Pratyahara, Pratyāhāra: 28 definitions


Pratyahara means something in Buddhism, Pali, Hinduism, Sanskrit, Jainism, Prakrit, Marathi, 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.

Alternative spellings of this word include Pratyahar.

In Hinduism

Purana and Itihasa (epic history)

[«previous next»] — Pratyahara in Purana glossary
Source: Wisdom Library: Purāṇas

Pratyāhāra (प्रत्याहार) refers to the “restraint of mind”. It is used throughout vedic and purāṇic literature.

Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: The Purana Index

1a) Pratyāhāra (प्रत्याहार).—The stage of the dissolution or withdrawal of creation on the commencement of pralaya at the end of Kali; then the primordial spirit (avyakta) swallows that which is manifest (vyakta) waters swallow the gandha quality of the earth thus plunging the earth in waters; then the rasa quality of the waters gets merged in fire which spreads in all directions; the rūpa quality of fire is in turn eaten away by wind; this permeates all the ten directions, both above and below; the sparśa quality of wind is swallowed by ākāśā; the śabda (sound) quality of which is overwhelmed by bhūta and other gross elements; the great souls absorb these (mahā); seven Prakṛtis one covering the other.*

  • * Brahmāṇḍa-purāṇa II. 6. 14; IV. 3. 1-21; Vāyu-purāṇa 102. 1-2, 5.

1b) A dharma of the yoga, ruins all viṣayas or sense pleasures.1 The yogin sees God in himself.2

  • 1) Matsya-purāṇa 183. 54. Vāyu-purāṇa 10. 76 and 93. Viṣṇu-purāṇa VI. 7. 45.
  • 2) Vāyu-purāṇa 11. 18-9, 30; 101. 211; 104. 24.
Purana book cover
context information

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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Yoga (school of philosophy)

[«previous next»] — Pratyahara in Yoga glossary
Source: Wisdom Library: Yoga

Pratyāhāra (प्रत्याहार, “subjugation”) is a Sanskrit word referring to “subjugation of the senses”. It is one of the eight brances of yoga, also known as the eightfold-path (aṣṭānga). Also see the fifth section of the Varāha-upaniṣad.

In yoga philosophy this is the stage where you focus away from the external world, and direct your focus inward.

Source: Brill: Śaivism and the Tantric Traditions (yoga)

Pratyāhāra (प्रत्याहार) refers to one of the seven auxiliaries of Haṭhayoga, according to the 17th-century Haṭhayogasaṃhitā: a compilation on Haṭhayoga that borrows extensively from the Haṭhapradīpikā.—[...] The stated aim of Haṭhayoga is to achieve purification (śodhana), firmness (dṛḍhatā), steadiness (sthairya), constancy (dhairya), lightness (lāghava), direct perception (pratyakṣa) and liberation (nirlipta) of the body (ghaṭa). Its Haṭhayoga has seven auxiliaries: the ṣaṭkarma, āsana, mudrā, pratyāhāra, prāṇasaṃyāma, dhyāna and samādhi.

Yoga book cover
context information

Yoga is originally considered a branch of Hindu philosophy (astika), but both ancient and modern Yoga combine the physical, mental and spiritual. Yoga teaches various physical techniques also known as āsanas (postures), used for various purposes (eg., meditation, contemplation, relaxation).

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Vaishnavism (Vaishava dharma)

Source: ISKCON Press: Glossary

Pratyāhāra (प्रत्याहार).—Withdrawal of the senses from all unnecessary activities, as a means of advancement in the aṣṭāṅga-yoga system..

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

Pratyāhāra (प्रत्याहार) refers to “withdrawal of the senses from the sense objects; the fifth step in aṣṭāṅga-yoga”. (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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Natyashastra (theatrics and dramaturgy)

Source: Wisdom Library: Nāṭya-śāstra

Pratyāhāra (प्रत्याहार) refers to one of the nine preliminaries performed behind the stage curtain, according to the Nāṭyaśāstra chapter 5. Accordingly, “Arranging of the musical instruments (kutapa) is called the pratyahāra.”

Performing the pratyāhāra preliminary pleases the Rākṣasas and the Pannagas. According to Nāṭyaśāstra 5.57-58, “The performance of the Preliminaries which means worshipping (pūjā) the gods (devas), is praised by them (i.e. gods) and is conducive to duty, fame and long life. And this performance whether with or without songs, is meant for pleasing the Daityas and the Dānavas as well as the gods.”

