Vidya, aka: Vidyā; 15 Definition(s)

Introduction

Vidya means something in Buddhism, Pali, Hinduism, Sanskrit, 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

Shaivism (Shaiva philosophy)

1) Vidyā (विद्या):—Second of the five factors of limitation (kañcuka) that occur in the second stage during the unity of Śiva and Śakti (subject and object). Their unity is initiated upon the cosmic process of creation.

2) Vidyā (विद्या):—Third of the eight Mātṛs born from the body of Mahimā, according to the Kubjikāmata-tantra. These eight sub-manifestations (mātṛ) are associated with the (element) earth. The first five from (including Vidyā) represent the five kalās. All these eight mātṛs are characterized as carrying a diamond in their hand. They are presided over by the Bhairava Jhaṇṭa and his consort named Aindryā. Mahimā is the seventh of the Eight Mahāmātṛs, residing within the Mātṛcakra (third of the five cakras) and represents the earth.

Source: Wisdom Library: Śaivism

Vidya: Normally Siva is Omniscient (Sarvajnatva). Maya has put a crimp on this all-knowing facility and rendered the individual soul with limited knowledge.

Source: bhagavadgitausa.com: Kashmir Saivism
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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Shaktism (Shakta philosophy)

Vidyā (विद्या, “Knowledge”):—One of the female offspring from Mahākālī (tamas-form of Mahādevī). Mahākālī is one of the three primary forms of Devī, the other two being Mahālakṣmī and Mahāsarasvatī. Not to be confused with Kālī, she is a more powerful cosmic aspect (vyaṣṭi) of Devi and represents the guṇa (universal energy) named tamas. Also see the Devī Māhātmya, a Sanskrit work from the 5th century, incorporated into the Mārkaṇḍeya-Purāṇa.

Source: Wisdom Library: Śāktism

Vidyā (विद्या, “knowledge”):—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

Vidyā (विद्या) refers to one of the five Kalās mentioned in Śāradātilaka I.26. Kalā represents one of the six adhvans being purified during the Kriyāvatī-dīkṣā: an important Śākta ritual. Dīkṣā is one of the most important rituals of the Śāktas and so called because it imparts divine knowledge and destroys evil.

Source: JSTOR: Tāntric Dīkṣā by Surya Kanta
Shaktism book cover
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Shakta (शाक्त, śākta) or Shaktism (śāktism) represents a tradition of Hinduism where the Goddess (Devi) is revered and worshipped. Shakta literature includes a range of scriptures, including various Agamas and Tantras, although its roots may be traced back to the Vedas.

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Dharmashastra (religious law)

The term ‘knowledge,’ ‘vidyā,’ stands for that by means of which all things are known; i.e., the reading of the text as well as the grasping of the meaning. The meaning is that he who does not bring any benefit should not be taught the text of the Veda, nor should the explanation of tho meaning of Vedic texts be expounded to him. (see the Manubhāṣya, II.112)

Source: Google Books: Manusmṛti with the Manubhāṣya
Dharmashastra book cover
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Dharmashastra (धर्मशास्त्र, dharmaśāstra) contains the instructions (shastra) regarding religious conduct of livelihood (dharma), ceremonies, jurisprudence (study of law) and more. It is categorized as smriti, an important and authoritative selection of books dealing with the Hindu lifestyle.

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Purana

1) Vidyā (विद्या).—A maid of Devī Umā. (Mahābhārata, Vana Parva, Chapter 231, Stanza 48).

2) Vidyā (विद्या).—A deity. This deity is worshipped as the deity of three Vedas which are the most important of the religious or Vedic literature. Mention is made about this deity in the preface of Ṛgvedabhāṣya by Sāyaṇa, as follows.

2) Once Vidyā approached a Brahmin and said "I am your wealth. Your duty is to impart me to disciples who are pure, celibate, law-abiding and active, and who protect the treasure. I hate disciples who are jealous."

Source: archive.org: Puranic Encyclopaedia

1a) Vidyā (विद्या).—Leads to happiness: Role of teacher and pupil. A means to attain final beatitude;1 of 18 groups—also 14 groups;2 survive antarkṣaya.3

  • 1) Bhāgavata-purāṇa XI. 10. 12; 11. 4-7; VI. 16. 27.
  • 2) Brahmāṇḍa-purāṇa III. 35. 88-9; III. 15. 29; IV. 12. 57; 18. 46; 34. 69.
  • 3) Matsya-purāṇa 2. 13.

