Pitri, Pitṛ: 17 definitions
Pitri means something in Buddhism, Pali, Hinduism, Sanskrit, 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.
The Sanskrit term Pitṛ can be transliterated into English as Pitr or Pitri, using the IAST transliteration scheme (?).
Alternative spellings of this word include Pitra.
Natyashastra (theatrics and dramaturgy)Source: archive.org: The mirror of gesture (abhinaya-darpana)
Pitṛ (पितृ, “father”).—One of the Eleven Hands denoting Relationships.—(Instructions:) Following the last hand, the right hand is held as Śikhara; indicating father or son-in-law.
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).
Purana and Itihasa (epic history)Source: archive.org: The Mārkaṇḍeya Purāṇa
Four classes of Pitṛs:
- the Agniṣvātta Pitṛs (may the bands of Agniṣvátta Pitṛs protect the eastern region),
- the Barhiṣad Pitṛs (may the Pitṛs who are known as Barhiṣads protect the southern region),
- the Ājyapa Pitṛs (may the Ājyapa Pitṛs likewise protect the western region),
- the Somapā Pitṛs (may the Somapá Pitṛs protect the northern region)
Nine classes of Pitṛs:
- Bhūtikṛit and
Six classes of Pitṛs:
- Kalyatāhetu and
Seven classes of Pitṛs:
- Viśvapātṛ and
Five classes of Pitṛs (being destroyers of sin):
- Mahimāvat and
Four classes of Pitṛs:
- Dharmada and
- Bhūtida besides
There are thus thirty-one classes of Pitṛs, who pervade the entire world.Source: archive.org: Puranic Encyclopedia
Pitṛ (पितृ).—Pitṛs are a set of demigods. From Manuprajāpati, son of Brahmā, were born the Saptarṣis like Marīci and they in turn created the Pitṛs. Besides Marīci and his set many others like Virāṭ Puruṣa and Brahmā have created Pitṛs. Some Purāṇas state that Pitṛs are of daily creation. Brahmā in the beginning created three sets of Pitṛs with form and four with brightness making thus seven sets. The three sets of bodied pitṛs are Agniṣvāttas, Barhiṣadas and Somapās and the four bright ones are Yama, Anala, Soma and Aryaman (10th Skandha, Devī Bhāgavata).
"manor hairaṇyagarbhasya ye marīcyādayaḥ sutāḥ / teṣāmṛṣīṇāṃ sarveṣām putrāḥ pitṛgaṇāḥ smṛtāḥ" // (śloka 194, chapter 8, manusmṛti). Pitṛs (manes) are classified into two types: The Agniṣvāttas and Barhiṣadas. Of these the Agniṣvāttas do not perform Yāgas and the Barhiṣadas are those who perform yāgas. Besides these two major divisions they are classified into many other groups as follows: (See full article at Story of Pitṛ from the Puranic encyclopaedia by Vettam Mani)Source: archive.org: Shiva Purana - English Translation
1) Pitṛ (पितृ) (in dual form) refers to one’s “parents”, as defined in the Śivapurāṇa 1.16. Accordingly, “great bliss is the result of the worship of the parents (pitṛ). The devotee shall worship the phallic emblem for the acquisition of the Great Bliss. That goddess is the mother of the universe and that Śiva is the father of the universe. Sympathy towards the son who renders service naturally increases in the minds of the parents. O foremost among sages, ordinary parents bestow hidden treasures to the son who renders special service. Hence a devotee shall worship the phallic emblem in the manner of mother and father (pitṛ-mātṛ) for the acquisition of the hidden great bliss”.
2) Pitṛ (पितृ) refers to the “father” and is used to describe Śiva, according to the Śivapurāṇa 7.42.—Accordingly, as Dakṣa bowed and eulogised Śiva:—“[...] O Śiva, out of delusion. I too have committed offence against you since I took sides with Dakṣa and fought with Vīrabhadra, Thy attendant. O Sadāśiva, Thou art my master, the supreme Brahman. I am Thy slave. I shall be sustained by Thee always since thou art the father (i.e., pitṛ) unto us all”.Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: The Purana Index
1a) Pitṛ (पितृ).—A class of celestials belonging to the group of sacred fires;1 worshipped for continuity of family line;2 married jointly a daughter of Dakṣa,3 blessed Jyāmagha with a son;4 drink the svadhā of the moon and worship him on the new moon day: groups of—Saumya, Kāvya, Agniṣvātta and Bārhiṣada;5 their role in the universe.6
- 1) Bhāgavata-purāṇa I. 2. 27; IV. 1. 63; Vāyu-purāṇa 65. 49-52.
- 2) Bhāgavata-purāṇa II. 3. 8; Vāyu-purāṇa 75. 7-35; 81. 8-20.
- 3) Bhāgavata-purāṇa IV. 1. 49.
- 4) Ib. IX. 23. 39.
