Shraddha, aka: Śrāddha, Śraddhā, Śraddha; 15 Definition(s)


Shraddha means something in Buddhism, Pali, Hinduism, Sanskrit, Jainism, Prakrit, 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.

The Sanskrit terms Śrāddha and Śraddhā and Śraddha can be transliterated into English as Sraddha or Shraddha, using the IAST transliteration scheme (?).

In Hinduism

Śāktism (Śākta philosophy)

Śraddhā (श्रद्धा, “faith”):—One of the names attributed to Devī, as chanted by the Vedas in their hymns, who were at the time incarnated in their personified forms. See the Devī-bhāgavata-purāṇa chapter 5.51-68, called “the narrative of Hayagrīva”.

(Source): Wisdom Library: Śrīmad Devī Bhāgavatam
Śāktism book cover
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Śākta (शाक्त, shakta) or Śāktism (shaktism) represents a tradition of Hinduism where the Goddess (Devī) is revered and worshipped. Śākta literature includes a range of scriptures, including various tantras, although its roots may be traced back to the Vedas.

Pāñcarātra (worship of Nārāyaṇa)

Śraddhā (श्रद्धा, “faith”):—One of the twenty-four emanations of Lakṣmī accompanying Nārāyaṇa. This particular manifestation couples with his counterpart form called Padmanābha and together they form the eleventh celestial couple. Lakṣmī represents a form of the Goddess (Devī) as the wife of Viṣṇu, while Nārāyaṇa represents the personification of his creative energy, according to the Pāñcarātra literature.

(Source): Wisdom Library: Pāñcarātra
Pāñcarātra book cover
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Pāñcarātra (पाञ्चरात्र, pancaratra) represents a tradition of Hinduism where Nārāyaṇa is revered and worshipped. Closeley related to Vaiṣnavism, the Pāñcarātra literature includes various Āgamas and tantras incorporating many Vaiṣnava philosophies.


1a) Śraddhā (श्रद्धा).—A daughter of Kardama married to Angirasa. Mother of four daughters—Sinīvālī, Kuhū, Rākā and Anumatī and sons Utathya and Bṛhaspati.*

  • * Bhāgavata-purāṇa III. 24. 22; IV. 1. 34 and 35.

1b) A daughter of Dakṣa and wife of Dharma; mother of Śubha and Kāma.*

  • * Bhāgavata-purāṇa IV. 1. 49-50; Brahmāṇḍa-purāṇa II. 9. 49 and 58; Vāyu-purāṇa 10. 25, 35; Viṣṇu-purāṇa I. 7. 23 and 28.

1c) A wife of Śrāddhadeva and mother of ten sons; observed payovrata and wanted the birth of a daughter. Ilā was born.*

  • * Bhāgavata-purāṇa IX. 1. 11, 14-16.

2a) Śrāddha (श्राद्ध).—A son of Śatrughna, the son of Anādhṛṣṭhi.*

  • * Matsya-purāṇa 46. 24.

2b) Certain days considered good for the performance of; sumptuous feeding of many people on the day; no offering of or eating of flesh.1 Feeding of yogins recommended; presiding deity is Ravi.2

  • 1) Bhāgavata-purāṇa III. 7. 33; VII. 14. 19-26; 15. 3-7.
  • 2) Matsya-purāṇa 13. 6; 15. 43.

2c) A karma;1 the wherefrom and why of the ceremony is questioned for answer; ceremony for disliked Pitṛs will be enjoyed by the Rākṣasas and Dānavas; tends to the growth of Soma who is the cause of the world growth; three piṇḍas according to name and gotra; Pitṛs give all including knowledge; at the tīrthas and rivers; Bṛhaspati on śrāddha; once there was a thick haze of darkness in all worlds when Brahmā engaged himself in yoga and created the worlds, Santānaka and the first gods Vairājās; the formless groups of Gods attained absolution through yoga which is the strength of the Pitṛs; and through this yoga Soma increases in power; hence feed thousands learned in the Vedic lore; feeding of a snātaka equals that of many; atheists and the unrighteous should not be fed;2 to be performed with faith using silver or silver-coated vessels and the Purodha to be given svadhā; health and wealth are the fruits; superior to deva worship; even gods propitiate the Pitṛs as also sages and other semi-divine beings; for yogaiśvarya or mokṣadharma;3 details of the vedi and offerings during srāddhas; Pitṛs eat in the guise of Vāyu; offerings in Agni when it burns, otherwise it will lead to the blinding of eyes;4 the ruling of Bṛhaspati that first offerings are to be made to piṇḍa and then feeding Brahmans; by offering once the Pitṛs become pleased.5

  • 1) Brahmāṇḍa-purāṇa III. 4. 24.
  • 2) Ib. III. 9. 4; Matsya-purāṇa 20. 6; 21. 33.
  • 3) Ib. III. 10. 100; Matsya-purāṇa 15. 31.
  • 4) Ib. III. 11. 6, 49, 100.
  • 5) Ib. III. 12. 26; 13. 1; Matsya-purāṇa 10. 34.
(Source): Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: The Purana Index
Purāṇa book cover
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The Purāṇas (पुराण, purana) refers to Sanskrit literature preserving ancient India’s vast cultural history, including historical legends, religious ceremonies, various arts and sciences. The eighteen mahāpurāṇas total over 400,000 ślokas (metrical couplets) and date to at least several centuries BCE.

