Rashtra, Rāṣṭra: 26 definitions


Rashtra means something in Buddhism, Pali, Hinduism, Sanskrit, 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.

The Sanskrit term Rāṣṭra can be transliterated into English as Rastra or Rashtra, using the IAST transliteration scheme (?).

In Hinduism

Purana and Itihasa (epic history)

Source: Wisdom Library: Bhagavata Purana

Rāṣṭra (राष्ट्र):—Son of Kāśi (son of Kaśya, who was a son of Suhotra). He had a son called Dīrghatama. (see Bhāgavata Purāṇa 9.17.4)

Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: The Purana Index

Rāṣṭra (राष्ट्र).—Son of Kāśi (Kāśeya Viṣṇu-purāṇa) and father of Dīrghatamas (tapas Viṣṇu-purāṇa).*

  • * Bhāgavata-purāṇa IX. 17. 4; Viṣṇu-purāṇa IV. 8. 7.
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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Dharmashastra (religious law)

Source: Wisdom Library: Dharma-śāstra

Rāṣṭra (राष्ट्र) refers to “governments”. It is used throughout Dharmaśāstra literature such as the Manusmṛti and the Baudhāyana-dharmasūtra.

Dharmashastra book cover
context information

Dharmashastra (धर्मशास्त्र, dharmaśāstra) contains the instructions (shastra) regarding religious conduct of livelihood (dharma), ceremonies, jurisprudence (study of law) and more. It is categorized as smriti, an important and authoritative selection of books dealing with the Hindu lifestyle.

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Jyotisha (astronomy and astrology)

Source: Wisdom Library: Brihat Samhita by Varahamihira

Rāṣṭra (राष्ट्र) refers to “countries”, according to the Bṛhatsaṃhitā (chapter 8), an encyclopedic Sanskrit work written by Varāhamihira mainly focusing on the science of ancient Indian astronomy astronomy (Jyotiṣa).—Accordingly, “In the twelvth yuga sacred to god Bhāga (Sun), the first year is known as Dundubhi; the crops will thrive well. The next year is known as Udgāri; in it the ruling sovereigns will perish and there will not be good rain. The third year is known as Raktākṣa; in it there will be fear from the attack of tusked animals and mankind will suffer from disease. The fourth year is known as Krodha; in it there will be anger in the land and countries [i.e., rāṣṭra] will be ruined in consequence of internal strife. [...]”.

Jyotisha book cover
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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.

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Pancaratra (worship of Nārāyaṇa)

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

Rāṣṭra (राष्ट्र) refers to a “kingdom”, according to the Ahirbudhnyasaṃhitā, belonging to the Pāñcarātra tradition which deals with theology, rituals, iconography, narrative mythology and others.—Accordingly, “When kings are overpowered by enemies with an army (or: by strong enemies), when cities are burnt down and the Kings’ army is driven away, when people in various districts do not have access to food [and other goods]—if the kingdom (rāṣṭra) is thus oppressed by the enemies’ army, oh Great Sage, and if in this inadequate situation the King’s enemies are unimpeded, he should have a sixteen-armed Sudarśana constructed [and properly installed, for his power is] without obstacles”.

Pancaratra book cover
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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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Shaivism (Shaiva philosophy)

Source: SOAS University of London: Protective Rites in the Netra Tantra

Rāṣṭra (राष्ट्र) refers to the “kingdom”, according to the Netratantra of Kṣemarāja: a Śaiva text from the 9th century in which Śiva (Bhairava) teaches Pārvatī topics such as metaphysics, cosmology, and soteriology.—Accordingly, [verse 19.101cd-105ab, while describing the ritual that protect the king and his kingdom]—“Thus says Lord Siva, The Mantrin should worship Amṛteśa on all special occasions [and] on special dates in the form of Kāma [i.e., any deity that one wishes or is called for by a particular festival]. [He] shall always attain what he desires. He should worship [Amṛteśa] in the form of Indra in order to achieve the protection of the population, to assure [an abundance of] grains of rice, for the sake of protection in respect to wives and offspring, for the prosperity of his kingdom (rāṣṭra-vṛddhi) and for royal victory”.

Shaivism book cover
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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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General definition (in Hinduism)

Source: archive.org: Vedic index of Names and Subjects

Rāṣṭra (राष्ट्र) in the Rigveda and later denotes ‘kingdom’ or ‘royal territory’.

