Parashara, aka: Parasara, Pārāsara, Parāśara, Pārāśara; 10 Definition(s)


Parashara 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 terms Parāśara and Pārāśara can be transliterated into English as Parasara or Parashara, using the IAST transliteration scheme (?).

In Hinduism

Kavya (poetry)

Parāśara (पराशर) is the name of an important person (viz., an Ācārya or Kavi) mentioned in Rājaśekhara’s 10th-century Kāvyamīmāṃsā.—One of the eighteen disciples of Kāvya-puruṣa. In the Purāṇas have been describes very much about the character of Parāśara. He was the son of Śakti and father of Vyāsadeva. He also wrote another Smṛitiśāstra known as Parāsarasmṛiti, which is the authority for the Kaliyuga.

(Source): Shodhganga: The Kavyamimamsa of Rajasekhara
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Kavya (काव्य, kavya) refers to Sanskrit poetry, a popular ancient Indian tradition of literature. There have been many Sanskrit poets over the ages, hailing from ancient India and beyond. This topic includes mahakavya, or ‘epic poetry’ and natya, or ‘dramatic poetry’.


1a) Parāśara (पराशर).—The son of Śakti and Adṛśyantī; wife Kālyā (Satyavatī, Acchoda Matsya Gandhi) and son Kṛṣṇadvaipāyana;1 a Ṛṣika became sage by satya;2 a pupil of Yājñavalkya;3 of Bāṣkala, a Vāsiṣṭha;4 a Śrutaṛṣi;5 a Vedavyāsa6 of the 26th dvāpara; heard the br. purāṇa (vāyu p.) from Śakti when in embryo and narrated it to Jātu— karṇi;7 praised Śiva, out to destroy Tripura;8 invited for the Rājasūya of Yudhiṣṭhira,9 came to see Parīkṣit preaching prāyopavesa;10 questioned by Maitreya on the origin of the world etc: narrated the Bhāgavata to the sage;11 recollected Vasiṣṭha's narration to him of his father's death at the hands of a Rākṣasa set up by Viśvāmitra: his anger and the sacrifice he performed for the extinction of the Rākṣasas;12 The advice of Vasiṣṭha, his grand-father, to abate his anger because fate must run its course and anger was unworthy of the wise: his compliance;13 the arrival of Pulastya the son of Brahmā, who granted P. boons comprising knowledge of the sāstras, authorship of viṣṇu purāṇa and correct knowledge of the truth about Gods and Karma: the conformation of the boons by Vasiṣṭha: states that the Universe is born of Viṣṇu, depends on him and is Sahiṣṇu avatār of the Lord;14 praise of Hari having realised the Yoga power of Hari.15

  • 1) Bhāgavata-purāṇa I. 3. 21; 4. 14; VI. 15. (14); IX. 22. 21; XII. 6. 49, 55; Brahmāṇḍa-purāṇa I. 1. 9; 2. 12; III. 8. 91; Matsya-purāṇa 14. 15; 47. 246; 201. 31; Vāyu-purāṇa 70. 83.
  • 2) Brahmāṇḍa-purāṇa II. 32. 102.
  • 3) Ib. II. 35. 29; Vāyu-purāṇa 77. 74; Viṣṇu-purāṇa III. 4. 18.
  • 4) Brahmāṇḍa-purāṇa II. 32. 115.
  • 5) Ib. II. 33. 3; Matsya-purāṇa 145. 96, 109.
  • 6) Brahmāṇḍa-purāṇa II. 35. 124; Vāyu-purāṇa 23. 212.
  • 7) Brahmāṇḍa-purāṇa IV. 4. 65-6; Vāyu-purāṇa 61. 47; 103. 65; 106. 35.
  • 8) Matsya-purāṇa 133. 67.
  • 9) Bhāgavata-purāṇa X. 74. 8.
  • 10) Ib. I. 19. 9; Vāyu-purāṇa 1. 138; 2. 12.
  • 11) Bhāgavata-purāṇa III. 8. 8; Viṣṇu-purāṇa I. 1. 1-10.
  • 12) Ib. I. 1. 11-14.
  • 13) Ib. I. 1. 15-21.
  • 14) Vāyu-purāṇa 23. 212; Viṣṇu-purāṇa I. 1. 22-31.
  • 15) Bhāgavata-purāṇa II. 7. 45; Viṣṇu-purāṇa II. 2. 7.

