudrī, Carma-muṇḍā, Kāla-saṃkarṣiṇī; sometimes 9, viz. Brahmāṇī, Vaiṣṇavī, Raudrī, Vārāhī, Nārasiṃhikā, Kaumārī, Māhendrī, Cāmuṇḍā, Caṇḍikā; sometimes 16, viz. Gaurī, Padmā, Śacī, Medhā, Sāvitrī, Vijayā, Jayā, Deva-senā, Sva-dhā, Svāhā, Śānti, Puṣṭi, Dhṛti, Tuṣṭi, Ātma-devatā and Kula-devatā; they are closely connected with the worship of Śiva and are described as attending on his son Skanda or Kārttikeya, to whom at first only 7 Mātṛs were assigned, but later an innumerable number; also the 13 wives of Kaśyapa are called, lokānām mātaraḥ), [Mahābhārata; Rāmāyaṇa; Purāṇa; Hemādri’s Caturvarga-cintāmaṇi] ([Religious Thought and Life in India 222 etc.])

13) ([plural]) the 8 classes of female ancestors (viz. mothers, grandmothers, great-grandmothers, paternal and maternal aunts etc., [Saṃskārakaustubha]; but the word ‘mother’ is also applied to other female relatives and in familiar speech to elderly women generally)

14) Name of Lakṣmī, [Bhartṛhari]

15) of Durgā, [cf. Lexicographers, esp. such as amarasiṃha, halāyudha, hemacandra, etc.]

16) of Dākṣāyaṇī in certain places, [Catalogue(s)]

17) [according to] to [cf. Lexicographers, esp. such as amarasiṃha, halāyudha, hemacandra, etc.] also = a colocynth

18) Salvinia Cucullata, Nardostachys Jatamansi, Sphaerantus Indicus

19) air, space

20) the lower mill-stone

21) = vibhūti

22) = -revatī

23) cf. [Greek], μάτηρ, μήτηρ; [Latin] mater; [Lithuanian] mote; [Slavonic or Slavonian] mati; [German] muotar, Mutter; [English] mother.

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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