Sadhu, aka: Sādhu; 14 Definition(s)


Sadhu means something in Buddhism, Pali, Hinduism, Sanskrit, Jainism, Prakrit, 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

Purana and Itihasa (epic history)

Sādhu (साधु).—An incarnation of Śiva. The Brahmāṇḍa Purāṇa contains the following story about it.

When the Himālaya and Maināka mountains once began a very intense tapas, the Devas and Ṛṣis fearing great ruin to the world in case the mountains got salvation, sought Śiva’s protection and prayed for a solution for the problem. So Śiva, in the guise of a brahmin named Sādhu, went to the mountains, spoke to them condemning Śiva and thus made them retract from their devotion to Śiva.

Source: Puranic Encyclopaedia

Sādhu (साधु).—(Brahmacāri): He who has the means of vidyā; a Brahmacārin well disposed to a guru; (sādhugrahasta)—the means of doing the Karmas ordained (sādhu vaikhānasa)—by performing penance in the forest (sādhu yati) by endeavouring to apply himself to yoga.*

  • * Vāyu-purāṇa 59. 23-4.
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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Natyashastra (theatrics and dramaturgy)

1) Sādhu (साधु, “blessed one”) refers to a specific “mode of address” (nāman) used in drama (nāṭya), according to Nāṭyaśāstra chapter 19. Sādhu is used to address certain ascetics, or persons who have attained praśānta (‘tranquillity’).

2) Sādhu (साधु) refers to the exclamation “excellent” and represents an element of a siddhi (success) expressed vocally (vāṅmayī), according to the Nāṭyaśāstra chapter 27. The siddhis in a dramatic production (nāṭaka) arise from words, sattva and gestures and relate to the various bhāva (psychological states) and rasa (sentiments). They can be broadly divided into divine (daivikī) and human (mānuṣī) which are made up of sattvas expressed vocally or physically.

Accodingly, “representation of deeds which relate to the practice of virtue and is endowed with excellence, should be greeted by the spectators with the word “excellent” (sādhu)”.

Source: Wisdom Library: Nāṭya-śāstra
Natyashastra book cover
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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).

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In Buddhism

Theravada (major branch of Buddhism)

"It is well"; an expression showing appreciation or agreement.Source: Access to Insight: A Glossary of Pali and Buddhist Terms

Interjection of satisfaction being often pronounced thrice at the end of a teaching or to acknowledge the benevolent character of an action being performed to the sake of dhamma.

Source: Dhamma Dana: Pali English Glossary
context information

Theravāda is a major branch of Buddhism having the the Pali canon (tipitaka) as their canonical literature, which includes the vinaya-pitaka (monastic rules), the sutta-pitaka (Buddhist sermons) and the abhidhamma-pitaka (philosophy and psychology).

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In Jainism

General definition (in Jainism)

Sādhu (साधु).—All ascetics are sādhus. A Jaina sādhu has 28 chief qualities besides other subsidiary ones, according to Digambaras and 27 according to the Śvetāmbara lists.

Source: Google Books: Jaina Iconography

Sādhu (साधु).—One of the ten types of ‘nursing services’ (vaiyāvrata)? Who is called the ‘long-time ascetic’ (sādhu)? An ascetic who had been initiated into monk-hood for quite some time is called ‘long-time ascetic’.

Source: Encyclopedia of Jainism: Tattvartha Sutra 9: Influx of karmas
General definition book cover
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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.

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India history and geogprahy

Sādhu.—(EI 9), a priest. (HA), a Jain monk. (LP; HA), same as Sāhu, a merchant. (CII 1), an adjective meaning ‘good’. Note: sādhu 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

Sadhu in Pali glossary... « previous · [S] · next »

sādhu : (adj.) good; virtuous; profitable. (adv.), well; thoroughly. (ind.), yes; alright.

Source: BuddhaSasana: Concise Pali-English Dictionary

Sādhu, (adj.) (Vedic sādhu, fr. sādh) 1. good, virtuous, pious Sn. 376, 393; J. I, 1; Mhvs 37, 119; PvA. 116, 132; asādhu bad, wicked Dh. 163, 223; DhA. III, 313.—2. good, profitable, proficient, meritorious Dh. 35, 206 (=sundara, bhaddaka DhA. III, 271); D. I, 88; Pv. II, 97; nt. adv. well, thoroughly Dh. 67; J. I, 1; Mhvs 36, 97; 37, 73. Very frequent as interjection, denoting (a) request (adhortative, with imper. : sādhu gaccha please go! Miln. 18; gacchatha VvA. 305), to be translated with “come on, welcome, please, ” or similar adverbs. Thus e.g. at Pv IV. 140 (=āyācane PvA. 232); J. I, 92; PvA. 6, 35, 272; VvA. 69;— (b) assent & approval in replies to a question “alright, yes” or similarly; usually with the verbs (in ger.) paṭisuṇitvā, vatvā, sampaṭicchitvā etc. Thus e.g. at J. V, 297; Vin. I, 56; Miln. 7; DhA. III, 13; VvA. 149; DA. I, 171; SnA 176 (=sampahaṃsane); PvA. 55, 78 and passim.

