Upadesha, aka: Upadeśa, Upadesa; 14 Definition(s)


Upadesha 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.

The Sanskrit term Upadeśa can be transliterated into English as Upadesa or Upadesha, using the IAST transliteration scheme (?).

In Hinduism

Arthashastra (politics and welfare)

Upadeśa (उपदेश) refers to “guidance” and is the name of a yukti, or ‘technical division’, according to which the contents of the Arthaśāstra by Cāṇakya are grouped. Cāṇakya (4th-century BCE), aka Kauṭilya, was the chief minister of Chandragupta Maurya, the founder of the famous Maurya Empire.

Source: Wisdom Library: Arthaśāstra
Arthashastra book cover
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Arthashastra (अर्थशास्त्र, arthaśāstra) literature concerns itself with the teachings (shastra) of economic prosperity (artha) statecraft, politics and military tactics. The term arthashastra refers to both the name of these scientific teachings, as well as the name of a Sanskrit work included in such literature. This book was written (3rd century BCE) by by Kautilya, who flourished in the 4th century BCE.

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Purana and Itihasa (epic history)

Upadesha in Purana glossary... « previous · [U] · next »

Upadeśa (उपदेश).—One of the ten lakṣaṇas of the Brāhmaṇas.*

  • * Vāyu-purāṇa 59. 139.
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)

Upadeśa (उपदेश, “instruction”) refers to one of the twelve froms of verbal representation (vācika), according to the Nāṭyaśāstra chapter 24. These verbal representations are to be expressed using the various representations of the body (śārira). Vācika forms a part of abhinaya (techniques of representation) which is used in communicating the meaning of the drama (nāṭya) and calling forth the sentiment (rasa).

According to the Nāṭyaśāastra, “to say ‘do this’ or ‘take this’ is an example of instruction (upadeśa)”.

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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Vyakarana (Sanskrit grammar)

Upadesha in Vyakarana glossary... « previous · [U] · next »

Upadeśa (उपदेश).—Instruction; original enunciation; first or original precepts or teaching; cf. उपदेश आद्योच्चारणम् (upadeśa ādyoccāraṇam) S. K. on T the rule उपदेशेजनुनासिक इत् (upadeśejanunāsika it) P.I.3.2. cf. वर्णानामुपदेशः कर्तव्यः (varṇānāmupadeśaḥ kartavyaḥ); M. Bh. on Āhn. I. Vārt. 15. For difference between उपदेश (upadeśa) and उद्देश (uddeśa) see उद्देश (uddeśa); cf. also उपदिश्यतेनेनेत्युपदेशः । शास्त्र-वाक्यानि, सूत्रपाठः खिलपाठश्च (upadiśyatenenetyupadeśaḥ | śāstra-vākyāni, sūtrapāṭhaḥ khilapāṭhaśca) Kāśikā on P. I.3.2; cf. also Vyāḍi. Pari. 5; (2) employment (of a word) for others cf. उपेदशः परार्थः प्रयोगः । स्वयमेव तु बुद्धया यदा प्ररमृशति तदा नास्त्युपदेशः (upedaśaḥ parārthaḥ prayogaḥ | svayameva tu buddhayā yadā praramṛśati tadā nāstyupadeśaḥ) Kāś. on अदोनुपदेशे (adonupadeśe) P.I.4.70.

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

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General definition (in Hinduism)

Upadesha in Hinduism glossary... « previous · [U] · next »

sanskit; lit: 'instruction' or 'advice'.

Source: Wisdom Library: Hinduism

In Buddhism

Mahayana (major branch of Buddhism)

Upadesha in Mahayana glossary... « previous · [U] · next »

1) Upadeśa (उपदेश) refers to “knowledge regarding teachings”, having its roots in the four Vedas, according Mahāprajñāpāramitāśāstra (chapter IV). Accordingly, at the time of the Buddha, the knowledge regarding teachings (upadeśa) was commonly exchanged between Brahmins and cow-herders.

2) Upadeśa (उपदेश, “exegesis”) refers to one of the twelve members of Buddhist texts (dvādaśāṅga), according to a note attached to the Mahāprajñāpāramitāśāstra chapter 51.—The upadeśa (‘exegesis’) responds to questioners and explains the ‘why’; furthermore, it broadly explains the meanings (artha). Moreover, the following are also called upadeśa: a. the Commentaries given by the Buddha, b. the sūtras explained by Mahākātyāyana, c. the teachings given in accordance with the Dharma by worldly individuals (pṛthagjana) up to the period of the counterfeit Dharma.

