Pitamaha, Pitāmaha: 26 definitions


Pitamaha means something in Buddhism, Pali, Hinduism, Sanskrit, the history of ancient India, Marathi, Hindi. 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.

Alternative spellings of this word include Pitamah.

In Hinduism

Purana and Itihasa (epic history)

[«previous next»] — Pitamaha in Purana glossary
Source: archive.org: Shiva Purana - English Translation

Pitāmaha (पितामह) refers to “grandfather (of all living beings)” and is used to describe Brahmā, according to the Śivapurāṇa 2.5.1 (“Description of Tripura—the three cities”).—Accordingly, as Sanatkumāra narrated to Vyāsa: “O great sage, when the Asura Tāraka was killed by Skanda, the son of Śiva, his three sons performed austerities. [...] Satisfied by their penance, Brahmā the supreme lord of the gods and Asuras, of great glory, appeared in front of them in order to grant them boons. He was accompanied by sages, gods and Asuras. The grandfather of all living beings (sarvabhūta-pitāmaha) spoke to them thus, appeasing them. [...]”.

Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: The Purana Index

Pitāmaha (पितामह).—Brahmā for all the world.*

  • * Brahmāṇḍa-purāṇa IV. 6. 66; 7. 45; 9. 46; Matsya-purāṇa 1. 14; Vāyu-purāṇa 21. 45-46; 22. 13 and 26; 23. 61, 97; 109. 24; 111. 43.
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)

Source: Wisdom Library: Nāṭya-śāstra

Pitāmaha (पितामह) is the Sanskrit name for a deity (Brahmā), to be worshipped during raṅgapūjā, according to the Nāṭyaśāstra 3.1-8. Accordingly, the master of the dramatic art who has been initiated for the purpose shall consecrate the playhouse after he has made obeisance (e.g., to Pitāmaha).

Natyashastra book cover
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Natyashastra (नाट्यशास्त्र, nāṭyaśāstra) refers to both the ancient Indian tradition (shastra) of performing arts, (natya—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), construction and performance of Theater, and Poetic works (kavya).

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Shilpashastra (iconography)

Source: Wisdom Library: Śilpa-śāstra

Pitāmaha (पितामह) is a Sanskrit name referring to one of the eight manifestations of Krodha, who is a form of Bhairava. According to the Rudrayāmala, there are eight main forms of Bhairava who control the eight directions of this universe. Each form (e.g., Krodha) has a further eight sub-manifestations (e.g., Pitāmaha), thus resulting in a total of 64 Bhairavas.

When depicting Pitāmaha according to traditional iconographic rules (śilpaśāstra), one should depcit him (and other forms of Krodha) having a smoke color; he should carry khaḍga, kheṭaka, a long sword and paraśu. The word Śilpaśāstra refers to an ancient Hindu science of arts and crafts, dealing with subjects such as painting, sculpture and iconography.

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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Vaishnavism (Vaishava dharma)

Source: Devotees Vaishnavas: Śrī Garga Saṃhitā

Pitāmaha (पितामह) refers to the “grandfather” (of all in the universe) and is used as an epithet for Brahmā, in the Gargasaṃhitā chapter 6.3. Accordingly, “[...] by his mystic power he [viz., Raivata] traveled to Brahmaloka. His intention to ask for a proper husband for his daughter, he bowed before the demigod Brahmā. As the Apsarā Pūrvacitti was singing, he found his opportunity. Aware that now he had Brahmā’s attention, he spoke what was in his heart: ‘[...] You are self-born. You are the grandfather (Pitāmaha) of all in the universe (jagat). You are the best of the demigods. You see everything. O lord, please tell me who should become my daughter's husband, a divine husband that lives forever and has all virtues’”.

Vaishnavism book cover
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Vaishnava (वैष्णव, vaiṣṇava) or vaishnavism (vaiṣṇavism) represents a tradition of Hinduism worshipping Vishnu as the supreme Lord. Similar to the Shaktism and Shaivism traditions, Vaishnavism also developed as an individual movement, famous for its exposition of the dashavatara (‘ten avatars of Vishnu’).