In Buddhism

Mahayana (major branch of Buddhism)

Source: academia.edu: A Study and Translation of the Gaganagañjaparipṛcchā

Rāṣṭra (राष्ट्र) refers to “royal cities”, according to the Gaganagañjaparipṛcchā: the eighth chapter of the Mahāsaṃnipāta (a collection of Mahāyāna Buddhist Sūtras).—Accordingly, “[...] Save for those who were sitting in the pavilion in the sky, the rest of them in the great three-thousand of worlds, staying on the surface of the earth, as far as its foundations, thought that they disappeared. The king of the mountain (parvatarāja), Mount Sumeru, Mount Cakravāḍa, and Mount Mahācakravāḍa disappeared from the sight of living beings. Villages, towns, market-towns, royal cities (rāṣṭra), capitals disappeared as well. However, with the lion’s throne (simhāsana) of the Lord it was another matter, they perceived it as shining ten thousand yojanas high as placed in these pavilions placed in the vault of the sky”.

Mahayana book cover
context information

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 geography

Source: archive.org: Personal and geographical names in the Gupta inscriptions

Rāṣṭra (राष्ट्र) refers to a name-ending for place-names mentioned in the Mahābhārata I.2-8, according to which, “a place must be named after any of its peculiar features”. Rāṣṭra is definitely a political term, denoting “whatever fell under the jurisdiction of the sovereignty”. We find Rāṣṭra as the oldest right from the Ṛgveda, and used for the biggest unit. Its equivalent Janapada came into being in the Brāhmaṇa-period.

Rāṣṭra is the oldest and biggest territorial term. In the Ṛgveda and later Saṃhitās, it denotes “kingdom” or “royal territory”. It is considered to be one of the Prakṛtis (constituents) and refers to a country. It was the name of a Commissioner\'s division under the Rāṣṭrakūṭas. In South India, under the Pallavas, Kadambas, and Sālaṅkāyanas also it denotes only a district, if not a tehsil.

The Samarāṅgaṇasūtradhāra says that “all the rāṣṭra including nagara is called deśa or mandate while nagara is excluded in janapada”. It divides rāṣṭras into three kinds:

  1. Big: It consists of nine thousand and ninety villages,
  2. Middle: It consists of five thousand, three hundred and eighty-four villages,
  3. Small : It consists of one thousand, five hundred and forty eight villages.
Source: Early History Of The Deccan Pts.1 To 6: Principal Administrative Divisions from the Rise of the Sātavāhanas

Rāṣṭra (राष्ट्र) refers to a “royal territory”.—The expression that is used in the Vedic and early Buddhist texts in a purely political sense is rāṣṭra. Thus we have reference in a famous laudatory poem of the Atharvaveda to the rāṣṭra, ‘royal territory’, of king Parikṣit. The purohita or royal chaplain is the rāṣṭra-gopa or ‘protector of the realm’. In the early Buddhist texts the word has become a synonym of janapada in its political aspect.

Source: What is India: Inscriptions of the Śilāhāras

Rāṣṭra was the name designating an administrative unit before the rule of the Śilāhāras, and afterwards became known as deśa.—The deśas were previously divided into rāṣṭras. Some early Śilāhāra records in North Koṅkaṇ mention the rāṣṭrapati among the officers to whom the royal order about the grants was communicated, following the earlier drafts of the formal portions of copper-plate grants, but no divisions of that name find mention in Śilāhāra records.

Source: Shodhganga: A study of place names of Nalgonda district

Rashtra or Rattha is one of the terms designating an ‘administrative division’ used in the inscriptions of Andhra Pradesh.—Although the term rashtra stood for a territorial state as against the nation of a state of tribal nature, it was nevertheless used for a division synonymous to janapada and desa in the sense of theat part of the country which falls outside the capital. In Andhra Pradesh the earliest rashtra division is Kammaka-rashtra. Some of the other rashtra divisions were Plaki-rashtra, Deva-rashtra, Kuraka-rashtra, etc. The term was employed in the sense of or synonymous to desa, vishaya or nadu, not necessarily denoting a large division.

Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: Indian Epigraphical Glossary

Rāṣṭra.—(IE 8-3, 8-4; EI 9, 23; CII 4; LL), a district or its subdivision; often the subdivision of a district; cf. Śātavāha- nīya-rāṣṭra; also Kona-rāṣṭra (EI 32), variously called deśa, maṇḍala, sīma, sthala, etc. Note: rāṣṭra 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
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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.

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Languages of India and abroad

Marathi-English dictionary

Source: DDSA: The Molesworth Marathi and English Dictionary

rāṣṭra (राष्ट्र).—n (S) A country, a realm, a region, a territory or tract. 2 An assembled multitude; a numerous company or concourse; a host.

