Pradhana, Pradhāna: 17 definitions


Pradhana means something in Hinduism, Sanskrit, 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

Purana and Itihasa (epic history)

[«previous (P) next»] — Pradhana in Purana glossary
Source: Shiva Purana - English Translation

Pradhāna (प्रधान) is another name for Śakti (prime cause, created from the body of Īśvara), according to Śivapurāṇa 2.1.6, while explaining the time of great dissolution (mahāpralaya):—“[...] this Śakti is called by various names. Pradhāna, Prakṛti, Māyā, Guṇavatī, Parā. The mother of Buddhi Tattva (The cosmic Intelligence), Vikṛtivarjitā (without modification). That Śakti is Ambikā, Prakṛti and the goddess of all. She is the prime cause and the mother of the three deities. [...]”.

Source: Puranic Encyclopedia

Pradhāna (प्रधान).—An ancient Rajarṣi. A learned woman named Sulabhā was born in his family and king Janaka conducted scholarly discussions with her. (Śloka 184, Chapter 320, Śānti Parva).

Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: The Purana Index

1a) Pradhāna (प्रधान).—An ananta and avyayātma; covers the mahat.*

  • * Brahmāṇḍa-purāṇa II. 21. 28; III. 43. 4; IV. 4. 12 and 20.

1b) (Māyā, Vāyu-purāṇa) a term for Prakṛti; with vikāra results in mahat-tatva.*

  • * Brahmāṇḍa-purāṇa I. 1. 88 and 93; 3. 9; 5. 103; Vāyu-purāṇa 103. 12, 21, 36. Matsya-purāṇa 3. 15, 17; 60. 3; Vāyu-purāṇa 4. 19; 23. 56; 24. 66. Viṣṇu-purāṇa I. 2. 15-16.
Source: Shodhganga: The saurapurana - a critical study

Pradhāna (प्रधान) covers the mahat just as a seed is covered by the skin, according to the 10th century Saurapurāṇa: one of the various Upapurāṇas depicting Śaivism.—[...] From the disturbed prakṛti and the puruṣa sprang up the seed of mahat, which is of the nature of both pradhāna and puruṣa. The mahat-tattva is then covered by the pradhāna and being so covered it differentiates itself as the sāttvika, rājasa and tāmasa-mahat. The pradhāna covers the mahat just as a seed is covered by the skin. Being so covered there spring from the three fold mahat the threefold ahaṃkāra called vaikārika, taijasa and bhūtādi or tāmasa.

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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Vyakarana (Sanskrit grammar)

Source: Wikisource: A dictionary of Sanskrit grammar

1) Pradhāna (प्रधान).—The principal thing as opposed to the subordinate one; something which has got an independent purpose of its own and is not meant for another; प्रधानमुपसर्जनमिति च संबन्धिशब्दावेतौ (pradhānamupasarjanamiti ca saṃbandhiśabdāvetau) M.Bh. on P. I.2.43 V.5; cf. also प्रधानाप्रधानयोः प्रधाने कार्य-संप्रत्ययः (pradhānāpradhānayoḥ pradhāne kārya-saṃpratyayaḥ) Par. Sek. Pari. 97;

2) Pradhāna.—Predominant of main importance; cf. पूर्वपदार्थप्रधानोव्ययीभावः (pūrvapadārthapradhānovyayībhāvaḥ) etc. M. Bh. on II. 1.6, 20, 49 II.2.6 etc;

3) Pradhāna.—Primary as opposed to secondary; cf. गौणे कर्मणि दुह्यादेः प्रधाने नीहृकृष्वहाम् । (gauṇe karmaṇi duhyādeḥ pradhāne nīhṛkṛṣvahām |) cf. also प्रधानकर्मण्याख्येये लादीनाहुर्द्विकर्मणाम् । अप्रधाने दुहादीनाम् (pradhānakarmaṇyākhyeye lādīnāhurdvikarmaṇām | apradhāne duhādīnām) M.Bh.on I.4.51

context information

Vyakarana (व्याकरण, vyākaraṇa) refers to Sanskrit grammar and represents one of the six additional sciences (vedanga) to be studied along with the Vedas. Vyakarana concerns itself with the rules of Sanskrit grammar and linguistic analysis in order to establish the correct context of words and sentences.