Natyashastra book cover
context information

Natyashastra (नाट्यशास्त्र, nāṭyaśāstra) refers to both the ancient Indian tradition (shastra) of performing arts, (natya—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), construction and performance of Theater, and Poetic works (kavya).

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Vyakarana (Sanskrit grammar)

[«previous next»] — Pratyahara in Vyakarana glossary
Source: Shodhganga: Vaiyākaraṇabhūṣaṇasāra: a critical study

Pratyāhāra (प्रत्याहार).—An abbreviation having the first and last letters of a group of several letters, etc. to be indicated by it.

Source: Wikisource: A dictionary of Sanskrit grammar

Pratyāhāra (प्रत्याहार).—lit. bringing together; bringing together of several letters (or words in a few cases, such as roots or nouns) by mentioning the first and the last only for the sake of brevity; the term प्रत्याहार (pratyāhāra) is generally used in connection with brief terms such as अण्, अक्, अच्, हल् (aṇ, ak, ac, hal) and the like, created by Panini in his grammar by taking any particular letter and associating it with any mute final letter (अनुबन्ध (anubandha)) of the fourteen Sivasutras, with a view to include all letters beginning with the letter uttered and ending with the letter which precedes the (mute) letter. The practice of using such abbreviations was in existence before Panini, possibly in the grammar attributed to Indra. The term प्रत्याहार (pratyāhāra) is not actually used by Panini; it is found in the Rk. Tantra; cf. प्रत्याहारार्थो वर्णोनुबन्धो व्यञ्जनम् (pratyāhārārtho varṇonubandho vyañjanam) R.T.I.3. The term appears to have come into use after Panini. Panini has not given any definition of the term प्रत्याहार (pratyāhāra). He has simply given the method of forming the Pratyaharas and he has profusely used them; cf. आदिरन्त्येन सहेता (ādirantyena sahetā) P. I. 1.71. The word कृञ् (kṛñ) in P. III.1.40 and तृन् (tṛn) in P. II. 3.69 are used as Pratyaharas. For a list of the Pratyharas which are used by Panini see Kasika on the Maheswara Sutras.

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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Shaktism (Shakta philosophy)

[«previous next»] — Pratyahara in Shaktism glossary
Source: The Śāradātilakatantra on Yoga

Pratyāhāra (प्रत्याहार) is explained by Lakṣmaṇadeśika in his 11th-century Śaradātilaka.—The fifth limb of yoga is pratyāhāra, defined as the withdrawal of the sense-organs from their objects (23).

Shaktism book cover
context information

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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Shaivism (Shaiva philosophy)

[«previous next»] — Pratyahara in Shaivism glossary
Source: The Śaiva Yogas and Their Relation to Other Systems of Yoga

Pratyāhāra (प्रत्याहार, “withdrawal”) refers to one of the six members (aṅga) of the Ṣaḍaṅgayoga, as taught in the early Śaiva Siddhānta.—Ṣaḍaṅgayoga is taught as the standard yoga of the Śaivasiddhānta (Siddhānta) a mainstream, Veda congruent dualist tradition. See, for example, the 6th century texts of Raurava-āgama, Kiraṇa-āgma, Sarvajñānottara-āgama, Svāyambhuvasūtrasaṃgraha, the 7th century Mālinīvijayottara and the 9th century Tantrasadbhāva.

Shaivism book cover
context information

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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Ayurveda (science of life)

[«previous next»] — Pratyahara in Ayurveda glossary
Source: Ayurveda glossary of terms

Pratyāhāra (प्रत्याहार):—[pratyāhāraḥ] The process of withdrawing the senses from outside object, an element in the practice of Yoga

Ayurveda book cover
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.

