Purohita: 25 definitions


Purohita means something in Hinduism, Sanskrit, Jainism, Prakrit, Buddhism, Pali, the history of ancient India, 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 Purohit.

In Hinduism

Purana and Itihasa (epic history)

[«previous next»] — Purohita in Purana glossary
Source: archive.org: Shiva Purana - English Translation

Purohita (पुरोहित) refers to the “(chief) priest”, according to the Śivapurāṇa 2.3.7.—Accordingly, after the Goddess (Umā/Śivā) incarnated as Pārvatī by becoming the daughter of Menā:—“[...] The superintendent of the harem immediately informed the king about the birth of Pārvatī which was pleasant and conducive to the work of the gods. To the superintendent of the harem who brought the news, there was nothing which the king could not give even including his royal white umbrella. Accompanied by the chief priest [i.e., sa-purohita] and learned brahmins, the lord of mountains came there and saw the child who shone in her lovely clothes. [...]”.

Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: The Purana Index

Purohita (पुरोहित).—Of the Asuras;1 versed in the Atharvan rites; performed homa prior to Rukminī's marriage;2 of the king;3 does expiatory ceremonies to ward off evils to the state.4

  • 1) Bhāgavata-purāṇa VII. 5. 1.
  • 2) Ib. X. 53; 12.
  • 3) Brahmāṇḍa-purāṇa II. 29. 76; III. 26. 22; 27, 30; Vāyu-purāṇa 57. 70; 90, 72; 101. 81; Viṣṇu-purāṇa V. 34. 29; VI. 6. 26.
  • 4) Matsya-purāṇa 229. 12; 230. 9-11; 231. 9.
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.

Discover the meaning of purohita in the context of Purana from relevant books on Exotic India

Arthashastra (politics and welfare)

Source: Shodhganga: Kakati Ganapatideva and his times (artha)

Purohita (पुरोहित, “priest”) is an official title designating one of the seventy-two officers (niyoga) of the Bāhattaraniyogādhipati circle, according to the Inscriptional glossary of Andhra Pradesh (Śāsana-śabdakośāmu). The bāhattaraniyoga-adhipati is the highest executive officer of this circle (including a Purohita). For example: During the reign of Gaṇapatideva, the area extending between Pānagal to Mārjavāḍi was entrusted to Gaṇḍapeṇḍāru Gangayasāhiṇi as Bāhattaraniyogādhipati. Later on, this office was entrusted to Kāyastha Jannigadeva.

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

Purohita (पुरोहित) refers to a “chaplain”, according to the Arthaśāstra verse 1.9.9-10.—Accordingly, “He should appoint as chaplain (purohita) a man who comes from a very distinguished family and has an equally distinguished character, who is thoroughly trained in the Veda together with the limbs, in divine omens, and in government, and who could counteract divine and human adversities through Atharvan means. He should follow him as a pupil his teacher, a son his father, and a servant his master”.

Arthashastra book cover
context information

Arthashastra (अर्थशास्त्र, arthaśāstra) literature concerns itself with the teachings (shastra) of economic prosperity (artha) statecraft, politics and military tactics. The term arthashastra refers to both the name of these scientific teachings, as well as the name of a Sanskrit work included in such literature. This book was written (3rd century BCE) by by Kautilya, who flourished in the 4th century BCE.

Discover the meaning of purohita in the context of Arthashastra from relevant books on Exotic India

Jyotisha (astronomy and astrology)

Source: Wisdom Library: Brihat Samhita by Varahamihira

Purohita (पुरोहित) (Cf. Nṛpapurohita) refers to the “royal chaplain”, according to the Bṛhatsaṃhitā (chapter 3), an encyclopedic Sanskrit work written by Varāhamihira mainly focusing on the science of ancient Indian astronomy astronomy (Jyotiṣa).—Accordingly, “If, when the rays are turned away from the earth the colour of the sun be that of copper the commander-in-chief [i.e., senāpati] dies; if it be green or yellow the king’s son dies; if it be white the royal chaplain [i.e., purohita] dies. If the sun (āditya) be variegated in colour or of the colour of smoke there will be either immediate rain or mankind will suffer from robbers and from weapons”.

Jyotisha book cover
context information

Jyotisha (ज्योतिष, jyotiṣa or jyotish) refers to ‘astronomy’ or “Vedic astrology” and represents the fifth of the six Vedangas (additional sciences to be studied along with the Vedas). Jyotisha concerns itself with the study and prediction of the movements of celestial bodies, in order to calculate the auspicious time for rituals and ceremonies.