1b) The son and pupil of Kuśumi.*

  • * Brahmāṇḍa-purāṇa II. 35. 42.

1c) A son of Ṛṣabha avatār of the Lord.*

  • * Vāyu-purāṇa 23. 144.

1d) A Mantra-brāhmaṇa-kāraka and resident of Brahmakṣetra.*

  • * Vāyu-purāṇa 59. 105.

2) Pārāśara (पाराशर).—A disciple of Bhāṣkali who gave him the third śākhā of the Ṛg Veda.*

  • * Brahmāṇḍa-purāṇa II. 34. 27. Vāyu-purāṇa 60. 26.
(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.

Pancaratra (worship of Nārāyaṇa)

Parāśara (पराशर) or Parāśarasaṃhitā is the name of a Vaiṣṇava Āgama scripture, classified as a sāttvika type of the Muniprokta group of Pāñcarātra Āgamas. The vaiṣṇavāgamas represent one of the three classes of āgamas (traditionally communicated wisdom).—Texts of the Pāñcara Āgamas are divided in to two sects. It is believed that Lord Vāsudeva revealed the first group of texts which are called Divya and the next group is called Muniprokta which are further divided in to three viz. a. Sāttvika (eg., Parāśara-saṃhitā). b. Rājasa. c. Tāmasa.

(Source): Shodhganga: Iconographical representations of Śiva (pancaratra)
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.

Discover the meaning of parashara or parasara in the context of Pancaratra from relevant books on Exotic India

General definition (in Hinduism)

Parasara was the son of Shakti, who was the eldest son of Vasishta. He performed a great sacrifice to destroy the Rakshasas, for a Rakshasa had killed his father. [That story is told here.]

(Source): Apam Napat: Indian Mythology

Pārāsara (पारासर): A great sage, father of Veda Vyasa.

(Source): WikiPedia: Hinduism

In Buddhism

Theravada (major branch of Buddhism)

The name of a family. See Parasariya.

(Source): Pali Kanon: Pali Proper Names
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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 geogprahy

Parāśara (पराशर) is an example of a name based on an Epic or Purana mentioned in the Gupta inscriptions. The Gupta empire (r. 3rd-century CE), founded by Śrī Gupta, covered much of ancient India and embraced the Dharmic religions such as Hinduism, Buddhism and Jainism. Derivation of personal names (eg., Parāśara) during the rule of the Guptas followed patterns such as tribes, places, rivers and mountains.

(Source): Personal and geographical names in the Gupta inscriptions
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.

Discover the meaning of parashara or parasara in the context of India history from relevant books on Exotic India

Languages of India and abroad

Sanskrit-English dictionary

Parāśara (पराशर).—Name of a celebrated sage, father of Vyāsa and the author of a Smṛti.

Derivable forms: parāśaraḥ (पराशरः).

--- OR ---

Pārāśara (पाराशर).—An epithet of Vyāsa, son of Parāsara; तत एकान्तमुन्नीय पाराशर्यो युधिष्ठिरम् (tata ekāntamunnīya pārāśaryo yudhiṣṭhiram) Mb.3.36.28.

-rāḥ Name of a school on अर्थशास्त्र (arthaśāstra) mentioned by Kauṭilya in connection with राजपुत्ररक्षण (rājaputrarakṣaṇa); Kau. A.1.17.

Derivable forms: pārāśaraḥ (पाराशरः).

See also (synonyms): pārāśarya.

(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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