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Jyotisha (astronomy and astrology)

Source: Wisdom Library: Brihat Samhita by Varahamihira

1) Pitāmaha (पितामह) refers to “Brahmā”, according to the Bṛhatsaṃhitā (chapter 1), an encyclopedic Sanskrit work written by Varāhamihira mainly focusing on the science of ancient Indian astronomy astronomy (Jyotiṣa).—Accordingly, “What means the notion that the works of the Ṛṣis are sound and not so the works of men? In cases where the matter refers to no mantra, what is there to choose between, when the meaning is the same because the words are different? If Brahmā [i.e., pitāmaha] has declared—‘kṣititanaya divasavāro net śubhakṛta’ and mantra ‘kujadinamaniṣṭam’ what is there to choose between the work of man and that of a Deva?”.

2) Pitāmaha (पितामह) is the name of an author of Astronomical texts, according to the Bṛhatsaṃhitā (chapter 2), an encyclopedic Sanskrit work written by Varāhamihira mainly focusing on the science of ancient Indian astronomy astronomy (Jyotiṣa).—Accordingly, “We shall now proceed to give a brief description of (the qualifications of) a jyotiṣaka. [...] He must have studied the works of Pauliśa, Romaka, Vasiṣṭha, Sūrya and Pitāmaha; he must have a correct, knowledge of a yuga (43,20,000 Solar years), varṣa (a solar year), āyana (6 solar months), ṛtu (2 solar months), māsa (a solar month), pakṣa (15 solar days), ahorātra (a solar day), yama (one-eighth of a solar day), muhūrta (one-thirtieth of a solar day), nāḍī (one-sixtieth of a solar day or 24 minutes), vināḍi (one sixtieth of a nāḍī or 24 seconds), prāṇa (4 seconds) truṭi (33, 75th of a second) and parts of a truṭi and other divisions of time and also of divisions of space”.

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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Ganitashastra (Mathematics and Algebra)

Source: archive.org: Hindu Mathematics

Pitāmaha (पितामह) represents the number 1 (one) in the “word-numeral system” (bhūtasaṃkhyā), which was used in Sanskrit texts dealing with astronomy, mathematics, metrics, as well as in the dates of inscriptions and manuscripts in ancient Indian literature.—A system of expressing numbers by means of words arranged as in the place-value notation was developed and perfected in India in the early centuries of the Christian era. In this system the numerals [e.g., 1—pitāmaha] are expressed by names of things, beings or concepts, which, naturally or in accordance with the teaching of the Śāstras, connote numbers.

Ganitashastra book cover
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Ganitashastra (शिल्पशास्त्र, gaṇitaśāstra) refers to the ancient Indian science of mathematics, algebra, number theory, arithmetic, etc. Closely allied with astronomy, both were commonly taught and studied in universities, even since the 1st millennium BCE. Ganita-shastra also includes ritualistic math-books such as the Shulba-sutras.

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General definition (in Hinduism)

Source: WikiPedia: Hinduism

Pitāmaha (पितामह): Literally grandfather, which however carried no imputation of senile infirmity but denotes the status of the pater familias.

In Buddhism

Tibetan Buddhism (Vajrayana or tantric Buddhism)

Source: Wisdom Library: Tibetan Buddhism

1) Pitāmaha (पितामह) is the name of a Tathāgata (Buddha) 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 Pitāmaha).

2) Pitāmaha (पितामह) is also the name of a Śrāvaka mentioned as attending the teachings in the 6th century Mañjuśrīmūlakalpa.

Source: academia.edu: The Structure and Meanings of the Heruka Maṇḍala

Pitāmaha (पितामह) is the name of a Vīra (hero) who, together with the Ḍākinī named Pitāmahī forms one of the 36 pairs situated in the Agnicakra, according to the 10th century Ḍākārṇava chapter 15. Accordingly, the agnicakra refers to one of the three divisions of the saṃbhoga-puṭa (‘enjoyment layer’), situated in the Herukamaṇḍala. The 36 pairs of Ḍākinīs and Vīras [viz., Pitāmaha] are red in color; they each have one face and four arms; they hold a skull bowl, a skull staff, a small drum, and a knife.