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General definition (in Hinduism)

[«previous next»] — Pratyahara in Hinduism glossary
Source: Sangeet Galaxy: Employment of Instrumental Music in the Prelude to Bharata’s Drama

Pratyāhāra (प्रत्याहार).—The word pratyāhāra in N.Ś. is a technical term used for the placement of all the musical instruments (kutupa) close to the stage as per the norms of dramaturgy (N.Ś., 5.17). Explaining this Abhinavagupta says that in the middle of the green-room path a mṛdaṅga–percussionist shall sit facing the east. To his left shall sit the player of dhola. On the right side of the stage the s inger will sit facing the north. And in the front of him shall sit the lady-singers facing north and south. On the left to the singer shall sit the player of lyre (vīṇā).The flute players shall be seated in other vacant places. Such a placement of all the instrumentalists is called pratyāhāra (Abhi., on N.Ś. 5.17).

In Buddhism

Tibetan Buddhism (Vajrayana or tantric Buddhism)

Source: The Indian Buddhist Iconography

Pratyāhāra (प्रत्याहार, “control”) refers to the “process by which the ten sense-organs are controlled” and represents one of six limbs of Yoga to be employed in Uttamasevā (excellent worship), according to the Guhyasamāja chapter 18.—Uttamasevā represents one of the two types of Sevā (worship) which is the first of the four upāyas (“means”) through which the Sādhaka has to pass before the deity is realised and visualised.

Tibetan Buddhism book cover
context information

Tibetan Buddhism includes schools such as Nyingma, Kadampa, Kagyu and Gelug. Their primary canon of literature is divided in two broad categories: The Kangyur, which consists of Buddha’s words, and the Tengyur, which includes commentaries from various sources. Esotericism and tantra techniques (vajrayāna) are collected indepently.

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General definition (in Buddhism)

[«previous next»] — Pratyahara in Buddhism glossary
Source: Wisdom Library: Dharma-samgraha

Pratyāhāra (प्रत्याहार) refers to “nutriment from withdrawal” and represents one of the “five nutriments” (āhāra) as defined in the Dharma-saṃgraha (section 70). The Dharma-samgraha (Dharmasangraha) is an extensive glossary of Buddhist technical terms in Sanskrit (e.g., pratyāhāra). The work is attributed to Nagarjuna who lived around the 2nd century A.D.

In Jainism

General definition (in Jainism)

[«previous next»] — Pratyahara in Jainism glossary
Source: The University of Sydney: A study of the Twelve Reflections

Pratyāhāra (प्रत्याहार) refers to “withdrawal of the senses”, according to the 11th century Jñānārṇava, a treatise on Jain Yoga in roughly 2200 Sanskrit verses composed by Śubhacandra.—Accordingly, “Withdrawal of the senses (pratyāhāra) is praised for the accomplishment of true absorption. The scattered mind does not obtain balance through breath control”.

General definition book cover
context information

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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Languages of India and abroad

Marathi-English dictionary

[«previous next»] — Pratyahara in Marathi glossary
Source: DDSA: The Molesworth Marathi and English Dictionary

pratyāhāra (प्रत्याहार).—m S Withdrawing or restraining the organs from the objects of sense; the abstraction of Yogis &c. 2 The name of the air (in the body) which relaxes or solves this restraint. Defined pratyā- hārarēcakapavana. 3 Resumption.

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

pratyāhāra (प्रत्याहार).—m Withdrawing the organs from the objects of sense; the abstraction of yogis &c.

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 dictionary

[«previous next»] — Pratyahara in Sanskrit glossary
Source: DDSA: The practical Sanskrit-English dictionary

Pratyāhāra (प्रत्याहार).—

1) Drawing back, marching back, retreat.

2) Keeping back, withholding.

3) Restraining the organs; स्वविषयाऽसंप्रयोगे चित्तस्य स्वरूपानुकार इवेन्द्रियाणां प्रत्या- हारः (svaviṣayā'saṃprayoge cittasya svarūpānukāra ivendriyāṇāṃ pratyā- hāraḥ) Pātañjala.

4) Dissolution of the world; प्रत्याहारं तु वक्ष्यामि शर्वर्यादौ गतेऽहनि (pratyāhāraṃ tu vakṣyāmi śarvaryādau gate'hani) Mahābhārata (Bombay) 12.233.1.

5) (In gram.) The comprehension of several letters or affixes into one syllable, effected by combining the first letter of a Sūtra with its final indicatory letter, or in the case of several Sūtras, with the final letter of the last member; thus अण् (aṇ) is the प्रत्याहार (pratyāhāra) of the Sūtra अइउण् (aiuṇ); अच् (ac) (vowels) of the four Sūtras अइउण्, ऋलृक्, एओङ्, ऐऔच् (aiuṇ, ṛlṛk, eoṅ, aiauc); हल् (hal) of the consonants; अल् (al) of all letters.

