Prasada, aka: Prāsāda, Prasāda; 22 Definition(s)

Introduction

Prasada means something in Buddhism, Pali, 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

Ayurveda (science of life)

Prasāda (प्रसाद) refers to “essence”.

Source: Wisdom Library: Āyurveda and botany
Ayurveda book cover
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Āyurveda (आयुर्वेद, ayurveda) is a branch of Indian science dealing with medicine, herbalism, taxology, anatomy, surgery, alchemy and related topics. Traditional practice of Āyurveda in ancient India dates back to at least the first millenium BC. Literature is commonly written in Sanskrit using various poetic metres.

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Vastushastra (architecture)

1) Prāsāda (प्रासाद) is a Sanskrit technical term denoting a “residence” in general, according to the lists of synonyms given in the Mayamata XIX.10-12 and the Mānasāra XIX.108-12, both populair treatises on Vāstuśāstra literature.

2) Prāsāda (प्रासाद) is a Sanskrit technical term roughly corresponding to “temple”. It represents the dwelling place, or a residence of God. The Samarāṅgaṇasūtradhāra (chapter 49) mentions 64 types of Prāsāda classified under 5 different Vimānas, which represent the aerial cars of the Gods (but also refers to ‘palace’).

The names of the 24 Prāsādas of the Vairāja type (square shaped) of Vimāna are:

  1. Rucaka,
  2. Citrakūṭa,
  3. Siṃhapañjara,
  4. Bhadra,
  5. Śrīkūṭa,
  6. Uṣṇīṣa,
  7. Śālākṣa,
  8. Gajayūthapa,
  9. Nandyāvartta,
  10. Avataṃsāhva,
  11. Svastika,
  12. Kṣitibhūṣaṇa,
  13. Bhūjaya,
  14. Vijaya,
  15. Nandī,
  16. Śrītaru,
  17. Pramadāpriya, 
  18. Vyāmiśra,
  19. Hastijātīya,
  20. Kubera,
  21. Vasudhadhara,
  22. Sarvabhadra,
  23. Vimāna,
  24. Muktakoṇa.

Then follow the names of 4x10 groups of Prāsādas for the Kailāśa (globular), Puṣpaka (square and rectangular or oblong), Maṇika (globular and oblong) and Triviṣṭapa (octangular) type of Vimānas:

  1. Valaya,
  2. Dundubhi,
  3. Prānta,
  4. Padma,
  5. Kānta,
  6. Caturmukha,
  7. Māṇḍuka,
  8. Kūrma,
  9. Tāligṛha,
  10. Ulūpika.
  11. Bhava,
  12. Viśāla,
  13. Sāmmukhya,
  14. Prabhava,
  15. Śivirāgṛha,
  16. Mukhaśāla,
  17. Dviśāla,
  18. Gṛharāja,
  19. Amala,
  20. Vibhu.
  21. Āmoda,
  22. Raitika,
  23. Tuṅga,
  24. Cāru,
  25. Bhūti,
  26. Niṣevaka,
  27. Sadāniṣedha,
  28. Siṃhākhya,
  29. Suprabha,
  30. Locanotsava
  31. Vajraka,
  32. Nandana,
  33. Śaṅku,
  34. Mekhala,
  35. Vāmana,
  36. Laya,
  37. Mahāpadma,
  38. Haṃsa,
  39. Vyomacandra,
  40. Udaya.

Thus totalling to 64 different types of Prāsāda.

Source: Wisdom Library: Vāstu-śāstra

Prāsāda is defined as the upper storey or storeys of any building. It may be of a temple or a palace or a house. In the context of temple architecture, prāsāda refers to the upper storeys or the tower built above the sanctum or the gateway.

Source: Shodhganga: Development of temple architecture in Southern Karnataka

Prāsāda (प्रासाद):—The word “Prāsāda” has been used to denote temple througout the work. The name Prāsāda has the widest application. The word is unique in this respect that it does not mean a house or something that is uilt like Devāgāra or Vimāna respectively. “It denotes a settling down (pra-sad) and a seat made of that which has settled down and aqcuired concrete form, the form of a dwelling, a residence, the seat of God”. Thus our Śilpa-śāstras do not consider Prāsāda, the Hindu Temple as a congregational structure alone, but the house of the Spirit. Temple is the house of God. God is the Spirit immanent in the Universe and the temple is His abode.