- 5) Brahmāṇḍa-purāṇa II. 23. 39, 58, 71; 13. 6, 31; 8. 14-15.
- 6) Vāyu-purāṇa 71. 15-34, 45-67.
1b) Sons of Angiras and Svadhā.*
- * Bhāgavata-purāṇa VI. 6. 19; 10. 17.
1c) Pūrvadevatas; are of three categories; Pitṛs, Pitāmahas and Prapitāmahas of the forms of Vasus, Ṛudras and Ādityas according to sacred tradition;1 milked the cow-earth in a silver vessel; Antaka acted as milk-man and Yama, the calf; the essence was svadhā;2 Yama king of their loka.3
1d) General account of;1 created out of the satva element and their active time was sandhyā: married svadhā drink the last kalā of the moon: of three classes— Saumyas, Barhiṣadas and Agniṣvāttas;2 from Viṣṇu;3 their relations with gods and sages.4
- 1) Vāyu-purāṇa ch. 56.
- 2) Vāyu-purāṇa 56. 8; Viṣṇu-purāṇa I. 5. 35-6; 7. 27; II. 12. and 13.
- 3) Ib. V. 1. 17.
- 4) Vāyu-purāṇa 62. 21.
Pitṛ (पितृ) is a name mentioned in the Mahābhārata (cf. IX.44.6, IX.44.49, XIII.116.1, XIII.115) and represents one of the many proper names used for people and places. Note: The Mahābhārata (mentioning Pitṛ) is a Sanskrit epic poem consisting of 100,000 ślokas (metrical verses) and is over 2000 years old.Source: Shodhganga: The saurapurana - a critical study
Pitṛ (पितृ) married Svadhā: one of the daughters of Dakṣa and Prasūti: one of the two daughters of Manu-svāyaṃbhuva and Śatarūpā, according to the Vaṃśa (‘genealogical description’) of the 10th century Saurapurāṇa: one of the various Upapurāṇas depicting Śaivism.—Accordingly, Ākūti was married to Ruci and Prasūti to Dakṣa. Dakṣa produced in Prasūti twenty-four daughters. [...] [Svadhā was given to Pitṛs.] Pitṛ and Svadhā had two daughters—Menā and Dhāriṇi. Menā was given in marriage to Himavān who begot two sons—Maināka and Krauñca and two daughters—Gaurī and Gaṅgā. Dhāriṇi was married to Meru and had a son named Mandara and three daughters—Velā, Niyati and Āyati.
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.
Dharmashastra (religious law)Source: Google Books: Manusmṛti with the Manubhāṣya
Pitṛ (पितृ):—It has been said that ‘ one shall offer balls to the Pitṛs.’ Now the question arises—Who are these ‘Pitṛs ?’ The term ‘pitṛ’ has several meanings, and denotes ‘progenitor’;
- it is used in the sense of the relative term, ‘father’;
- it is also used in the sense of one’s father and other relations that have died before.
- Further, the term ‘pitṛ’ also denotes a particular Deity ; and in this sense, it would stand for an unchanging eternal being.
The term ‘pitṛ,’ thus having several meanings, the Text proceeds to specify what is meant by it in the present context. (See the Manubhāṣya verse 3.220)
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.
General definition (in Hinduism)Source: archive.org: Vedic index of Names and Subjects
Pitṛ (पितृ) common from the Rigveda onwards, denotes ‘father’, not so much as the ‘begetter’ (janitṛ), but rather as the protector of the child, this being probably also the etymological sense of the word. The father in the Rigveda stands for all that is good and kind.Source: WikiPedia: Hinduism
The Pitris (Sanskrit: पितृ, the fathers), are the spirits of the departed ancestors in Hindu culture. They are often remembered annually. The Pitṛs are most primeval deities and they never cease to exist. The manuṣyāḥ pitaraḥ (ancestors of human beings) can attain the same level of the divine Pitṛs and live with them in heaven by righteousness. They are reborn at the end of every thousand mahayugas and revive the worlds. From them all the Manus and all progeny at the new creation are produced.
The most complete accounts about the Pitṛs are found in the Vayu Purana and Brahmanda Purana and both are practically identical. The account in the Harivamsha is shorter but agrees closely with them. The similar but brief accounts are also found in the Matsya Purana and Padma Purana. According to these accounts there are different classes of the Pitṛs and they have different origins, forms, grades and abodes. A broad distinction exists between the devāḥ pitaraḥ (divine Pitṛs) and the manuṣyāḥ pitaraḥ (Pitṛs who were deceased human beings). Some of the Pitṛs dwell in the heavenly abodes while other dwell in the netherworlds. The former who dwell in the heaven were considered as the gods and the gods were also considered as the Pitṛs.
