Ratha; 13 Definition(s)


Ratha means something in Buddhism, Pali, Hinduism, Sanskrit, the history of ancient India, 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.

In Hinduism

Vyakarana (Sanskrit grammar)

Ratha (रथ).—Name of one of the eight kinds of recitals of the Veda Samhita by dividing it into the component words (पद (pada)) and reciting the component words by repeating them, in their regular order and reverse order too.

Source: Wikisource: A dictionary of Sanskrit grammar
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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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Purana and Itihasa (epic history)

Ratha (रथ).—Of the moon, description of; sprang out of waters with ten horses, charioteer, etc., has three wheels.*

  • * Vāyu-purāṇa 52. 50-4.
Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: The Purana Index
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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General definition (in Hinduism)

Ratha (रथ) in the Rigveda and later denotes ‘chariot’ as opposed to Anas, ‘cart’, though the distinction is not absolute. Of differences in the structure of the two we have no information, except that the Kha, or nave hole, in the wheel of the chariot was greater than in that of the cart.

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

Ratha (रथ).—Temple cart or chariot, used during religious festival to carry the Deities.

Source: ISKCON Press: Glossary

In Buddhism

Mahayana (major branch of Buddhism)

Ratha (रथ) refers to “chariots” and is mentioned among the “material benefits” granted by the Bodhisattva, according to the Mahāprajñāpāramitāśāstra chapter XLVI.—Accordingly, “vehicles (yāna), i.e., elephants (hastin), horses (aśva), chariots (ratha), carriages (śakaṭa), etc.”

Source: Wisdom Library: Maha Prajnaparamita Sastra
Mahayana book cover
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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 geogprahy

Rāṭhā is the modified form of Rāṣṭra when used in place-names. 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.

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

Ratha.—rock-cut temples at Mahābalipuram (Journ. Mad. Univ., Vol. XXXII, p. 140). Note: ratha is defined in the “Indian epigraphical glossary” as it can be found on ancient inscriptions commonly written in Sanskrit, Prakrit or Dravidian languages.

Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: Indian Epigraphical Glossary
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 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

Pali-English dictionary

Ratha in Pali glossary... « previous · [R] · next »

ratha : (m.) a carriage; chariot.

Source: BuddhaSasana: Concise Pali-English Dictionary

1) Ratha, 2 (fr. ram, cp. Sk. ratha) pleasure, joy, delight: see mano°. (Page 565)

2) Ratha, 1 (Vedic ratha, Av. rapa, Lat. rota wheel, rotundus (“rotund” & round), Oir. roth=Ohg rad wheel, Lith. rãtas id. ) a two-wheeled carriage, chariot (for riding, driving or fighting S. I, 33 (ethically); A. IV, 191 (horse & cart; diff. parts of a ratha); M. I, 396; Sn. 300, 654; Vism. 593 (in its compn of akkha, cakka, pañjara, īsā etc.); J. III, 239 (passaddha° carriage slowing up); Th. 2, 229 (caturassaṃ rathaṃ, i.e. a Vimāna); Mhvs 35, 42 (goṇā rathe yuttā); VvA. 78 (500), 104, 267 (=Vimāna), PvA. 74.—assatarī° a chariot drawn by a she-mule Vv 208=438; Pv. I, 111; J. VI, 355.—Phussa-ratha state carriage J. III, 238; VI, 30 sq. See under ph.—On ratha in similes see J. P. T. S. 1907, 127.