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Dharmashastra (religious law)

Source: Sacred Texts: The Grihya Sutras, Part 2 (SBE30)

Pradhāna (प्रधान) refers to a “principal act” or “primary sacrifice” and is accompanied by auxiliary acts (aṅga), as mentioned in the Āpastamba-yajña-paribhāṣā-sūtras.—“A principal act is what has its own name, and is prescribed with special reference to place, time, and performer”.

Dharmashastra book cover
context information

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.

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Kavya (poetry)

[«previous (P) next»] — Pradhana in Kavya glossary
Source: Naisadhacarita of Sriharsa

Pradhāṇa (प्रधाण) refers to a “terrace in front of a building”, and is mentioned in the Naiṣadha-carita 19.11.—(“madhavaprāsādasya pradhāṇam”).

context information

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’.

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Vaishnavism (Vaishava dharma)

Source: Pure Bhakti: Bhagavad-gita (4th edition)

Pradhāna (प्रधान) refers to “(See māyā-śakti)”. (cf. Glossary page from Śrīmad-Bhagavad-Gītā).

Vaishnavism book cover
context information

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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India history and geogprahy

Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: Indian Epigraphical Glossary

Pradhāna.—(SII 1; HD; BL), an official designation some- times indicating the chief minister or administrator also called Pradhāna-saciva (EI 23); cf. pañca-Pradhānāḥ (EI 5) ‘the five ministers’. See Ind. Ant., Vol. IX, p. 35 where Mantrin, Amātya and Pradhāna are separately mentioned. Note: pradhāna 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

Marathi-English dictionary

Source: DDSA: The Molesworth Marathi and English Dictionary

pradhāna (प्रधान).—m (S) A minister; a counselor; the first attendant of a king. 2 n Nature; whether the natural state of a thing, or the cause of the material world.

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pradhāna (प्रधान).—a (S) Chief, main, principal. 2 Prevalent or' preponderant (in, among, amidst): also (in comp.) inhering or being in principally or prevalently. Ex. kāṃhīṃ vṛkṣa phalapradhāna asatāta kāṃhīṃ puṣpa- pradhāna kāṃhīṃ patrapradhāna; tyā haridāsācī kathā gāna- pradhāna āhē.

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

pradhāna (प्रधान).—m A minister. n Nature. a Chief. Prevalent.

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

Source: DDSA: The practical Sanskrit-English dictionary

Pradhana (प्रधन).—

1) A battle, fight, war, contest; प्रहितः प्रधनाय माधवानहमाकारयितुं महीभृता (prahitaḥ pradhanāya mādhavānahamākārayituṃ mahībhṛtā) Śi.16.52; क्षेत्रं क्षत्रप्रधनपिशुनं कौरवं तद्भजेथाः (kṣetraṃ kṣatrapradhanapiśunaṃ kauravaṃ tadbhajethāḥ) Me.5; R.11.77; Mv.6.33; U.5.1.

2) Spoil taken in battle.

3) Destruction.

4) Tearing, rending.

Derivable forms: pradhanam (प्रधनम्).

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Pradhāna (प्रधान).—a.

1) Chief, principal, pre-eminent, main, best, most excellent; as in; प्रधानामात्य, प्रधानपुरुष (pradhānāmātya, pradhānapuruṣa) &c.; रत्नैश्च पूजयेदेनं प्रधानपुरुषैः सह (ratnaiśca pūjayedenaṃ pradhānapuruṣaiḥ saha) Ms.7.23; प्रधानफलं वा आनुषङ्गिकं वा सर्वमेव आधातरि समवेतुमर्हति (pradhānaphalaṃ vā ānuṣaṅgikaṃ vā sarvameva ādhātari samavetumarhati) ŚB. on. MS.6.2.1; 'यस्मिन् कुले यः पुरुषः प्रधानः स सर्वयत्नेन हि रक्षणीयः (yasmin kule yaḥ puruṣaḥ pradhānaḥ sa sarvayatnena hi rakṣaṇīyaḥ)'.