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

rāṣṭra (राष्ट्र).—n A country; a realm. An assembl- ed multitude.

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

Source: DDSA: The practical Sanskrit-English dictionary

Rāṣṭra (राष्ट्र).—[rāj-ṣṭran Uṇādi-sūtra 4.167]

1) A kingdom, realm, empire; राष्ट्रदुर्गबलानि च (rāṣṭradurgabalāni ca) Ak; सामदण्डौ प्रशंसन्ति नित्यं राष्ट्राभि- वृद्धये (sāmadaṇḍau praśaṃsanti nityaṃ rāṣṭrābhi- vṛddhaye) Manusmṛti 7.19;1.61.

2) A district, territory, country, region; as in महाराष्ट्र (mahārāṣṭra); नगराणि च राष्ट्राणि धनधान्य- युतानि च (nagarāṇi ca rāṣṭrāṇi dhanadhānya- yutāni ca) Rām.1.1.93; स्वराष्ट्रे न्यायवृत्तः स्यात् (svarāṣṭre nyāyavṛttaḥ syāt) Manusmṛti 7.32.

3) The people, nation, subjects; तस्य प्रक्षुभ्यते राष्ट्रम् (tasya prakṣubhyate rāṣṭram) Ms. 9.254.

-ṣṭraḥ, -ṣṭram Any national or public calamity.

Derivable forms: rāṣṭram (राष्ट्रम्).

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

Rāṣṭra (राष्ट्र).—mn.

(-ṣṭraḥ-ṣṭraṃ) 1. An inhabited country or realm, a region. 2. Any public calamity, as plague, famine, &c. E. rāj to shine or govern, aff. ṣṭran .

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

Rāṣṭra (राष्ट्र).—m. and n. I. i. e. rāj + tra, 1. A realm, empire, kingdom, [Pañcatantra] iii. [distich] 39; v. [distich] 64 (kurājāntāni rāṣṭrāṇi, Kingdoms find their end [i. e. are ruined] by wicked kings). 2. An inhabited country, [Lassen, Anthologia Sanskritica.] 76, 18. Ii. Any public calamity, as famine.

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

Rāṣṭra (राष्ट्र).—[neuter] kingdom, sovereignty, country, region, people, subjects.

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

1) Rāṣṭra (राष्ट्र):—[from rāj] a See sub voce

2) b mn. ([from] √rāj; [gana] ardharcādi; m. only, [Mahābhārata xiii, 3050]) a kingdom ([Manu-smṛti vii, 157] one of the 5 Prakṛtis of the state), realm, empire, dominion, district, country, [Ṛg-veda] etc. etc.

3) a people, nation, subjects, [Manu-smṛti; Mahābhārata] etc.

4) any public calamity (as famine, plague etc.), affliction, [cf. Lexicographers, esp. such as amarasiṃha, halāyudha, hemacandra, etc.]

5) m. Name of a king (son of Kāśi), [Bhāgavata-purāṇa]

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

Rāṣṭra (राष्ट्र):—[(ṣṭraḥ-ṣṭraṃ)] 1. m. n. An inhabited country or relam, a region; a public calamity, as plague, &c.

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

Rāṣṭra (राष्ट्र) in the Sanskrit language is related to the Prakrit word: Raṭṭha.

[Sanskrit to German]

Rashtra 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»] — Rashtra in Hindi glossary
Source: DDSA: A practical Hindi-English dictionary

Rāṣṭra (राष्ट्र):—(nm) a nation; -[kavi] a poet of the nation; -[gāna/gīta] the national anthem; -[cinha] the national emblem; -[taṃtra] polity, system of governance; ~[tva] nationhood; ~[dhvaja] the national flag; -[nīti] national policy; -[patākā] see ~[dhvaja; ~pati] President (of a country/nation); ~[bhāṣā] the national language; ~[maṃḍala] the Commonwealth; ~[maṃḍalīya] of or belonging to the Commonwealth; ~[vāda/vāditā] nationalism; ~[vādī] a nationalist; nationalistic; ~[vāsī] a national; -[viplava] insurrection, revolt against the nation; -[saṃdha] the League of Nations; -[samāja] comity of nations; ~[hīna] stateless; ~[hīnatā] statelessness, the state of being stateless.

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Kannada-English dictionary

Source: Alar: Kannada-English corpus

Rāṣṭra (ರಾಷ್ಟ್ರ):—

1) [noun] a large body of historically developed people, associated with a particular territory having a distinctive culture, that is sufficiently conscious of its unity to seek or to possess a government peculiarly its own; a nation.

2) [noun] 'the territory or country itself: a nation.'

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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