—atthara (rathatthara) a rug for a chariot D. I, 7; Vin. I, 192; II, 163. —anīka array of chariots Vin. IV, 108. —īsā carriage pole A. IV, 191. —ûpatthara chariot or carriage cover D. I, 103; DA. I, 273. —esabha (ratha+ ṛṣabha, Sk. rathārṣabha) lord of charioteers. Ratha here in meaning of “charioteer”; Childers sees rathin in this cpd.; Trenckner, Notes 59, suggests distortion from rathe śubha. Dhpāla at PvA. 163 clearly under‹-› stands it as ratha-=charioteer explaining “rathesu usabha-sadiso mahā-ratho ti attho”; as does Bdhgh. at SnA 321 (on Sn. 303): “mahā-rathesu khattiyesu akampiy’aṭṭhena usabha-sadiso. ” — Sn. 303—308, 552; Pv. II, 131; Mhvs 5, 246; 15, 11; 29, 12. —kāra carriagebuilder, chariot-maker, considered as a class of very low social standing, rebirth in which is a punishment (cp. Fick, Sociale Gliederung 56, 207, 209 sq.) S. I, 93; Vin. IV, 9 (as term of abuse, enumd with other low grades: caṇḍāla veṇa nesāda r. pukkusa), 12 (°jāti); M. II, 152, 183 f.; as kārin at Pv III, 113 (expld as cammakārin PvA. 175). As Npl. name of one of the 7 Great Lakes in the Himālaya (Rathakāradaha), e.g. at Vism. 416; SnA 407. —cakka wheel of a chariot or carriage Vism. 238 (in simile, concerning its circumference); PvA. 65. —pañjara the body (lit. “cage” or “frame”) of a carriage Vv 831 (=rath’ûpattha VvA. 326); J. II, 172; IV, 60; DhA. I, 28. —yuga a chariot yoke J. VI, 42. —reṇu “chariot-dust, ” a very minute quantity (as a measure), a mite. Childers compares Sk. trasareṇu a mote of dust, atom. It is said to consist of 36 tajjāri’s, and 36 ratha-reṇu’s are equal to one likkhā: VbhA. 343. —vinīta “led by a chariot, ” a chariot-drive (Neumann, “Eilpost”), name of the 24th Suttanta of Majjhima (M. I, 145 sq.), quoted at Vism. 93, 671 and SnA 446. —sālā chariot shed DhA. III, 121. (Page 564)

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

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Marathi-English dictionary

raṭha (रठ) [or रंठ, raṇṭha].—a Hard;--used of kinds of wood. 2 Hard--kinds of betelnut, unripe fruits. 3 Coarse--flour, powders. 4 Hard or rough--the tongue. 5 Hard and unyielding--a soil, or the ground from an incidental cause. 6 Hardy--a body or a person. 7 Used sometimes in the senses of raṭāla or raṭēla. See further under rāṇṭha, for of these two forms each has, in certain applications and with certain speakers, a preferableness over the other.

--- OR ---

ratha (रथ).—m (S) A war-chariot or a carriage of state, a car.

Source: DDSA: The Molesworth Marathi and English Dictionary

ratha (रथ).—m A war-chariot, a car.

--- OR ---

rāṭha (राठ).—a Rough, rude; hardy; harsh.

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

Ratha (रथ).—[ramyatenena atra vā, ram-kathan; cf. Uṇ.2.2]

1) A carriage, chariot, car, vehicle; especially, a war-chariot.

2) A hero (for rathin); अपवातेषु पार्येषु त्रयस्तेऽभावञ् रथाः (apavāteṣu pāryeṣu trayaste'bhāvañ rathāḥ) Mb.1.2.92.

3) A foot.

4) A limb, part, member.

5) The body; cf. आत्मानं रथिनं विद्धि शरीरं रथमेव तु (ātmānaṃ rathinaṃ viddhi śarīraṃ rathameva tu) Kaṭh. 1.3.3.

6) A reed.

7) Pleasure, delight.

Derivable forms: rathaḥ (रथः).

Source: DDSA: The practical Sanskrit-English dictionary

Ratha (रथ).—m.

(-thaḥ) 1. A car, a war-chariot. 2. A car, a carriage in general, any vehicle or mode of conveyance. 3. A limb, a member. 4. The body. 5. A foot. 6. A sort of cane, (Calamus rotang.) E. ram to sport, Unadi aff. kthana .

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