Nāṭyaśāstra (theatrics and dramaturgy)

Śrāddha (श्राद्ध, “faith, trust, belief”) is the most important ceremony connected with Hindu ancestor-worship. It is a development of the ancient custom of eating at funerals and providing food for the dead. Manu (Institutes, iii, 267 - 271) gives a detailed list of the offerings of food and drink which are to be made, with regulations for the correct ritual to be observed. The modern śrāddha is most intricate and elaborate.

(Source): Natya Shastra
Nāṭyaśāstra book cover
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Nāṭyaśāstra (नाट्यशास्त्र, natya-shastra) refers to both the ancient Indian tradition of performing arts, (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 (nāṭya) and poetic works (kāvya).

Discover the meaning of shraddha or sraddha in the context of Natyashastra from relevant books on Exotic India

Dharmaśāstra (religious law)

Śrāddha (श्राद्ध).—This term indicates the duty by its proper name. Śrāddha is the name of the rite laid down as to be done in honour of one’s ancestors, on the amāvasyā day; and the whole process of that rite is indicated by the name śrāddha. Rites in honour of the gods shall he performed in the forenoon; that in honour of the pitṛs in the afternoon; the śrāddha offered to a single person shall be performed at mid-day, while that in connection with auspicious rites shall be performed in the morning.

(Source): Google Books: Manusmṛti with the Manubhāṣya
Dharmaśāstra book cover
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Dharmaśāstra (धर्मशास्त्र, dharma-shastra) is a category of Hindu literature containing important instructions regarding religious law, ethics, economics, jurisprudence and more. It is categorised as smṛti, an important and authorative selection of books dealing with the Hindu lifestyle.

Discover the meaning of shraddha or sraddha in the context of Dharmashastra from relevant books on Exotic India

Vyākaraṇa (Sanskrit grammar)

Śraddhā (श्रद्धा).—A technical term for nounstems ending in आ (ā) in the feminine gender used in the Katantra Grammar; cf. आ श्रद्धा (ā śraddhā) Kat. II. 1.10.

(Source): Wikisource: A dictionary of Sanskrit grammar
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Vyākaraṇa (व्याकरण, vyakarana) refers to Sanskrit grammar and represents one of the six additional sciences (vedāṅga) to be studied along with the Vedas. Vyākaraṇa concerns itself with the rules of Sanskrit grammar and linguistic analysis in order to establish the correct context of words and sentences.

General definition (in Hinduism)

Śraddhā (श्रद्धा):—Sanskrit word meaning “faith”.

(Source): Wisdom Library: Hinduism

1) Śraddhā (श्रद्धा) is a Sanskrit term loosely translated as “faith”. It is important in Hindu, Jain, and Buddhist literature and teachings. It can be associated with faith, trust, confidence, and loyalty. Sri Aurobindo describes Śraddhā as “the soul’s belief in the Divine’s existence, wisdom, power, love and grace.”

2) Śrāddha (श्राद्ध) is a Sanskrit word which literally means ‘anything or any act that is performed with all sincerity and faith (śraddhā)’. In the Hindu religion, it is the ritual that one performs to pay homage to one’s ‘ancestors’ (pitṛs), especially to one’s dead parents.

(Source): WikiPedia: Hinduism

Śrāddha (श्राद्ध).—The ceremony of making offerings to one's ancestors to free them from suffering; firm faith and confidence.

(Source): ISKCON Press: Glossary

In Buddhism

General definition (in Buddhism)

1) Śraddhā (श्रद्धा, “faith”) refers to one of the fourty “conditions” (saṃskāra) that are “associated with mind” (citta-samprayukta) as defined in the Dharma-saṃgraha (section 30). The Dharma-samgraha (Dharmasangraha) is an extensive glossary of Buddhist technical terms in Sanskrit (eg., śraddhā). The work is attributed to Nagarjuna who lived around the 2nd century A.D.

Śraddhā also refers to one of the “five faculties” (pañcendriya) as well as one of the “five strengths” (pañcabala) as defined in the Dharma-saṃgraha (section 47-48), both forming part of the “thirty-seven things on the side of awakening” (bodhipākṣika-dharma).