6) Abridgment.

7) (In drama) Name of a particular part of the पूर्वरङ्ग (pūrvaraṅga).

Derivable forms: pratyāhāraḥ (प्रत्याहारः).

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

Pratyāhāra (प्रत्याहार).—m. (also as misreading or var. for pravyā°, q.v.), in Dharmasaṃgraha 70 one of five ‘foods’; other- wise only four are listed in [Buddhist Hybrid Sanskrit] and Pali, see s.v. kava- līkārāhāra; this seems to be an addition and its meaning is not clear; the Dharmasaṃgraha list is otherwise questionable.

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

Pratyāhāra (प्रत्याहार).—m.

(-raḥ) 1. Abstraction, insensibility, restraining the organs so as to be indifferent to disagreeable or agreeable excitement, (in Yoga Phil.) 2. Abridgement, compendium. 3. (In gram. Combination of two or more letters of the alphabet to form a class of letters; the inclusion of a number of letters into one syllable effected by combining the first letter of a Sutra with its final indicatory consonant:—as “ac” or “hal” in Panini's gram. 4. Substitution of one thing for another. 5. Withholding. 6. Taking back. 7. Marching back, retrating. 8. The dissolution of the world. E. prati and āṅ before, hṛ to seize or convey, aff. ghañ .

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

Pratyāhāra (प्रत्याहार).—[masculine] = [preceding], dissolution, destruction; comprehension or comprehensive word ([grammar]).

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

1) Pratyāhāra (प्रत्याहार):—[=praty-āhāra] [from pratyā-hṛ] m. drawing back (troops from a battle), retreat, [Mahābhārata]

2) [v.s. ...] withdrawal ([especially] of the senses from external objects), abstraction, [Mahābhārata; Manu-smṛti; Purāṇa; Vedāntasāra] (cf. [Indian Wisdom, by Sir M. Monier-Williams 93])

3) [v.s. ...] withdrawing (of created things), re-absorption or dissolution of the world, [Mahābhārata]

4) [v.s. ...] (in gram.) the comprehension of a series of letters or roots etc. into one syllable by combining for shortness the first member with the Anubandha (sub voce) of the last member

5) [v.s. ...] a group of letters etc. so combined (as ac or hal in the ŚivaSūtras), [Pāṇini 1-1, 1 etc.]

6) [v.s. ...] (in [dramatic language]) Name of a [particular] part of the Pūrva-raṅga (sub voce), [Sāhitya-darpaṇa]

7) [v.s. ...] speaking to, address (raṃ-√kṛ, with [genitive case], to speak to a person), [Kāraṇḍa-vyūha] ([probably] [wrong reading] for pravyāh)

8) [v.s. ...] sound, [ib.] ([probably] [wrong reading] for idem)

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

Pratyāhāra (प्रत्याहार):—[pratyā+hāra] (raḥ) 1. m. Abstraction of mind; abridgement; taking back.

[Sanskrit to German]

Pratyahara in German

context information

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.

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Hindi dictionary

[«previous next»] — Pratyahara in Hindi glossary
Source: DDSA: A practical Hindi-English dictionary

Pratyāhāra (प्रत्याहार) [Also spelled pratyahar]:—(nm) retreat, withdrawal (esp. of the senses from external objects); obstruction; (in Gram.) the comprehension of a series of letters or roots etc. into one syllable.

context information


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Kannada-English dictionary

[«previous next»] — Pratyahara in Kannada glossary
Source: Alar: Kannada-English corpus

Pratyāhāra (ಪ್ರತ್ಯಾಹಾರ):—

1) [noun] a taking back (of something that was given earlier).

2) [noun] withdrawal of the senses from external objects and concentrating on abstract object.

3) [noun] a keeping ready of the musical instruments, for providing background music, before a play or dance programme starts.

4) [noun] (gram.) the comprehension of several letters or affixes into one syllable, effected by combining the first letter of a sūtra with its final indicatory letter or in the case of several sūtras, with the final letter of the last member.

context information

Kannada is a Dravidian language (as opposed to the Indo-European language family) mainly spoken in the southwestern region of India.

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