Source: OSU Press: Cakrasamvara Samadhi

Pitāmaha (पितामह) is another name for Brahmā, according to the Guru Mandala Worship (maṇḍalārcana) ritual often performed in combination with the Cakrasaṃvara Samādhi, which refers to the primary pūjā and sādhanā practice of Newah Mahāyāna-Vajrayāna Buddhists in Nepal.—Accordingly, “Agni, Yama, Nirṛiti, lord of the earth, lord of water, Vāyu, and lord of wealth, Īśāna, lord of all beings and gods, and above the sun, moon and Brahmā (pitāmaha). All gods whoever in the earth and nāgas, mountains with secret assemblies, Being a counter to, do once offer, the ghosts in each of your own directions. [...]”.

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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India history and geography

Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: Indian Epigraphical Glossary

Pitāmaha.—(EI 24, 33), epithet of the Buddha. (IE 7-1-2), ‘one’; but cf. Brahman used to indicate ‘nine’. Note: pitāmaha 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
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The history of India traces the identification of countries, villages, towns and other regions of India, as well as mythology, zoology, 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

Pali-English dictionary

[«previous next»] — Pitamaha in Pali glossary
Source: BuddhaSasana: Concise Pali-English Dictionary

pitāmaha : (m.) grandfather.

Pali book cover
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Pali is the language of the Tipiṭaka, which is the sacred canon of Theravāda Buddhism and contains much of the Buddha’s speech. Closeley related to Sanskrit, both languages are used interchangeably between religions.

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Marathi-English dictionary

Source: DDSA: The Molesworth Marathi and English Dictionary

pitāmaha (पितामह).—m S A paternal grandfather.

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

pitāmaha (पितामह).—m A paternal grandfather.

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

Pitāmaha (पितामह).—(- f.)

1) A paternal grand-father.

2) An epithet of Brahman.

-hāḥ (pl.) The Manes; सन्तापयति चैतस्य पूर्वप्रेतान् पितामहान् (santāpayati caitasya pūrvapretān pitāmahān) Mahābhārata (Bombay) 14.2.2.

Derivable forms: pitāmahaḥ (पितामहः).

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

Pitāmaha (पितामह).—m. (haḥ) 1. A paternal grandfather. 2. A name of Brahma. the great father of all. f. (-hī) A paternal grandmother. E. pitṛ a father, and ḍāmaha aff.

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

Pitāmaha (पितामह).—i. e. pitṛ, nom. sing., -maha (for mahant), I. m. 1. A paternal grandfather, [Mānavadharmaśāstra] 3, 221. 2. pl. Ancestors, Chr. 43, 21. 3. A name of Brahman. Ii. f. , A paternal grandmother, [Kathāsaritsāgara, (ed. Brockhaus.)] 30, 25.

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

Pitāmaha (पितामह).—[masculine] father’s father, grandfather, [Epithet] of Brahman, [plural] the Manes; [feminine] mahī paternal grandmother.

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

1) Pitāmaha (पितामह):—[=pitā-maha] [from pitā > pitṛ] m. a paternal grandfather, [Atharva-veda] etc. etc.

2) [v.s. ...] Name of Brahmā, [Manu-smṛti; Mahābhārata] etc.

3) [v.s. ...] of sub voce authors, [Catalogue(s)]

4) [v.s. ...] [plural] the Piṭris or ancestors, [Yājñavalkya; Mahābhārata]

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

Pitāmaha (पितामह):—(haḥ) 1. m. A paternal grandfather; Brahmā. f. ()

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

Pitāmaha (पितामह) in the Sanskrit language is related to the Prakrit word: Piāmaha.

[Sanskrit to German]

Pitamaha 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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Hindi dictionary

[«previous next»] — Pitamaha in Hindi glossary
Source: DDSA: A practical Hindi-English dictionary

Pitāmaha (पितामह) [Also spelled pitamah]:—(nm) grandfather; ~[] grandmother.

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Kannada-English dictionary

Source: Alar: Kannada-English corpus

Pitāmaha (ಪಿತಾಮಹ):—

1) [noun] the father of one’s father; a grand father.

2) [noun] Brahma, the Creator.

3) [noun] a king; a ruler.

4) [noun] he who can understand other’s thoughts without apparent communication; a mind-reader.

context information

Kannada is a Dravidian language (as opposed to the Indo-European language family) mainly spoken in the southwestern region of India.

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