2) Śraddhā (श्रद्धा, “faith”) refers to the “four factors of faith” as defined in the Dharma-saṃgraha (section 81):

  1. āryasatya (noble truths),
  2. triratna (three jewels),
  3. karma (deeds),
  4. karmaphala (deeds and fruit).

The Dharma-samgraha (Dharmasangraha) is an extensive glossary of Buddhist technical terms in Sanskrit (eg., śraddhā). The work is attributed to Nagarguna who lived around the 2nd century A.D.

3) Śraddhā (श्रद्धा) also refers to one of the “eight practices for the abandoning of conditions” (saṃskāra) as defined in the Dharma-saṃgraha (section 119).

(Source): Wisdom Library: Dharma-samgraha

Shraddhā (śraddhā), Skt., lit., “belief, faith”; (Pali saddhā); the inner attitude of faith and devotion toward the Buddha and his teaching. Shraddhā is the basis of the first two elements of the eightfold path—perfect view and perfect resolve. In the Mahāyāna shraddhā plays an even more important role, being regarded as the virtue out of which all the others develop and which opens the door of liberation to even those who do not have the self-discipline to tread the path of meditation. In Buddhism, however, faith in the sense of “pure faith” of Christianity is out of place. Shraddhā consists rather in the conviction that grows in students through their own direct experience with the teaching; blind faith in the words of the Buddha and the master goes against the spirit of Buddhism, and the Buddha himself warned his followers against it.

Trust and belief in the Buddha Amitābha is nevertheless the principal factor in the practice of the Pure Land school, which is often described as a “Way of Faith.”       

(Source): Shambala Publications: General

In Jainism

General definition (in Jainism)

Śraddhā (श्रद्धा).—What is meant by faith/trust (śraddhā)? Faith or trust is synonymous with firm belief (āsthā).

(Source): Encyclopedia of Jainism: Tattvartha Sutra 1
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.

Languages of India and abroad

Marathi-English dictionary

śraddhā (श्रद्धा).—f (S) Reverence or veneration. 2 Implicit faith or belief. 3 (Cant.) Ventris crepitus. v sōḍa, kara, & sara, suṭa, hō.

--- OR ---

śrāddha (श्राद्ध).—n (S) A funeral ceremony observed at various fixed periods, consisting of offerings with water and fire to the gods and manes, and of gifts and food to the relations present and assisting Brahmans. It is especially performed for a parent recently deceased, or for three paternal ancestors, or for all ancestors collectively; and it is supposed to be necessary to secure the ascent and residence of the souls of the deceased in the world appropriated to the manes. There are many varieties of the mode of performing this ceremony; and many purposes or objects are specified. See A. R., vol. 7, p. 245, et seq.

--- OR ---

śrāddha (श्राद्ध).—a S Confiding, trusting, believing.

(Source): DDSA: The Molesworth Marathi and English Dictionary

śraddhā (श्रद्धा).—f Reverence; implicit faith or belief.

--- OR ---

śrāddha (श्राद्ध).—n A funeral ceremony, an anni- versary.

(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.

Relevant definitions

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Āmaśrāddha (आमश्राद्ध).—a Śrāddha performed with uncooked food; आपद्यनग्नौ तीर्थे च चन्द्रसूर्य...
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Śraddhendriya (श्रद्धेन्द्रिय) or simply Śraddhā refers to the “faculty of faith” and represent...
Śraddhābala (श्रद्धाबल) or simply Śraddhā refers to the “strength of faith” and represents one ...
Nāndīśrāddha (नान्दीश्राद्ध).—see Derivable forms: nāndīśrāddham (नान्दीश्राद्धम्).Nāndīśrāddha...
Pārvaṇaśrāddha (पार्वणश्राद्ध).—Done in Parvas without the invocation of deities; three f...
Śrāddhanirṇaya (श्राद्धनिर्णय) is the name of a work on the topic of Dharmaśāstra ascribed to R...
Yajurvediśrāddhatattva (यजुर्वेदिश्राद्धतत्त्व):—Name of a Sanskrit work written by Ra...
Tīrthaśrāddha (तीर्थश्राद्ध).—Prescriptions for;1 merits of; rituals at different sacred...
Śrāddhakārikā (श्राद्धकारिका) is one of the works composed by Keśava Nanda (C. 1644 C.E.), othe...
Gaya (गय).—Aśvaghoṣa’s Buddhacarita XII.87-88 (1st century A.D.) speaks of the Buddha’s visit t...
Varuṇa (वरुण) is the name a locality mentioned in Rājaśekhara’s 10th-century Kāvyamīmāṃsā.—One ...
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