Discover the meaning of purohita in the context of Jyotisha from relevant books on Exotic India

Kavya (poetry)

[«previous next»] — Purohita in Kavya glossary
Source: Brill: Śaivism and the Tantric Traditions (kavya)

Purohita (पुरोहित) refers to the “chaplain”, according to Kālidāsa’s Raghuvaṃśa verse 17.13.—Accordingly: “The Brahmins headed by the chaplain (purohita-puroga) began to consecrate him who was destined to victory first with Atharvavedic mantras that lead to victory”.

Kavya book cover
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’.

Discover the meaning of purohita in the context of Kavya from relevant books on Exotic India

Pancaratra (worship of Nārāyaṇa)

Source: Universität Wien: Sudarśana's Worship at the Royal Court According to the Ahirbudhnyasaṃhitā

Purohita (पुरोहित) (Cf. Purodhas) refers to a “court officiant”, according to the Ahirbudhnyasaṃhitā, belonging to the Pāñcarātra tradition which deals with theology, rituals, iconography, narrative mythology and others.—Accordingly, “Such a Court Officiant (purohita) who is [himself] like a Guru to Kings is difficult to find. Such a one is verily capable of warding off the flood of misdeeds [and their consequences] for Kings. Therefore, he alone is able to perform the rituals of protection of Kings. He who has such a Guru [by his side] shall become a sovereign King, one with a long life, one free of enemies and diseases and a slayer of hostile heroes”.

Pancaratra book cover
context information

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.

Discover the meaning of purohita in the context of Pancaratra from relevant books on Exotic India

Shilpashastra (iconography)

Source: Shodhganga: Elements of Art and Architecture in the Trtiyakhanda of the Visnudharmottarapurana (shilpa)

Purohita (पुरोहित) or “family priests” refers to a certain class of personalities which follows specific guidelines in the tradition of ancient Indian Painting (citra), according to the Viṣṇudharmottarapurāṇa, an ancient Sanskrit text which (being encyclopedic in nature) deals with a variety of cultural topics such as arts, architecture, music, grammar and astronomy.—In the Viṣṇudharmottarapurāṇa, the rules of Painting of different classes have been elaborately discussed. According to this work, the personalities like [e.g., Purohita], [...] are to be drawn to project them as noble and polite. Like cloths, accessories of different character also vary in their pictures. The ornaments of ministers, astrologers and family priests should not be very gaudy and they should have uṣṇīṣa i.e., turbans in their heads instead of crowns in their picture. Thus the Viṣṇudharmottarapurāṇa establishes the fact that even in the pictures; the people belonging to different class and profession [e.g., Purohita] were projected with specific attire so that general people can equate the picture with the practical character.

Shilpashastra book cover
context information

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.

Discover the meaning of purohita in the context of Shilpashastra from relevant books on Exotic India

In Jainism

General definition (in Jainism)

Source: Google Books: Jainism: An Indian Religion of Salvation

Purohita (पुरोहित, “house-priest”).—One of the fourteen gems (ratna) serving the Cakravartin;—The purohita is the house-priest who conducts the religious ceremonies, conversant with magic mantras and is an artistic poet.

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.

Discover the meaning of purohita in the context of General definition from relevant books on Exotic India

India history and geography

Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: Indian Epigraphical Glossary

Purohita.—(CII 4; SII 1; BL; ASLV; HD), a priest; a family priest; the royal priest; occurs in the list of functionaries in records like those of the Gāhaḍavālas (Ep. Ind., Vol. IX, p. 305) and Senas (ibid., Vol. XII, p. 9). See Hist. Dharm., Vol. III, pp. 111-12, 117. Note: purohita 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 mythology, zoology, 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.

Discover the meaning of purohita in the context of India history from relevant books on Exotic India

Languages of India and abroad

Pali-English dictionary

[«previous next»] — Purohita in Pali glossary
Source: BuddhaSasana: Concise Pali-English Dictionary

purohita : (m.) a king's religious adviser.