Source: Wisdom Library: Maha Prajnaparamita Sastra
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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General definition (in Buddhism)

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Upadeśa (उपदेश, “instruction”) refers to one of the “nine (types of) teachings” (sūtra) as defined in the Dharma-saṃgraha (section 62). The Dharma-samgraha (Dharmasangraha) is an extensive glossary of Buddhist technical terms in Sanskrit (eg., upadeśa). The work is attributed to Nagarjuna who lived around the 2nd century A.D.

Source: Wisdom Library: Dharma-samgraha

Languages of India and abroad

Pali-English dictionary

Upadesha in Pali glossary... « previous · [U] · next »

upadesa : (m.) advice; indication; instruction.

Source: BuddhaSasana: Concise Pali-English Dictionary

Upadesa, (fr. upadisati) pointing out, indication, instruction, advice PvA. 26 (tadupadesena read for tadupād°; KhA 208 differs at id. p.); KhA 100; Sdhp. 227. (Page 142)

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

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upadēśa (उपदेश).—m (S) Instruction, teaching, communicating knowledge. 2 Advice, counsel, admonition. 3 Impartation of or initiation in a mantra.

Source: DDSA: The Molesworth Marathi and English Dictionary

upadēśa (उपदेश).—m Instruction. Advice, admoni- tion. Initiation in a mantra.

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

Upadesha in Sanskrit glossary... « previous · [U] · next »

Upadeśa (उपदेश).—

1) Instruction, teaching, advice, prescription; एष आदेशः, एष उपदेशः (eṣa ādeśaḥ, eṣa upadeśaḥ) Tait. Up.1.11.4. सुशिक्षितोऽपि सर्व उपदेशेन निपुणो भवति (suśikṣito'pi sarva upadeśena nipuṇo bhavati) M.1 (see the act inter alia); स्थिरोपदेशामुपदेशकाले प्रपेदिरे प्राक्तनजन्मविद्याः (sthiropadeśāmupadeśakāle prapedire prāktanajanmavidyāḥ) Ku.1.3; अचिरप्रवृत्तोपदेशं नाट्यम् (acirapravṛttopadeśaṃ nāṭyam) M.1,2.1; Ś.2.3; Ms.8.272; Amaru.29; R.12.57; K.26; M.6; परोपदेशे पाण्डित्यम् (paropadeśe pāṇḍityam) H.1.99.

2) Pointing out or referring to; शब्दानामितरे- तरोपदेशः (śabdānāmitare- taropadeśaḥ) Nir.

3) Specification, mentioning, naming.

4) A plea, pretext.

5) Initiation, communication of an initiatory Mantra or formula; चन्द्रसूर्यग्रहे तीर्थे सिद्धक्षेत्रे शिवालये । मन्त्रमात्रप्रकथनमुपदेशः स उच्यते (candrasūryagrahe tīrthe siddhakṣetre śivālaye | mantramātraprakathanamupadeśaḥ sa ucyate) ||

6) (In gram.) A form in a rule, an indicatory form (any word or part of a word, such as an affix, augment &c. with its anubandhas which show what particular grammatical rules are to be applied. उपदेश आद्योच्चारणम् (upadeśa ādyoccāraṇam) Sk.

Derivable forms: upadeśaḥ (उपदेशः).

Source: DDSA: The practical Sanskrit-English dictionary

Upadeśa (उपदेश).—m., n. of a type of Buddhist literature, one of the pravacana (last in both lists, ninth in Dharmas, twelfth in Mvy), lit. instruction: Dharmas 62; Mvy 1278. App. not so used in Pali.See Burnouf, Intr. 65 f.

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

Upadeśa (उपदेश).—m.

(-śaḥ) 1. Advice, information, instruction. 2. Plea, pretext. 3. Specification. 4. Initiation, communication of the initiatory Mantra or fomula. 5. (In grammar,) An elementary term. E. upa before diś to shew, affix ghañ.

Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: Shabda-Sagara Sanskrit-English Dictionary
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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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