Thus, Prāsāda, the Hindu Temple from this Brāhmaṇic conception is the visible outer casement (body) of the Invisible Brahma (gods and goddesses only an emblem of this Supreme Being). It is according to this fundamental conception that in temple architecture, the various parts of a temple are designated by names which correspond to the names of the various parts of the human body, e.g.

  1. Pādukā,
  2. Pada,
  3. Caraṇa,
  4. Aṅghṛ,
  5. Jaṅghā,
  6. Ūru,
  7. Kaṭi,
  8. Kukṣi,
  9. Parva,
  10. Gala,
  11. Grīvā,
  12. Kandhara,
  13. Kaṇṭha,
  14. Śikhara,
  15. Śiras,
  16. Śīrṣa,
  17. Mūrdhan,
  18. Mastaka,
  19. Mukha,
  20. Vaktra,
  21. Kūṭa,
  22. Karṇa,
  23. Nāsikā,
  24. Śikhā etc.

The popular etymology for the meaning of the word Prāsāda is accepted by the author of the Śilparatna (XVI.1) and he says:—“Prāsādas please by their beauty, the minds of gods and men.”

Source: Digital Library of India: Bharatiya Vastu-sastra volume 1

Prāsāda (प्रासाद) is defined as the upper storey or storeys of any building. It may be of a temple or a palace or a house. In the context of temple architecture prāsāda refers to the upper storeys or the tower built above the sanctum or the gateway. The towers on the sanctum and gateway are specifically named as vimāna and gopura respectively. Even in Mānasāra (verse 18.2), the tower above the sanctum is referred by the term prāsāda.

The different types of prāsādas mentioned in the Texts:

  1. Vaideha,
  2. Māgadha,
  3. Kaurava,
  4. Kausala,
  5. Śaurasena,
  6. Gāndhāra,
  7. Āvantika,
  8. Vyāmiśra,
  9. Kaliṅga,
  10. Kāśika,
  11. Vairāṭa,
  12. Drāviḍa,
  13. Bāhlika,
  14. Kaulika,
  15. Śauṇḍika,
  16. Pāñcāla,
  17. Lupā,
  18. Kāśmīra,
  19. Gāṅgeya.

It further mentions that the number of faces i.e. sides of a prāsāda possesses can be up to sixty beginning from six.

Source: Shodhganga: Temples of Salem region Up to 1336 AD
Vastushastra book cover
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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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Purana and Itihasa (epic history)

Prasada in Purana glossary... « previous · [P] · next »

Prasāda (प्रसाद).—A King of the family of Manu. (4th Skandha, Bhāgavata).

Source: archive.org: Puranic Encyclopaedia

1a) Prasāda (प्रसाद).—Born of Maitrī.*

  • * Bhāgavata-purāṇa IV. 1. 50.

1b) A fruit of prāṇāyāma; control of the five winds by the senses.*

  • * Vāyu-purāṇa 11. 4, 10.

2a) Prāsāda (प्रासाद).—(ety). that which pleases the mind; generally a palace.*

  • * Vāyu-purāṇa 8. 127; 35. 4; 39. 36; 40. 9.

2b) Of Viṣṇu; offering of bali to deities as a preliminary to building; varieties of buildings descrbied—meru, mandara, kailāśa, kumbha, siṃha, mṛga, vimāna, chandaka, catusra, aṣṭāsra, ṣoḍaśāsra, vartula, sarvabhadraka, siṃhāsya, nandana, nandivardhanaka, haṃsa, vṛṣa, suvarṇeśa, padmaka and samudraka; with toraṇas and archways of wood, stone or brick.*

  • * Brahmāṇḍa-purāṇa IV. 7. 28; Matsya-purāṇa chh. 268-9.
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.

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Natyashastra (theatrics and dramaturgy)

1) Prasāda (प्रसाद, “perspicuity”) refers to one of the ten merits (guṇa) of a dramatic play (kāvya), according to Nāṭyaśāstra chapter 17. They are characterised by their sweetness and depth of meaning.

(Description): “where the unexpressed word or sense is comprehended through a use of easily understood words and sense, it is an instance of perspicuity (prasāda)”.

2) Prasāda (प्रसाद, “gratification”) refers to ‘lucid sense of gratification’ following the subsidence of anger. Prasāda represents one of the fourteen nirvahaṇasandhi, according to the Nāṭyaśāstra chapter 21. Nirvahaṇasandhi refers to the “segments (sandhi) of the concluding part (nirvahaṇa)” and represents one of the five segments of the plot (itivṛtta or vastu) of a dramatic composition (nāṭaka).

