Ratra, Rātra: 14 definitions


Ratra 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.

In Hinduism

Jyotisha (astronomy and astrology)

Source: Wisdom Library: Brihat Samhita by Varahamihira

Rātra (रात्र) refers to the “night”, 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, “If the disc of Jupiter should appear of the colour of fire, there will be fear from fire; if yellow, there will be disease in the land; if dark-blue, there will be wars; if green, suffering from thieves, and if of blood color, suffering from weapons. If the disc of Jupiter should appear of the colour of smoke, there will be drought; if it should be visible during day, rulers will perish and if it should appear large and clear at night [i.e., rātra], mankind will be happy”.

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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Shaivism (Shaiva philosophy)

Source: Brill: Śaivism and the Tantric Traditions

Rātra (रात्र) refers to the “night”, according to the Guhyasūtra chapter 3.—Accordingly, “[...] [If] one wanders in the cremation-ground at night (rātra), with a skull in one’s hand and a Khaṭvāṅga, covered in ashes, that is called the cremation-ground observance. If one dances, sings, laughs and talks madly, with the body smeared in ashes and wearing rags, this is called the Gaṇavrata. One performs the Clod-of-Earth Observance by being engaged in recitation, feeding on alms, sleeping on the earth, with senses controlled, engaged in meditation and restraint. [...]”.

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

Rātra (रात्र) refers to the “night”, 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 19.110-113, while describing the king’s consecration]—“[The mantrin] who is free from doubt should consecrate [the king] in a solitary place at night (rātra) and on a day of auspicious protection. With auspicious cries like "victory!" and the sounds of the auspicious Veda, he should consecrate [the king] with water and make oblations of white mustard seeds [while he] proclaims the name [of the king] [...]”.

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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Yoga (school of philosophy)

Source: ORA: Amanaska (king of all yogas): A Critical Edition and Annotated Translation by Jason Birch

Rātra (रात्र) refers to a “night”, according to the the Amanaska Yoga treatise dealing with meditation, absorption, yogic powers and liberation.—Accordingly, as Īśvara says to Vāmadeva: “[...] [Now], I shall define the nature of that highest, mind-free absorption which arises for those devoted to constant practice. [...] By means of an absorption for a day (ahan) and night (rātra), the Yogin who is steady in his seated posture knows smells from afar, because of the cessation of the activity of his mind. [...]”.

Yoga book cover
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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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In Buddhism

Mahayana (major branch of Buddhism)

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

Rātra (रात्र) refers to the “night”, according to the Gaganagañjaparipṛcchā: the eighth chapter of the Mahāsaṃnipāta (a collection of Mahāyāna Buddhist Sūtras).—Accordingly, as Gaganagañja said to Ratnapāṇi: “Son of good family, those sixty-four dharmas are included in one hundred twenty-eight dharmas. What are those one hundred twenty-four? [...] (59) the lightness of body is included in knowing the proper time for eating and making an effort at practicing vigilance in the beginning (pūrva-rātra) and end of the night (apara-rātra); (60) lightness of thought is included in eagerness and examination; (61) being free from lassitude is included in impermanence and suffering; (62) desire is included in the absence of what belongs to the ego and property; [...]’”.

Source: De Gruyter: A Buddhist Ritual Manual on Agriculture

Rātra (रात्र) refers to the “night”, according to the Vajratuṇḍasamayakalparāja, an ancient Buddhist ritual manual on agriculture from the 5th-century (or earlier), containing various instructions for the Sangha to provide agriculture-related services to laypeople including rain-making, weather control and crop protection.—Accordingly [as the Bhagavān taught the detailed offering-manual], “[...] Then it should be threatened with a pomegranate branch. It rises up and shows its tongue. It appears all night (rātra) long. All Nāgas become subdued. Whatever one says, it does that. Milk and mustard seeds should be enchanted with the mantra 108 times. If it is scattered everywhere, there is the restoration [of adverse effects] for all [Nāgas]”.

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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Languages of India and abroad

Marathi-English dictionary

Source: DDSA: The Molesworth Marathi and English Dictionary

rātra (रात्र).—f (rātri S) Night. 2 (For rātrakiḍā) A cricket. rātra ōraḍaṇēṃ To ring with the sound of the cricket--the night. rātra vaiṛyācī jāṇēṃ in. con. (To pass a night which one's enemy ought to pass.) To pass the night in extreme pain or misery. maratī rātra jhālī A form of oath or imprecation upon self. See under the phrase bandākhālīṃ basaṇēṃ.

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

rātra (रात्र) [-tri, -त्रि].—f Night. rātra vaiṛyācī jāṇēṃ Pass the night in extreme pain or misery.

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: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: Benfey Sanskrit-English Dictionary

Rātra (रात्र).—[-rātra], a substitute for rātṛ, when latter part of comp. words; e. g. ati-, m. 1. The name of a part of the Jyotiṣṭoma, and of the Sattra sacrifices, [Rāmāyaṇa] 1, 13, 44; 45. 2. A proper name, [Harivaṃśa, (ed. Calc.)] 72. apara-, m. The last watch of the night, [Rāmāyaṇa] 3, 22, 29. ardha-, m. Midnight, [Mānavadharmaśāstra] 7, 151. eka-, I. m. A festival of one night’s duration, Mahābhārata 13, 4914. Ii. n. One night, [Mānavadharmaśāstra] 3, 102. cira-, n. A long time, [Mānavadharmaśāstra] 3, 266. tri-, n. sing. Three nights or days, [Mānavadharmaśāstra] 4, 119; 5, 67. daśarātra, i. e. daśan-, m. Ten days, [Mānavadharmaśāstra] 5, 65. pañcarº, i. e. pañcan-, I. n. 1. Five nights or days, [Mānavadharmaśāstra] 8, 402; 11, 147. 2. The sacred scripture of several Vaiṣṇava sects, Mahābhārata 12, 7891. Ii. adj. Lasting five nights or days, Mahābhārata 13, 4914. pūrva-, m. The first part of the night, Mahābhārata 1, 6443. vi-, Deep night, [Sāvitryupākhyāna] 6, 28 (cf. 5, 66). saptarº, i. e. saptan-, n. A period of seven nights, [Mānavadharmaśāstra] 2, 187.

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

Rātra (रात्र).—[neuter] night, mostly —° as [masculine] or [neuter]

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

1) Rātra (रात्र):—a rātraka See below.

2) [from rātri] b mn. (ifc.) = rātri, [Pāṇini 2-4, 29] (cf. ati-, tri-, divā-r etc.; also used alone in trīṇi rātrāṇi, [Mahābhārata xiii, 6230]).

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

Rātra (रात्र) in the Sanskrit language is related to the Prakrit words: Ratta, Rāya.

[Sanskrit to German]

Ratra 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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