Pitha, aka: Pīṭha, Piṭha, Pītha; 16 Definition(s)


Pitha means something in Hinduism, Sanskrit, Jainism, Prakrit, Buddhism, Pali, 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

Shaivism (Shaiva philosophy)

Pīṭha (पीठ) refers to the “pedestal” of a liṅga. It is also known as piṇḍikā. The word liṅga refers to a symbol used in the worship of Śiva and is used thoughout Śaiva literature, such as the sacred Āgamas.

Source: Wisdom Library: Śaivism

1) The word “pīṭha”, in a non-technical sense, means a stool, seat or bench and, by extension, the pedestal upon which an idol is installed. In the Tantras it commonly means a sacred place. In this present context, however, it means a “collection,” or “aggregate” (samūha) with reference to a group of scriptures and so denotes a class of Āgamas. It also signifies a range of matters that, taken collectively, concern a single Tantric topic. The two usages of the word are closely related: sometimes one applies, sometimes the other and, occasionally, both.

There are four pīṭhas, namely,

  1. Vidyā-pīṭha,
  2. Mantra-pīṭha,
  3. Mudrā-pīṭha and
  4. Maṇḍala-pīṭha.

2) According to Abhinava’s exposition of the division of the pīṭhas found in the Ānandaśāstra:

‘Pīṭha’ [is a term referring] to a class [of Tantras]. It is of two types: right and left, called Mantra and Vidyā respectively, from which are derived the two associated with Mudrā and Maṇḍala.

Source: Google Books: The Canon of the Śaivāgama and the The Kubjikā Tantras
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Shaiva (शैव, śaiva) or Shaivism (śaivism) represents a tradition of Hinduism worshiping Shiva as the supreme being. Closely related to Shaktism, Shaiva literature includes a range of scriptures, including Tantras, while the root of this tradition may be traced back to the ancient Vedas.

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Purana and Itihasa (epic history)

Pīṭha (पीठ).—A demon. He was killed by Śrī Kṛṣṇa. (Śloka 5, Chapter 11, Droṇa Parva).

Source: archive.org: Puranic Encyclopaedia

Pīṭha (पीठ).—The commander of Mura's forces; killed by Kṛṣṇa.*

  • * Bhāgavata-purāṇa X. 59. 12-14.
Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: The Purana Index
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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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Shilpashastra (iconography)

Pīṭha (पीठ).—Liṅgas are almost always set up in pedestals known as the piṇḍikā or pīṭha. In a square pīṭha, which is the one commonly met with, the length of one side of it may be twice the length of the pūjābhāga, or equal to the total length of the liṅga; in other words two-thirds of or equal to the total length of the liṅga. The pīṭha, the length of whose side is equal to the total length of the liṅga is said to belong to the uttamottama class and that whose side is equal to two-thirds the total length of the liṅga, to the adhamādhama class.

These pedestals (pīṭha, or, piṇḍikā) may be square, oblongular, octogonal, elongated octagon, hexagon, elongated hexagon, duodecagon, elongated duodecagon, 16-sided, regular or elongated, circular, elliptical, triangular and semi-circular in plan.

Source: Google Books: Elements of Hindu iconography
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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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Vastushastra (architecture)

Pīṭha (पीठ) refers to “pedestal”. It is sculptured as a part of the pillar (stambha).

Source: Wisdom Library: Vāstu-śāstra

Pīṭha (पीठ, “pedestal”).—Part of the pillar (stambha);—It is the lowest member of the pillar. It has three major functions:

  1. It gives a solid support to the shaft of the pillar.
  2. It adds height to the pillar.
  3. It enriches the beauty of the pillar.

Pedestals are also decorated with decorations like kapota punctuated with nāsis and sometimes also with scalloped lotus petals.

Source: Shodhganga: Temples of Salem region Up to 1336 AD
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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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Shaktism (Shakta philosophy)

Pīṭha (पीठ).—The term pīṭha (Skt. seat, altar) specifically describes holy sites relating to Goddess worship all over South Asia.

Source: Google Books: Hinglaj Devi
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Shakta (शाक्त, śākta) or Shaktism (śāktism) represents a tradition of Hinduism where the Goddess (Devi) is revered and worshipped. Shakta literature includes a range of scriptures, including various Agamas and Tantras, although its roots may be traced back to the Vedas.