(Description): “treating one with waiting upon or the like, is is called gratification (prasāda)”.

3) Prasāda (प्रसाद) refers to one of the thirty-three alaṃkāras (embellishments), according to the Nāṭyaśāstra chapter 29. These alaṃkāras, or, ‘embellishments of song’, depend upon the four types of varṇas, which refers to a specific order of musical notes (svara). They are attached to the songs of seven forms, although not generally used in the dhruvās.

According to the Nāṭyaśāstra, “prasāda is when in a kalā, notes descend gradually by one note”.

Source: Wisdom Library: Nāṭya-śāstra
Natyashastra book cover
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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).

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Pancaratra (worship of Nārāyaṇa)

Prāsāda (प्रासाद) refers to an aspect of nṛsiṃha (‘man-lion’), according to the Vihagendra-saṃhitā 4.17, which mentions seventy-four forms (inlcuding twenty forms of vyūha). He is also known as Prāsādanṛsiṃha or Prāsādanarasiṃha. Nṛsiṃha is a Tantric deity and refers to the furious (ugra) incarnation of Viṣṇu.

The 15th-century Vihagendra-saṃhīta is a canonical text of the Pāñcarātra corpus and, in twenty-four chapters, deals primarely with meditation on mantras and sacrificial oblations.

Source: Wisdom Library: Pāñcarātra
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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.

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Shilpashastra (iconography)

1) Prāsāda (प्रासाद, “temple”).—In śilpaśāstras of the Śaiva school in south India three types of temples are defined, the differentiating feature being the section of the śikhara (Mayamata XIX.38):

  1. nāgara with square section up to the śikhara,
  2. drāviḍa square with octagonal kaṇṭha and śikhara,
  3. vesara square with circular kaṇṭha and śikhara.

2) Prasāda (प्रसाद, “graciousness”) is depicted as a sculpture on the seventh pillar of the southern half of the maṇḍapa of the temple of Lokeśvara.—The topmost medallion contains a very rare scene of carrying the prasāda, grace of the god, in all pomp. The scene is pictured in this manner: a person, seated on an elephant, holding a container on his head with his right hand and keeping his balance by holding the seat fixed to the saddle. He is accompanied by a mahout (elephant driver) and all paraphernalia, such as drum player, conch blower and porter of daṇḍa, stick. A big, beautiful bell is hanging on the left hind leg of the elephant. The stick that is in the hand of the elephant rider looks either like a flag or an umbrella.

Above the medallion is a small panel with an unfinished sculpture of a seated couple. It may be Śiva with his consort Pārvatī. In that case it may not be wrong to think that the prasāda is carried to their abode.

Source: Archaeological Survey of India: Śaiva monuments at Paṭṭadakal (śilpa)

Prāsāda (प्रासाद) refers to a “three-storeyed palace” (a complete solid mass, on whose multi-buttressed walls the images are displayed) and forms a part of the Hindu temple.—The Hindu temple displays sculptures on the outer surface, the maṇḍapas (the various columned halls) and the prāsāda (a three-storeyed palace, a complete solid mass, on whose multi-buttressed walls the images are displayed), in which the innermost sanctuary or the garbhagṛha is located. The garbhagṛha or the womb cell is a small, dark, cubical chamber even in the largest temples. The divine symbol or the deity, invariably carved out of stone, is installed in the garbhagṛha. The door of this cell usually faces the east.

The prāsāda is almost completely a solid mass on whose multi-buttressed walls the images are displayed. The finial/the culminating portion of a pinnacle is raised above the body of the prāsāda as it is on the crown of the temple known as āmalaka (dome). It is a ribbed flattened top surmounted by a kalaśa (ornamental pot found in finials and capitals), topped by a finial and a banner. It is also known as harmya (a beautiful palace) in South Indian temples. The main display of the figure sculptures is on the perpendicular and the horizontal walls, the front and side walls of the prāsāda, the outside of the prāsāda, the ghanadvāra or the niches (ghana–massive, dvāra–door), the surface of the temple, the walls of the temple, the outermost perimeter of the building, the gopuras or towers, the gateway, and the pillars. On the whole, a temple is a structure of figure sculptures.

Source: Shodhganga: The significance of the mūla-beras (śilpa)
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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Vyakarana (Sanskrit grammar)

Prasāda (प्रसाद).—See प्रक्रियाप्रसाद (prakriyāprasāda) by Vitthalesa.