There are seven classes of the devāḥ pitaraḥ (divine Pitṛs), three of them are amurtayah (incorporeal) while the other four are samurtayah (corporeal). The three incorporeal orders of the Pitṛs are Vairajas, Agnishvattas and Barhishadas. The four corporeal orders of the Pitṛs are Somapas, Havishmanas, Ajyapas and Sukalins (or Manasas)
Mahayana (major branch of Buddhism)Source: Wisdom Library: Maha Prajnaparamita Sastra
Pitṛ (पितृ, “father”).—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 father (pitṛ)”.
In the course of innumerable generations, all beings have been one’s father (pitṛ), mother, 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 father (pitṛ).
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.
Languages of India and abroad
Sanskrit dictionarySource: DDSA: The practical Sanskrit-English dictionary
Pitṛ (पितृ).—m. [pāti rakṣati, pā-tṛc ni°] A father; तेनास लोकः पितृमान् विनेत्रा (tenāsa lokaḥ pitṛmān vinetrā) R.14.23;1.24;11.67.
-rau (dual) Parents, father and mother; जगतः पितरौ वन्दे पार्वतीपरमे- श्वरौ (jagataḥ pitarau vande pārvatīparame- śvarau) R.1.1; Y.2.117.
1) Fore-fathers, ancestors, fathers; नूनं प्रसूतिविकलेन मया प्रसिक्तं धौताश्रुशेष- मुदकं पितरः पिबन्ति (nūnaṃ prasūtivikalena mayā prasiktaṃ dhautāśruśeṣa- mudakaṃ pitaraḥ pibanti) Ś.6.24.
2) Paternal ancestors taken collectively; अध्यापयामास पितॄन् शिशुराङ्गिरसः कविः (adhyāpayāmāsa pitṝn śiśurāṅgirasaḥ kaviḥ) Ms.2.151.
3) The Manes; R.2.16;3.2; पितॄणामर्यमा चास्मि (pitṝṇāmaryamā cāsmi) Bg. 1.29; Ms.3.81,192.Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: Shabda-Sagara Sanskrit-English Dictionary
(-tā) A father, dual, (-rau) Mother and father, parents. plu. always,
(-raḥ) 1. Paternal ancestors. 2. The manes, or the deceased and deified progenitors of mankind, inhabiting a peculiar region or heaven, or according to some, the orbit of the moon. E. pā to nourish, Unadi aff. tṛc.Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: Benfey Sanskrit-English Dictionary
Pitṛ (पितृ).—i. e. 2. pā + tṛ, m. (acc. pl. pitaras, Mahābhārata 3, 12924), 1. A father, [Mānavadharmaśāstra] 2, 145. 2. du. Mother and father, parents, [Śākuntala, (ed. Böhtlingk.)] 109, 9. 3. pl. a. Paternal ancestors, [Mānavadharmaśāstra] 2, 159. b. The Manes, or the deceased and deified progenitors of mankind, [Mānavadharmaśāstra] 3, 194, etc.Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: Cappeller Sanskrit-English Dictionary
Pitṛ (पितृ).—[masculine] father, [Epithet] of [several] gods; [dual] the parents; [plural] the father and his brothers, also the forefathers & their spirits, the Manes.Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: Monier-Williams Sanskrit-English Dictionary
1) Pitṛ (पितृ):—m. (irreg. [accusative] [plural] pitaras, [Mahābhārata]; [genitive case] [plural] pitriṇām, [Bhāgavata-purāṇa]) a father, [Ṛg-veda] etc. etc. (in the Veda Name of Bṛhas-pati, Varuṇa, Prajā-pati, and [especially] of heaven or the sky; antarā pitaraṃ mātaraṃ ca, ‘between heaven and earth’ [Ṛg-veda x, 88, 15])
2) m. [dual number] (tarau) father and mother, parents, [Ṛg-veda] etc. etc. (in the Veda Name of the Araṇis [q.v.] and of heaven and earth)
3) (taras) the fathers, forefathers, ancestors, ([especially]) the Pitṛs or deceased ancestors (they are of 2 classes, viz. the deceased father, grandfathers and great-grandfathers of any [particular] person, and the progenitors of mankind generally; in honour of both these classes rites called Śrāddhas are performed and oblations called Piṇḍas q.v. are presented; they inhabit a peculiar region, which, according to some, is the Bhuvas or region of the air, according to others, the orbit of the moon, and are considered as the regents of the Nakṣatras Maghā and Mūla; cf. [Religious Thought and Life in India 10 etc.]), [Ṛg-veda] etc. etc.
4) a father and his brothers, father and uncles, paternal ancestors, [Manu-smṛti ii, 151 etc.; Rāmāyaṇa; Kathāsaritsāgara]
5) a [particular] child’s-demon, [Suśruta]
6) [Origin [from] √3. pā very doubtful; cf. [Zend] pita; [Greek] πατήρ; [Latin] pater, Jup-piter; [Gothic] fadar; [German] Vater; [English] father.]
7) Pitr (पित्र्):—[from pitṛ] in [compound] for pitṛ before vowels.
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.
See also (Relevant definitions)