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In Jainism

General definition (in Jainism)

Pīṭha (पीठ) was one of the four friends and brother of Vajranābha: Vṛṣabhanātha’s eleventh incarnation (bhava).—After completing his life as a deva Jīvānanda was born in Puṣkalāvatī to the wife of king Vajrasena, Dharaṇī. At the time of conception the mother saw 14 great dreams. Vajrasena named his son Vajranābha, who went on to become a cakravartī (emperor). His four friends were born as his brothers Bāhu, Subāhu, Pīṭha and Mahāpīṭha and became provincial kings. When his father, Tīrthaṅkara Vajrasena, after attaining omniscience (kevalī), started delivering his religious sermons, the cakravartī Vajranābha (due to his past good merits) too accepted initiation (renounced the world).

Source: HereNow4u: Lord Vṛṣabhanātha
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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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India history and geogprahy

Piṭha.—(Chamba), a grain measure; also spelt piḍā, peḍā, pyoḍā. Note: piṭha is defined in the “Indian epigraphical glossary” as it can be found on ancient inscriptions commonly written in Sanskrit, Prakrit or Dravidian languages.

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Pīṭha.—(CII 4; IA 12), receptacle of a Śiva-liṅga; the ablution trough of a Śiva-liṅga; also called Yoni-paṭṭa. (SITI), pedestal for the image of a deity. Note: pīṭha is defined in the “Indian epigraphical glossary” as it can be found on ancient inscriptions commonly written in Sanskrit, Prakrit or Dravidian languages.

Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: Indian Epigraphical Glossary
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.

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Languages of India and abroad

Pali-English dictionary

Pitha in Pali glossary... « previous · [P] · next »

pīṭha : (nt.) chair; a seat.

Source: BuddhaSasana: Concise Pali-English Dictionary

Pīṭha, (nt.) (cp. Fpic Sk. pīṭha) a seat, chair, stool, bench.—4. kinds are given at Vin. IV, 40=168, viz. masāraka, bundikābaddha, kuḷirapādaka, āhaccapādaka (same categories as given under mañca).—Vin. I, 47, 180; II, 114, 149, 225; A. III, 51 (mañca°, Dvandva); IV, 133 (ayo°); Ps. I, 176; Vv 11 (see discussed in detail at VvA. 8); VvA. 295 (mañca°).—pāda° footstool J. IV, 378; VvA. 291; bhadda° state-chair, throne J. III, 410.—sappin “one who crawls by means of a chair or bench, ” i.e. one who walks on a sort of crutch or support, a cripple (pīṭha here in sense of “hatthena gahana-yogga” VvA. 8; exlpd by Bdhgh as “chinn’iriyāpatha” Vin. Texts I. 225) J. I, 76, 418; V, 426 (khujja+) VI, 4, 10; Miln. 205, 245, 276; Vism. 596 (& jaccandha, in simile); DhA. I, 194; II, 69; PugA 227; PvA. 282. (Page 461)

Source: Sutta: The Pali Text Society's Pali-English Dictionary
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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

piṭhā (पिठा).—m (A Bombay-word). A spirit-shop, or a liquor-tavern.

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piṭhā (पिठा).—a (pīṭha) Gritty, friable, crumbling--sorts of stone &c. 2 Clammy; like badly-baked dough--the pulp of certain fruits.

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pīṭha (पीठ).—n (piṣṭa S) Meal in general except that of wheat, which, par excellence, is termed kaṇīka (from kaṇa). Applied, sometimes however, to wheaten meal. 2 fig. Crushed, crumbled, ruined state: also defeated or overcome state: also the state of utter expenditure or dissipation, of consumption or exhaustion, of whatever subject or of whatever specific character. Used largely as its derivative piṭhāḍa, or as cūra, curāḍā, dhūḷa, mātī, rākha &c. &c. 3 Used enhancingly after gōrā; as gōrā gōrā pīṭha Surpassingly fair. 4 Used as ad in the sense Clearly and brightly of the shining of the moon. v paḍa; as cāndaṇēṃ pīṭha paḍatēṃ.

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pīṭha (पीठ).—n (S) A stool, a low chair or seat. 2 The seat of the religious student, made of the grass kuśa. 3 pīṭhaṃ, in the sense of Seat or spot of eminent residence or abiding, forms compounds such as gurupīṭha, vidyāpīṭha, rājapīṭha. 4 also pīṭhasthāna n A place where a limb of Parvati is supposed to have fallen when her dead body was cut to pieces by the cakra of viṣṇu. There are fifty-one such places. See mahāpīṭha.