Source: Sutta: The Pali Text Society's Pali-English Dictionary

Purohita, (purah+pp. of dhā, ch. Vedic purohita) 1. placed in front, i.e. foremost or at the top, in phrase devā Inda-purohitā the gods with Inda at their head J. VI, 127 (=Indaṃ pure-cārikaṃ katvā C.).—2. the king’s headpriest (brahmanic), or domestic chaplain, acting at the same time as a sort of Prime Minister D. I, 138; J. I, 210; V, 127 (his wife as brāhmaṇī); Pug. 56 (brāhmaṇa p.); Miln. 241, 343 (dhamma-nagare p.); PvA. 74. (Page 470)

Pali book cover
context information

Pali is the language of the Tipiṭaka, which is the sacred canon of Theravāda Buddhism and contains much of the Buddha’s speech. Closeley related to Sanskrit, both languages are used interchangeably between religions.

Discover the meaning of purohita in the context of Pali from relevant books on Exotic India

Marathi-English dictionary

Source: DDSA: The Molesworth Marathi and English Dictionary

purōhita (पुरोहित).—m (S) The family-priest; the Brahman that conducts all the ceremonials and sacrifices of a house or family.

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

purōhita (पुरोहित).—m The family-priest.

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.

Discover the meaning of purohita in the context of Marathi from relevant books on Exotic India

Sanskrit dictionary

Source: DDSA: The practical Sanskrit-English dictionary

Purohita (पुरोहित).—p. p.

1) Placed in front.

2) Appointed, charged, entrusted.

-taḥ 1 One charged with a business, an agent.

2) A family-priest, one who conducts all the ceremonial rites of the family. मन्त्रिपुरोहितसखः (mantripurohitasakhaḥ) (rājā); ......... अमात्यानुपधाभिः शौचयेत् (amātyānupadhābhiḥ śaucayet) Kau. A.1.1; पुरोहितो हितो वेदस्मृतिज्ञः सत्यवाक् शुचिः (purohito hito vedasmṛtijñaḥ satyavāk śuciḥ) Kavikalpalatā.

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

Purohita (पुरोहित).—Adj. 1. Placed in front. 2. Charged. m.

(-taḥ) The purohita or family priest, conducting all the ceremonials and sacrifices of a house or family. E. puras first, and hit held, revered.

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

Purohita (पुरोहित).—see dhā with puras.

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

Purohita (पुरोहित).—[adjective] set before, commissioned, appointed; [masculine] an appointed priest, [especially] house-priest of a prince.

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

1) Purohita (पुरोहित):—[=puro-hita] [from puro > pur] mfn. (puro-.) placed foremost or in front, charged, commissioned, appointed

2) [v.s. ...] m. one holding a charge or commission, an agent

3) [v.s. ...] ([especially]) a family priest, a domestic chaplain, [Ṛg-veda] etc. etc. ([Religious Thought and Life in India 352 etc.])

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

Purohita (पुरोहित):—[puro-hita] (taḥ) 1. m. A family priest.

Source: DDSA: Paia-sadda-mahannavo; a comprehensive Prakrit Hindi dictionary (S)

Purohita (पुरोहित) in the Sanskrit language is related to the Prakrit word: Purohia.

[Sanskrit to German]

Purohita 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.

Discover the meaning of purohita in the context of Sanskrit from relevant books on Exotic India

Hindi dictionary

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

Purohita (पुरोहित) [Also spelled purohit]:—(nm) a Hindu priest; priest; patrico; ~[ta-taṃtra] priestly hierarchy; ~[tāī/tī] priesthood, priestdom; office and function of a priest; ~[tānī] wife of a [purohita]; a female [purohita].

context information


Discover the meaning of purohita in the context of Hindi from relevant books on Exotic India

Kannada-English dictionary

Source: Alar: Kannada-English corpus

Purōhita (ಪುರೋಹಿತ):—

1) [adjective] placed in front.

2) [adjective] appointed; entrusted with; authorised to.

--- OR ---

Purōhita (ಪುರೋಹಿತ):—

1) [noun] one who conducts all the ceremonial rites of a family or in a palace; a family priest or a priest of a king.

2) [noun] a man appointed for managing some affair.

context information

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

Discover the meaning of purohita in the context of Kannada from relevant books on Exotic India

See also (Relevant definitions)

Relevant text

Related products

Help me keep this site Ad-Free

For over a decade, this site has never bothered you with ads. I want to keep it that way. But I humbly request your help to keep doing what I do best: provide the world with unbiased truth, wisdom and knowledge.

Let's make the world a better place together!

Like what you read? Consider supporting this website: