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Prasada, aka: Prāsāda, Prasāda; 11 Definition(s)


Prasada means something in Hinduism, Sanskrit, the history of ancient India. 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

Āyurveda (science of life)

Prasāda (प्रसाद) refers to “essence”.

Source: Wisdom Library: Āyurveda and botany
context information

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.

Vāstuśāstra (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 ADVāstuśāstra book cover
context information

Vāstuśāstra (वास्तुशास्त्र, vastu-shastra) refers to the knowledge of architecture. It is a branch of ancient Indian science dealing with topics such architecture, construction, sculpture and their relation with the cosmic universe.


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 IndexPurāṇa book cover
context information

The Purāṇas (पुराण, purana) refers to Sanskrit literature preserving ancient India’s vast cultural history, including historical legends, religious ceremonies, various arts and sciences. The eighteen mahāpurāṇas total over 400,000 ślokas (metrical couplets) and date to at least several centuries BCE.

Nāṭyaśāstra (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-śāstraNāṭyaśāstra book cover
context information

Nāṭyaśāstra (नाट्यशास्त्र, natya-shastra) refers to both the ancient Indian tradition of performing arts, (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 (nāṭya) and poetic works (kāvya).

Pāñcarātra (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: PāñcarātraPāñcarātra book cover
context information

Pāñcarātra (पाञ्चरात्र, pancaratra) represents a tradition of Hinduism where Nārāyaṇa is revered and worshipped. Closeley related to Vaiṣnavism, the Pāñcarātra literature includes various Āgamas and tantras incorporating many Vaiṣnava philosophies.

Śilpaśāstra (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)Śilpaśāstra book cover
context information

Śilpaśāstra (शिल्पशास्त्र, shilpa-shastra) represents the ancient Indian science of creative arts such as sculpture, iconography and painting. Closely related to Vāstuśāstra (architecture), they often share the same literature.

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

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
context information

The history and geography of India includes names of areas, cities, countries and other regions of India, as well as historical dynasties, rulers, tribes and various local traditions, languages and festivals. Ancient India enjoyed religious freedom but primarely encourages the path of Dharma, incorporated into religions such as Buddhism, Hinduism, and Jainism.

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