Source: DDSA: The Molesworth Marathi and English Dictionary

piṭhā (पिठा).—m A spirit-shop, or a liquor-tavern.

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piṭhā (पिठा).—a Gritty, crumbling. Clammy.

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pīṭha (पीठ).—n Meal. Crushed, or ruined state. ādhī piṭhōbā (pōṭōbā) maga viṭhōbā Let us satisfy the belly, then we'll think of worship.

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pīṭha (पीठ).—n A low chair. The seat, as gurupīṭha, vidyāpīṭha, rājapīṭha. See mahāpīṭha.

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

Piṭha (पिठ).—Affliction, distress.

Derivable forms: piṭhaḥ (पिठः).

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Pīṭha (पीठ).—

1) A seat (a stool, chair, bench, sofa &c.); जवेन पीठादुदतिष्ठदच्युतः (javena pīṭhādudatiṣṭhadacyutaḥ) Śi.1.12; R,4.84;6.15.

2) The seat of a religious student made of Kuśa grass.

3) The seat of a deity, an altar.

4) A pedestal in general, basis.

5) A particular posture in sitting.

6) (In geometry) The complement of a segment.

7) Name of various temples; पीठं जालंधरं नाम तिष्ठत्यत्र चतुर्मुख (pīṭhaṃ jālaṃdharaṃ nāma tiṣṭhatyatra caturmukha) Yoga- śikhopaniṣad, 5.11.

8) A royal seat, throne.

9) A district, province.

Derivable forms: pīṭham (पीठम्).

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Pītha (पीथ).—1 The sun.

2) Time.

3) Fire.

4) Protection.

5) Drink; यस्याध्वरे भगवानध्वरात्मा मघोनि माद्यत्युरुसोमपीथे (yasyādhvare bhagavānadhvarātmā maghoni mādyatyurusomapīthe) Bhāg.5.15.12.

-tham 1 Water.

2) Ghee.

Derivable forms: pīthaḥ (पीथः).

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

Search found 325 related definition(s) that might help you understand this better. Below you will find the 15 most relevant articles:

Pādapīṭha (पादपीठ).—m. (-ṭhaḥ) A foot-stool. E. pāda, and pīṭha a stool.
Bhadrapīṭha (भद्रपीठ).—1) a splendid seat, chair of state, throne; औदुम्बरं भद्रपीठमभिषेकार्थमा...
Vyāsapīṭha (व्यासपीठ).—the seat of the an expounder of the Purāṇas Derivable forms: vyāsapīṭham...
Vidyāpīṭha (विद्यापीठ) are specials halls in the Śaiva temple for the purpose of teaching and l...
Yoga-pīṭha.—(IA 10), a holy place where an ascetic obtained perfection (siddhi) by his austerit...
Upapīṭha.—(SII 2), a lower pedestal; cf. pīṭha; also upa- pīṭhattukaṇḍappaḍai, the lower tier o...
Liṅgapīṭha (लिङ्गपीठ) refers to a certain ceremony to be performed during pūjā (ritualistic wor...
Pūgapīṭha (पूगपीठ).—n. (-ṭhaṃ) A spitting-pot. E. pūga betel, and pīṭha a stool; chewing the pa...
Raṅgapīṭha (रङ्गपीठ).—a place for dancing; महति रत्नरङ्गपीठे स्थितां प्रथमं ताम्रोष्ठीम- पश्यम्...
Kathāpīṭha (कथापीठ).—1) the introductory part of a tale or story. 2) Name of the first लम्बक (l...
Śāktapīṭha (शाक्तपीठ) refers to a sanctuary of Devī on earth.—Satī, without having been invited...
Pīṭhacakra (पीठचक्र).—n. (-kraṃ) A car or carriage.
Mañcapīṭha (मञ्चपीठ).—a seat on a platform. Derivable forms: mañcapīṭham (मञ्चपीठम्).Mañcapīṭha...
Pīṭhabhū (पीठभू).—f. (-bhū) Basement.
Balipīṭha (बलिपीठ, “sacrifical seat”) refers to one of the several “attributes” (āyudha) or “ac...

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