Thera: 9 definitions



Thera 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 Buddhism

Theravada (major branch of Buddhism)

Source: Access to Insight: A Glossary of Pali and Buddhist Terms"Elder." An honorific title automatically conferred upon a bhikkhu of at least ten years standing. Compare mahathera.Source: Pali Kanon: Pali Proper Names

Name of a monk in Rajagaha. He lived in solitude, the virtues of which state he extolled. Hearing this, the Buddha sent for him and taught him how the solitary life could be perfected in detail (S.ii.282f).

Source: Dhamma Dana: Pali English Glossary

M (Ancient). bhikkhu having a seniority of at least ten years or more.

Source: Buddhist Information: A Survey of Paramattha Dhammas

Thera can be translated as Elder or senior monk, a monk who has been ordained for at least ten years.

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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Languages of India and abroad

Pali-English dictionary

Source: BuddhaSasana: Concise Pali-English Dictionary

thera : (m.) an elder; a senior; a monk who has spent 10 years from his upasampadā. adj. old; elder.

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

Thera, (Vedic sthavira. Derivation uncertain. It may come from sthā in sense of standing over, lasting (one year or more), cp. thāvara old age, then “old=venerable”; (in meaning to be compared w. Lat. senior, etc. from num. sem “one”=one year old, i.e. lasting over one and many more years). Cp. also vetus=Gr. e)/tos, year, E. wether, one year old ram, as cpd. w. veteran, old man. Or it may come from sthā in der. *stheǔā in sthūra (sthūla: see etym. under thūla) thus, “strong= venerable”) t. t. only used with ref. to the bhikkhus of Gotama Buddha’s community.—(a) (adj.) senior, Vin. I, 47, 290 (th. bhikkhū opp. navā bh.), 159 (th. bhikkhu a senior bh. opp. to navaka bh. a novice), 187; II, 16, 212. Therânutherā bhikkhū seniors & those next to them in age dating not from birth, but from admission to the Order). Three grades are distinguished, thera bh. , majjhima bh. , nava bh. , at D. I, 78.—See also A. II, 23, 147, 168; V, 201, 348; D. III, 123 sq. , 218; Dh. 260, 261. In Saṅgha-thera, used of Bhikkhus not senior in the Order, the word thera means distinguished. Vin. II, 212, 303. In Mahāthera the meaning, as applied to the 80 bhikkhus so called, must also have some similar meaning Dīpv IV. 5 Psalms of the Brethren xxxvi.; J. V, 456. At A. II, 22 it is said that a bhikkhu, however junior, may be called thera on account of his wisdom. It is added that four characteristics make a man a thera —high character, knowing the essential doctrines by heart, practising the four Jhānas, and being conscious of having attained freedom through the destruction of the mental intoxications. It is already clear that at a very early date, before the Aṅguttara reached its extant shape, a secondary meaning of thera was tending to supplant that of senior-that is, not the senior of the whole Order, but the senior of such a part of the Saṅgha as live in the same locality, or are carrying out the same function.—Note. thera in thero vassiko at S. IV, 161 is to be read tero-vassiko.

Pali book cover
context information

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

Source: DDSA: The Molesworth Marathi and English Dictionary

thēra (थेर).—m A caste or an individual of it. They are merry andrews, strolling players, monkey-exhibiters &c. 2 A boy that dances and sports in the guise of a female. 3 n m f Mimicry, mockery, taking off. v kara, āṇa, māja, nācava g. of o. 4 n Applied as a term for a queer, odd, vitiously eccentric, disreputable fellow. 5 n m Dissolute practices: also childish pranks. (These two senses arise from the quality of the business and the character of the subjects of the thēra caste).

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

thēra (थेर).—m A caste or an individual of it. They are merry-andrews. n m f Mimi- cry. n A term for a queer, disreput- able fellow. n m Dissolute practices, also childish pranks.

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thēra (थेर).—a Haggard, worn out, decrepit.

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: Edgerton Buddhist Hybrid Sanskrit Dictionary

Thera (थेर).—m. (= Pali id. compare sthera; MIndic for Sanskrit stha-vira, which has this meaning), old man (decrepit; not in religious sense): Mahāvastu iii.4.17 (verse).

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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