Source: Wikisource: A dictionary of Sanskrit grammar
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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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Ganapatya (worship of Ganesha)

Prasāda (प्रसाद, “blessings”) refers to “spiritual food”: one infuses life into the image (prāṇapratiṣṭhā) and in return receives blessings (prasāda).—Prasāda is “that food which is presented to the image of a deity or that left for one’s Guru or that which is available for devotees to consume”. It comes from the Sanskrit root sad, “to sit," and the prefix pra, “down”. Thus, it literally means a “settling down”. When one is in communion with the Divine, one has settled down into their own Self. The gift of divinity or of one's own Self is the true prasāda, all else is but leftovers. Thus, one should partake of the ritual prasāda as if it is God's grace, in total, and not merely a part of it or something that has somehow magically become something it was not just a moment before.

Source: Google Books: Ganapati: Song of the Self
context information

Ganapatya (गाणपत्य, gāṇapatya) represents a tradition of Hinduism where Ganesha is revered and worshipped as the prime deity (ishta-devata). Being a minor though influential movement, Ganapatya evovled, llike Shaktism and Shaivism, as a separate movement leaving behind a large body of literature.

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General definition (in Hinduism)

Prāsāda (प्रासाद).—The North Indian temple is still called “palace” (prāsāda), however—a “house” for the god. Architects transformed and compacted the palace into a single symbolic emblem. The totality of the temple’s form can be read as a mountain, altar, flame, puruṣa (cosmic man), whatever one’s metaphysical system wishes to make of it.

Source: Academia.edu: Prāsāda as Palace

In Buddhism

Mahayana (major branch of Buddhism)

Prāsāda (प्रासाद) refers to “temples” and is mentioned among the “material benefits” granted by the Bodhisattva, according to the Mahāprajñāpāramitāśāstra chapter XLVI.—Accordingly, “houses (gṛha) such as dwellings (harmya), palaces (rājakula), temples (prāsāda), etc., built of earth, wood or precious objects, to protect from cold (śīta), heat (uṣṇa), wind (vāta), rain (vṛṣṭi), thieves (caura)”.

Source: Wisdom Library: Maha Prajnaparamita Sastra
Mahayana book cover
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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.

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India history and geogprahy

Prāsāda (प्रासाद, “temple”).—Temples are compared to the sacred mountains of India. Keeping this in view, many temples are built either on hilltops or on elevated mounds. If the surface of the chosen land is flat, then an artificial mound is created to make it slightly higher than the normal ground level to give an impression of a mountain. This is true especially with those temples that are built on the Tuṅgabhadrā riverbanks.

Source: Archaeological Survey of India: Śaiva monuments at Paṭṭadakal
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

Marathi-English dictionary

Prasada in Marathi glossary... « previous · [P] · next »

prasāda (प्रसाद).—m (S) Favor, graciousness, propitiousness. 2 Anything (a fruit, flower, rice) given by an idol, a Guru, a saint, as a blessing or mark of favor. Pr.guraviṇīcīṃ śitēṃ prasādāvārīṃ gēlīṃ. 3 Food &c. presented to an idol or a holy person to be distributed, thus honored, among worshipers &c. 4 The sweatmeats and fruits distributed among the audience at the conclusion of a Katha or a Puran̤reading. 5 The rice, betelnuts &c. which are stuck upon an idol when it is consulted. 6 S (Lit. Cleanness, clearness, brightness.) fig. Mental sanctity or purity. prasādōpibhayaṅkaraḥ The favor (tender mercies) of the wicked are fearful.

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prāsāda (प्रासाद).—m S A temple. 2 A palace.

Source: DDSA: The Molesworth Marathi and English Dictionary

prasāda (प्रसाद).—m Favour, graciousness. Any- thing (a fruit, flower, rice) given by an idol, a Guru &c. as a blessing. Ex. guraviṇīcī śitēṃ prasādāvārī gēlīṃ. Mental sanctity or purity.

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prāsāda (प्रासाद).—m A temple. A palace.

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

Prasāda (प्रसाद).—1 Favour, kindness, condescension, propitiousness; कुरु दृष्टिप्रसादम् (kuru dṛṣṭiprasādam) 'be pleased to show yourself'; इत्या प्रसादादस्यास्त्वं परिचर्यापरो भव (ityā prasādādasyāstvaṃ paricaryāparo bhava) R.1.91;2.22; ध्रुवमत्र न वर्धयेत् प्रसादम् (dhruvamatra na vardhayet prasādam) Bu. Ch.5.65.

2) Good temper, graciousness of disposition.