2) Principally inherent, prevalent, predominant.

-nam 1 The chief thing or object, most important thing; head, chief; न परिचयो मलिनात्मनां प्रधानम् (na paricayo malinātmanāṃ pradhānam) Śi.7.61; G. L.18; प्रयोगप्रधानं हि नाट्यशास्त्रम् (prayogapradhānaṃ hi nāṭyaśāstram) M.1; शमप्रधानेषु तपो- धनेषु (śamapradhāneṣu tapo- dhaneṣu) Ś.2.7; गुणैश्च तैस्तैर्विनयप्रधानैः (guṇaiśca taistairvinayapradhānaiḥ) R.6.79.

2) The first evolver, originator, or source of the material world, the primary germ out of which all material appearances are evolved, according to Sāṅkhya philosophy; न पुनरपि प्रधानवादी अशब्दत्वं प्रधानस्या सिद्धमित्याह (na punarapi pradhānavādī aśabdatvaṃ pradhānasyā siddhamityāha) Ś. B.; see प्रकृति (prakṛti) also; प्रधानक्षेत्रज्ञपतिर्गुणेशः (pradhānakṣetrajñapatirguṇeśaḥ) Śvet. Up.6.16; एतस्याद्या प्रवृत्तिस्तु प्रधानात् संप्रवर्तते (etasyādyā pravṛttistu pradhānāt saṃpravartate) Mb.12.25.25.

3) The Supreme Spirit.

4) Intellect, understanding; एको मयेह भगवान् विबुधप्रधानैश्चित्तीकृतः प्रजननाय कथं नु यूयम् (eko mayeha bhagavān vibudhapradhānaiścittīkṛtaḥ prajananāya kathaṃ nu yūyam) Bhāg.4.1.28.

5) The principal member of a compound.

-naḥ, -nam 1 The principal attendant or companion of a king (his minister or confidant).

2) A noble, courtier.

3) An elephant-driver.

4) The commander-in-chief.

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

Pradhāna (प्रधान).—(nt.; also, oftener, prahāṇa 1, q.v.; see also prahita; = Pali padhāna; n. act. to pradadhāti), exertion: rūkṣa-pradhānaṃ prahitātmanaḥ Lalitavistara 255.3 (prose), of (me) having exerted myself in harsh exertions; rūkṣapradhānaprahitātmakatvāt Lalitavistara 256.6 (prose); the Mahāvastu parallels to these passages read lūha-prahāṇa-, see these words; samyakpradhānā caturo me aśvā Mahāvastu iii.120.14 (verse), my horses are the four right exertions, for which see also (samyak)prahāṇa; compare Pali sammappadhāna; the four (cited in Childers and [Pali Text Society’s Pali-English Dictionary]) are, exertion to prevent sinful states (dhamma = dharma) from arising, to get rid of those that exist, to produce good states, and to maintain those already existing; for [Buddhist Hybrid Sanskrit] definitions (agreeing with this) see prahāṇa. In Abhidharmakośa LaV-P. vi.281, Vyākhyā, four samyakpradhāna; the older Chin. rendering has effort, the later abandonment, as if (Sanskrit) prahāṇa; Tibetan also the latter.

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

Pradhana (प्रधन).—n.

(-naṃ) 1. War, battle. 2. Tearing, rending, destroying. 3. Spoil taken in battle. E. pra before, dhā to have, aff. kyu .

--- OR ---

Pradhāna (प्रधान).—n.

(-naṃ) 1. Nature, the natural state of anything, or the cause of the material world. 2. The Supreme God. 3. Intellect, understanding. 4. Chief, principal, (in this sense, it is always neuter and confined to the singular number.) mn.