—kamyatā desire for proficiency VbhA. 477. —kāra saying “well, ” approval, cheering, applause J. I, 223; Miln. 13, 16, 18; VvA. 132; DhA. I, 390; III, 385. —kīḷana a festive play, a sacred festivity Mhvs 3, 11; sādhukīḷita the same Mhvs 20, 36; °-divasa Vin. III, 285; sādhu-kīḷā J. III, 434; V, 127; sādhu-kīḷikā J. III, 433. —jīvin leading a virtuous life It. 71. —phala having wholesome fruits J. I, 272 (read sādu°). —rūpa good, respectable Dh. 262. —sammata highly honoured D. I, 48; S. IV, 398; Sn. p. 90 sq.; Miln. 4, 21; DA. I, 143. —sīliya good character J. II, 137. (Page 703)

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

sāḍhū (साढू).—m (Commonly sāḍū) The husband of one's wife's sister.

--- OR ---

sādhu (साधु).—a or s m (S) A holy man; a saint or sage; one of subdued passions and contemplative habits. 2 a Right, proper, correct, excellent, virtuous, pious, good. Used largely of speech, composition, style, matter, actions, agents.

Source: DDSA: The Molesworth Marathi and English Dictionary

sādhu (साधु).—m A holy man; a saint. a Right, pious.

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

Sādhu (साधु).—a. (-dhu or -dhvī f.; compar. sādhīyas; superl. sādhiṣṭha) [साध्-उन् (sādh-un)]

1) Good, excellent, perfect; यद्यत् साधु न चित्रे स्यात् क्रियते तत्तदन्यथा (yadyat sādhu na citre syāt kriyate tattadanyathā) Ś.6.13; आ परितोषाद्विदुषां न साधु मन्ये प्रयोगविज्ञानम् (ā paritoṣādviduṣāṃ na sādhu manye prayogavijñānam) 1.2.

2) Fit, proper, right; as in साधुवृत्त, साधुसमाचार (sādhuvṛtta, sādhusamācāra).

3) Virtuous, righteous, honourable, pious.

4) (a) Kind, well-disposed; तदीयमाक्रन्दितमार्तसाधोः (tadīyamākranditamārtasādhoḥ) R.2.28; Pt.1.247. (b) Well-behaved (with loc.); मातरी साधुः (mātarī sādhuḥ) Sk.

5) Correct, pure, classical (as language).

6) Pleasing, agreeable, pleasant; अतोऽर्हसि क्षन्तुमसाधु साधु वा (ato'rhasi kṣantumasādhu sādhu vā) Ki.1.4.

7) Noble, well-born, of noble decent.

-dhuḥ 1 A good or virtuous man; प्रत्यर्पयिष्यत्यनधां स साधुः (pratyarpayiṣyatyanadhāṃ sa sādhuḥ) R.13.65;2.62; एभिः साधो हृदय- निहितैर्लक्षणैर्लक्षयेवाः (ebhiḥ sādho hṛdaya- nihitairlakṣaṇairlakṣayevāḥ) Me.82.

2) A sage, saint; साधोः प्रकोपि- तस्यापि मनो नायाति विक्रियाम् (sādhoḥ prakopi- tasyāpi mano nāyāti vikriyām) Subhāṣ.

3) A merchant; a jeweller; मुकुटे रोपितः काचश्चरणाभरणे मणिः । न हि दोषो मणेरस्ति किं तु साधोरविज्ञता (mukuṭe ropitaḥ kācaścaraṇābharaṇe maṇiḥ | na hi doṣo maṇerasti kiṃ tu sādhoravijñatā) H.2.72.

4) A Jaina saint.

5) A usurer, money-lender. -n.

1) The good; तयोः श्रेय आददानस्य साधु भवति (tayoḥ śreya ādadānasya sādhu bhavati) Kaṭh,2.1.

2) A good act or thing. ind.

1) Well, well-done, very nice, bravo; साधु गीतम् (sādhu gītam) Ś. 1; साधु रे पिङ्गल वानर साधु (sādhu re piṅgala vānara sādhu) M.4.

2) Enough, away with.

Source: DDSA: The practical Sanskrit-English dictionary

Sādhu (साधु).—m.c. sādhū and rarely sādho, indecl. (in Pali recognized by Childers and PTSD as meaning please; āyācane Pv comm. 232.9; with impv. or equivalent; I think they are right, but also that the same meaning applies in many Sanskrit cases, incl. most of those listed BR s.v. 5e), please, with impv. or equivalent: SP 34.4 (tat sādhu bhagavān nirdiśatu): 71.4; 164.13; 171.12; 180.12; 297.5, etc.; LV 6.16; 57.1; 78.15; 233.1, etc.; Mv i.254.18; ii.257.14; 258.14; 259.2; iii.91.4; 300.13, 19; Divy 335.27; Jm 110.2; 157.10; Av i.90.13, etc. (I see nothing un-Sanskritic in the use of sādhu Mv i.174.4 ff., and consequently no need for Senart's note); sādhū, sādho, m.c., §§ 3.21, 71.

Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: Edgerton Buddhist Hybrid Sanskrit Dictionary
context information

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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