3) Calmness, tranquillity, composure, serenity, sedateness, absence of excitement; आत्मवश्यैर्विधेयात्मा प्रसादमधिगच्छति (ātmavaśyairvidheyātmā prasādamadhigacchati) Bg.2.64.

4) Clearness, limpidness, brightness, transparency, purity (as of water, mind &c.); गङ्गा रोधःपतनकलुषा गृह्णतीव प्रसादम् (gaṅgā rodhaḥpatanakaluṣā gṛhṇatīva prasādam) V.1. 9; Ś.7.32; प्राप्तबुद्धिप्रसादाः (prāptabuddhiprasādāḥ) Śi.11.6; R.17.1; Ki.9.25.

5) Perspicuity, clearness of style, one of the three Guṇas according to Mammaṭa, who thus defines it :- शुष्केन्धनाग्निवत् स्वच्छजलवत् सहसैव यः । व्याप्नोत्यन्यत् प्रसादोऽसौ सर्वत्र विहितस्थितिः (śuṣkendhanāgnivat svacchajalavat sahasaiva yaḥ | vyāpnotyanyat prasādo'sau sarvatra vihitasthitiḥ) K. P.8; यावदर्थकपदत्वरूपमर्थवैमल्यं प्रसादः (yāvadarthakapadatvarūpamarthavaimalyaṃ prasādaḥ) or श्रुतमात्रा वाक्यार्थं करतलबदरमिव निवेदयन्ती घटना प्रसादस्य (śrutamātrā vākyārthaṃ karatalabadaramiva nivedayantī ghaṭanā prasādasya) R. G.; see Kāv.1.44; चित्तं व्याप्नोति यः क्षिप्रं शुष्केन्धनमिवानलः । स प्रसादः समस्तेषु रसेषु रचनासु च (cittaṃ vyāpnoti yaḥ kṣipraṃ śuṣkendhanamivānalaḥ | sa prasādaḥ samasteṣu raseṣu racanāsu ca) S. D.611; प्रसादरम्यमोजस्वि गरीयो लाघवान्वितम् (prasādaramyamojasvi garīyo lāghavānvitam) Ki.11.38.

6) Food offered to idols &c., or the remnants of such food.

7) A free gift, gratuity.

8) Any propitiatory offering.

9) Wellbeing, welfare.

1) An essence of the food etc. (at the completion of the stages of digestion); रसाद् रक्तं प्रसादजं, ततो रक्तान्मांसं प्रसादजं, मांसान्मेदः प्रसादज इत्यादि यावत् शुक्राद् गर्भः प्रसादजः इति (rasād raktaṃ prasādajaṃ, tato raktānmāṃsaṃ prasādajaṃ, māṃsānmedaḥ prasādaja ityādi yāvat śukrād garbhaḥ prasādajaḥ iti) Āyurvedaśāstra.

Derivable forms: prasādaḥ (प्रसादः).

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Prāsāda (प्रासाद).—[prasīdatyasmin pra + sad ādhāre ghañ dīrghaḥ]

1) A palace, mansion, any large palatial building; भिक्षुः कुटीयति प्रासादे (bhikṣuḥ kuṭīyati prāsāde) Sk.; Me.66.

2) A royal mansion.

3) A temple, shrine.

4) A raised platform for spectators.

5) Terrace; ततो दुर्योधनगृहं प्रासादैरुपशोभितम् (tato duryodhanagṛhaṃ prāsādairupaśobhitam) Mb.12.44.6.

Derivable forms: prāsādaḥ (प्रासादः).

Source: DDSA: The practical Sanskrit-English dictionary

Prasāda (प्रसाद).—m. (= Pali pasāda, see Childers; compare a-pra° and prasanna, also abhipras°), (1) faith (in, with loc., so commonly in Pali): Mvy 6822-24 (no locs.); Mv iii. 434.20 Buddhe prasādasya; °da-jātaḥ (after abhiprasan- naḥ, q.v.) Divy 23.14; 75.20; = śraddhā, AbhidhK. La-VP. viii.158; (2) tranquillity of the four physical elements (dhātu) in sense-organs, as resulting in the sensitivity of the organs and so in sense-perception: Śikṣ 250.14 ff.; compare 251.4, which by contrast with kṣobha agitation proves what prasāda means. Pali pasāda is so used, see PTSD; for Mrs. Rhys Davids' interpretation see her Dhs. transl. 174.

Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: Edgerton Buddhist Hybrid Sanskrit 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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