(-naḥ-naṃ) 1. The first companion of a king, his minister, his eunuch or confident, &c. a courtier, a noble, 2. An elephant-driver. f.

(-nā) Prevalent, predominant. E. pra before, dhā to have, aff. lyuṭ .

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

Pradhana (प्रधन).—[pra-dhana] (see nidhana), n. 1. Tearing, destroying, [Meghadūta, (ed. Gildemeister.)] 49; destruction, [Uttara Rāmacarita, 2. ed. Calc., 1862.] 119, 7. 2. War, battle.

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Pradhāna (प्रधान).—i. e. pra-dhā + ana, I. n. 1. Nature, Mahābhārata 13, 1009. 2. The Supreme God. 3. Intellect. 4. Chief, [Hitopadeśa] 49, 18; principal (only sing.), excellent, [Pañcatantra] 156, 15. 5. The first companion of a king, his minister, his confidant, etc. Ii. adj. Chief, principal, [Pañcatantra] i. [distich] 324; [Hitopadeśa] 60, 22; [Bhartṛhari, (ed. Bohlen.)] 2, 99.

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

1) Pradhana (प्रधन):—[=pra-dhana] n. (cf. dhana) spoil taken in battle, a prize gained by a victor, the battle or contest itself, [Ṛg-veda] etc. etc.

2) [v.s. ...] the best of one’s goods, valuables, [Nārada-smṛti, nāradīya-dharma-śāstra]

3) [v.s. ...] tearing, bursting etc. (= dāraṇa), [cf. Lexicographers, esp. such as amarasiṃha, halāyudha, hemacandra, etc.]

4) [v.s. ...] m. Name of a man

5) [v.s. ...] m. [plural] his descendants, [Brahma-purāṇa]

6) Pradhāna (प्रधान):—[from pra-dhā] n. a chief thing or person, the most important or essential part of anything, [Kātyāyana-śrauta-sūtra; Manu-smṛti; Mahābhārata] etc.

7) [v.s. ...] ([in the beginning of a compound]) the principal or first, chief, head of

8) [v.s. ...] ([often also ifc. (f(ā). ) e.g. indra-pradhāna, (a hymn) having Indra as the chief object or person addressed, [Nirukta, by Yāska]; prayoga-p, (the art of dancing) having practice as its essential part, chiefly practical, [Mālavikāgnimitra]])

9) [v.s. ...] ‘the Originator’, primary germ, original source of the visible or material universe (in Sāṃkhya = prakṛti q.v.), [Indian Wisdom, by Sir M. Monier-Williams 53, 1 etc.]

10) [v.s. ...] primary or unevolved matter or nature, [Sarvadarśana-saṃgraha]

11) [v.s. ...] supreme or universal soul, [cf. Lexicographers, esp. such as amarasiṃha, halāyudha, hemacandra, etc.]

12) [v.s. ...] intellect, understanding, [cf. Lexicographers, esp. such as amarasiṃha, halāyudha, hemacandra, etc.]

13) [v.s. ...] the first companion or attendant of a king, a courtier, a noble (also m.), [cf. Lexicographers, esp. such as amarasiṃha, halāyudha, hemacandra, etc.]

14) [v.s. ...] an elephant-driver (also m.), [cf. Lexicographers, esp. such as amarasiṃha, halāyudha, hemacandra, etc.]

15) [v.s. ...] (in gram.) the principal member of a compound (opp. to upasarjana q.v.)

16) [v.s. ...] mf(ā)n. chief, main, principal, most important

17) [v.s. ...] pre-eminent in ([instrumental case])

18) [v.s. ...] better than or superior to ([ablative]), [Mahābhārata; Kāvya literature] etc.

19) [v.s. ...] m. Name of an ancient king, [Mahābhārata]

20) Pradhānā (प्रधाना):—[from pradhāna > pra-dhā] f. Name of a Śakti, [Tantr.] (cf. [Indian Wisdom, by Sir M. Monier-Williams 522]).

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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