Tirthika, Tīrthika: 7 definitions

Introduction

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

Shaivism (Shaiva philosophy)

Source: DSpace at Pondicherry: Siddha Cult in Tamilnadu (shaivism)

Tīrthika (तीर्थिक).—Another group of Siddhas that existed during the 10th and 11th centuries was known as Tīrthika Siddhas. They became celebrated for their extraordinary knowledge; fond of debates and display of their knowledge among the public or in the royal courts.

The tīrthikas were distinguished by certain symbols like umbrellas. It is said that once a tīrthika-paṇḍita from the South India was honoured with five umbrellas for challenging Dipaṅkara (C.E. 982-1054), who was celebrated for his scholarship not only among the contemporary Buddhists and others.

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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Kavya (poetry)

[«previous (T) next»] — Tirthika in Kavya glossary
Source: archive.org: Naisadhacarita of Sriharsa

Tīrthika (तीर्थिक) or Tairthika refers to a “follower of a religion or a sect”, and is mentioned in the Naiṣadha-carita 17.50, 103.—In 17.50 the Cārvāka addresses the adherents of the orthodox faith as Tīrthika. In 17.103 the orthodox faith is characterised by one of its defenders as the Tīrthika way, i.e., the traditional path. [...] Pt. Śivadatta points out in a footnote in his edition that ṭhaka [?] will give the form Tairthika, [...] Generally speaking, the word is used by non-Brahmanical writers to denote the followers of the Brahmanical religion. In [the Naiṣadhacarita] it is put into the mouth of a Cārvāka, and if a protagonist of the orthodox faith also uses it, he does so while replying to the Cārvāka.

Similarly, the Buddhists use the word in the form Tīrthikā to denote the followers of other sects, especially of the Brahmanical religion. Laṅkāvatārasūtra uses the words Tīrthya and Tīrthakara in a similar sense. [...] The Buddhists thus use the words Tīrthika, Tīrthya and Tīrthakara to signify the adherents o f non-Buddhist, especially Brahmanical, schools of thought, as distinguished from the members of their own faith, the Svayūthyas, as they are called in the Bodhicaryāvatārapañjikā.

The Jainas use the word Tīrthika in a similar sense, e.g., in Upamitibhavaprapañcā-kathā, p. 51; in Jinaprabha’s Pārśvanāthastava (verse 14); in Dhanapāla’s Ṛṣabhapañcāśikā; and in Hemacandra’s Mahāvīrastotra (verses 4 and 20).

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Kavya (काव्य, kavya) refers to Sanskrit poetry, a popular ancient Indian tradition of literature. There have been many Sanskrit poets over the ages, hailing from ancient India and beyond. This topic includes mahakavya, or ‘epic poetry’ and natya, or ‘dramatic poetry’.

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In Buddhism

Mahayana (major branch of Buddhism)

Source: Kunpal: Shantideva's Bodhisattva-charyavatara

Tīrthika (तीर्थिक).—The Sanskrit word tīrthika is often translated as ‘heretic’, but tīrthika in fact refers to someone who is on a path other than the Buddhist one.

According to Khenpo Chöga’s Oral Explanations on text section 163: “The Buddha has surpassed all the paths of the tīrthikas. Even when the tīrthikas reach the peak of worldly existence, they can never go beyond the confines of worldly existence [srid pa]. The great masters of the tīrthika systems can reach saṃsāra’s peak but never go beyond that point because they have not realized the wisdom of egolessness. Tīrthika masters can temporarily overcome gross afflictions, but they never attain the wisdom of egolessness. Tīrthika meditation masters at best take rebrith in the subtle spheres of the realms of formlessness [gzugs med khams].”

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

Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: Indian Epigraphical Glossary

Tīrthika.—(EI 9), Buddhist; teacher of a religion other than one's own; a non-Buddhist (especially, Śaiva) teacher. (EI 32), same as Tairthika, ‘a priest’. Note: tīrthika is defined in the “Indian epigraphical glossary” as it can be found on ancient inscriptions commonly written in Sanskrit, Prakrit or Dravidian languages.

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

Sanskrit-English dictionary

Source: DDSA: The practical Sanskrit-English dictionary

Tīrthika (तीर्थिक).—

1) A pilgrim, an ascetic Brāhmaṇa (visiting holy places).

2) An adherent or head of any other than one's own creed; Buddha, Jaina.

Derivable forms: tīrthikaḥ (तीर्थिकः).

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

Tīrthika (तीर्थिक).—(also para-t°; see prec. and next items; probably Sktized from MIndic (Pali) titthiya, see tīrthya; both are very common in prose as well as verses), (1) heretic; like its relatives, pejoratively used; there is one seeming exception, tīrthikā vā bhavanti bhavasūdanāḥ Mahāvastu i.106.8 (verse), where if the text is correct it seems to be said of Bodhisattvas in the 8th bhūmi that they become religious prophets (or the like), destroying (the states of normal) existence. I suspect a corruption, and cannot explain the text as it stands any more than Senart (his doubtful suggestion based on Lalitavistara Calcutta (see LV.) 313.19 falls now with the reading of that text, which in Lefm. 250.1 is replaced by…tīrthyāḥ, heretics, kurvante). However, it is barely possible that this one Mahāvastu passage preserves the original neutral meaning, adherent (or founder) of (any) religion. A trace of this may also remain in the not infrequent pre- fixation of anya- to t°, other (than Buddhist) sectarian, Lalitavistara 268.12; Mahāvastu iii.49.12 (anyatīrthikapūrvo, formerly a member of another sect); 412.7; or para-t°, q.v.; compare kutīr- thikā(ḥ) Lalitavistara 12.10, members of base (heretical) sects. Other- wise, and very often, tīrthika alone means heretic simply: Saddharmapuṇḍarīka 272.10; Lalitavistara 250.21; 258.1; 260.9; Mahāvastu i.45.10; 69.17; ii.135.12; iii.392.7 (śramaṇa-brāhmaṇa-tīrthika-gaṇikā, apparently implying that brahmans were not included among tīrthikas; this [compound] appears in some of the other passages listed); Mahāvyutpatti 3514; Divyāvadāna 146.19; 152.5; 275.9; Avadāna-śataka i.2.6; 16.3 etc., common; Bhadracarī 52; Bodhisattvabhūmi 173.11 etc.; [Page255-a+ 71] yat kiṃcit tīrthikaliṅgaṃ…Lalitavistara 409.17; Mahāvastu iii.329.11, whatever (external) mark (dress etc.) of heretics (was borne by converts, all magically disappeared and they wore the aspect of Buddhist monks); tīrthikāvakrāntaka, see avakrāntaka; (2) name of a nāga: Mahāvyutpatti 3320; (3) see s.v. sama-tīrthika.

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

Tīrthika (तीर्थिक):—[from tīrthaka > tīra] m. an adherent or head of any other than one’s own creed, [Buddhist literature; Jaina literature]

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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