Pratyahara, aka: Pratyāhāra; 14 Definition(s)
Pratyahara means something in Buddhism, Pali, Hinduism, Sanskrit, 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.
Pratyāhāra (प्रत्याहार) refers to the “restraint of mind”. It is used throughout vedic and purāṇic literature.(Source): Wisdom Library: Purāṇas
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.
- 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.
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.
Yoga (school of philosophy)
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): Wisdom Library: Yoga
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).
Natyashastra (theatrics and dramaturgy)
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.”(Source): Wisdom Library: Nāṭya-śāstra
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).
Vyakarana (Sanskrit grammar)
Pratyāhāra (प्रत्याहार).—An abbreviation having the first and last letters of a group of several letters, etc. to be indicated by it.(Source): Shodhganga: Vaiyākaraṇabhūṣaṇasāra: a critical study
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.(Source): Wikisource: A dictionary of Sanskrit grammar
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.
Shaktism (Shakta philosophy)
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).(Source): academia.edu: The Śāradātilakatantra on Yoga
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.
Shaivism (Shaiva philosophy)
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.(Source): academia.edu: The Śaiva Yogas and Their Relation to Other Systems of Yoga
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.
General definition (in Hinduism)
Pratyāhāra (प्रत्याहार).—Withdrawal of the senses from all unnecessary activities, as a means of advancement in the aṣṭāṅga-yoga system..(Source): ISKCON Press: Glossary
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).(Source): Sangeet Galaxy: Employment of Instrumental Music in the Prelude to Bharata’s Drama
General definition (in Buddhism)
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 (eg., pratyāhāra). The work is attributed to Nagarjuna who lived around the 2nd century A.D.(Source): Wisdom Library: Dharma-samgraha
Languages of India and abroad
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 Molesworth Marathi and English Dictionary
pratyāhāra (प्रत्याहार).—m Withdrawing the organs from the objects of sense; the abstraction of yogis &c.(Source): DDSA: The Aryabhusan school dictionary, Marathi-English
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.
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) Mb.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.
7) (In drama) Name of a particular part of the पूर्वरङ्ग (pūrvaraṅga).
Derivable forms: pratyāhāraḥ (प्रत्याहारः).(Source): DDSA: The practical Sanskrit-English dictionary
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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Search found 27 books and stories containing Pratyahara or Pratyāhāra. You can also click to the full overview containing English textual excerpts. Below are direct links for the most relevant articles:
Yoga Sutras with Vedanta Commentaries (by Patañjali)
Sūtras 28-30 < [Part II - Yoga and its Practice]
Sūtras 51-55 < [Part II - Yoga and its Practice]
Amritanada Upanishad of Krishna-Yajurveda (by K. Narayanasvami Aiyar)
Yoga Vasistha [English], Volume 1-4 (by Vihari-Lala Mitra)
Chapter VI - The different stages of yoga < [The yoga philosophy]
Chapter XVII - The conclusive lesson on the practice of yoga < [The om tat sat]
The Devi Bhagavata Purana (by Swami Vijñanananda)
Chapter 35 - On the Yoga and Mantra Siddhi < [Book 7]
The Garuda Purana (by Manmatha Nath Dutt)
Chapter CCXLV - The knowledge of Brahma < [Dhanvantari Samhita]
Chapter CCXLVIII - The eight essentials of Yoga, etc. < [Dhanvantari Samhita]
Chapter XLIX - Discourse on Yoga and acts of piety < [Agastya Samhita]