1b) A śakti.*

  • * Brahmāṇḍa-purāṇa IV. 35. 98; 44. 57, 140.

1c) Not to have marital alliances with Viśvāmitras, Khili Khilis, etc.*

  • * Matsya-purāṇa 198. 21.

1d) 14 including Mimāṃsa, Nyāya, Purāṇa, Dharmaśāstra,—18 in number,—also includes Āyurveda. Dhanurveda, Gāndharva, and Arthaśāstra;1 four Anvīkṣikī. Trayī, Vārta and Daṇḍanīti;2 another division—Parā and Aparā.3

  • 1) Viṣṇu-purāṇa III. 6. 27-8;
  • 2) Ib. V. 10. 27.
  • 3) Ib. V. 1. 35.
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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Dhanurveda (science of warfare)

Vidyā (विद्या) refers to a weapon (knowledge, science, learning, scholarship). It is a Sanskrit word defined in the Dhanurveda-saṃhitā, which contains a list of no less than 117 weapons. The Dhanurveda-saṃhitā is said to have been composed by the sage Vasiṣṭha, who in turn transmitted it trough a tradition of sages, which can eventually be traced to Śiva and Brahmā.

Source: Wisdom Library: Dhanurveda
Dhanurveda book cover
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Dhanurveda (धनुर्वेद) refers to the “knowledge of warfare” and, as an upaveda, is associated with the Ṛgveda. It contains instructions on warfare, archery and ancient Indian martial arts, dating back to the 2nd-3rd millennium BCE.

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Itihasa (narrative history)

Vidyā (विद्या) refers to the name of a Tīrtha (pilgrim’s destination) mentioned in the Mahābhārata (cf. III.82.47). Note: The Mahābhārata (mentioning Vidyā) is a Sanskrit epic poem consisting of 100,000 ślokas (metrical verses) and is over 2000 years old.

Source: JatLand: List of Mahabharata people and places
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Itihasa (इतिहास, itihāsa) refers to ‘epic history’ and represents a branch of Sanskrit literature which popularly includes 1) the eighteen major Puranas, 2) the Mahabharata and 3) the Ramayana. It is a branch of Vedic Hinduism categorised as smriti literature (‘that which is remembered’) as opposed to shruti literature (‘that which is transmitted verbally’).

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Nyaya (school of philosophy)

Vidyā (विद्या, “valid knowledge ”) refers to one of two types of Buddhi (cognition) according to Praśastapāda in the Vaiśeṣikadarśanam with Praśastapādabhāṣya.—According to Praśastapāda, buddhi is divided into two kinds:—vidyā (valid knowledge) and avidyā (invalid knowledge). Valid knowledge has four kinds–perception, inference, recollection and supernormal occult perception. Invalid knowledge has also four kinds–doubt, illusion, indefinite knowledge and dream.

Source: Shodhganga: A study of Nyāya-vaiśeṣika categories
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Nyaya (न्याय, nyaya) refers to a school of Hindu philosophy (astika), drawing its subject-matter from the Upanishads. The Nyaya philosophy is known for its theories on logic, methodology and epistemology, however, it is closely related with Vaisheshika in terms of metaphysics.

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In Buddhism

General definition (in Buddhism)

Vidyā is synonymous with mantra. Although grammatically it is a female word, the Tibetan has it translated as a male noun.

Source: 84000: The Basket’s Display

Languages of India and abroad

Marathi-English dictionary

vidyā (विद्या).—f (S) Knowledge, learning, science, esp. sacred. Science is classed into fourteen divisions; viz. the four vēda, the six aṅgēṃ, the eighteen purāṇēṃ, the two mīmāṃsā, nyāya, and dharma; or, in detail, ṛgvēda, yajurvēda, sāmavēda, atharvavēda, śikṣā, vyākaraṇa, chanda, nirukti, jyōtiṣa, kalpa, aṭharā purāṇēṃ which see under purāṇa, pūrvamīmāṃsā, uttaramīmāṃsā, nyāyaśāstra, dharmaśāstra. Pr. caudā vidyā causaṣṭa kaḷā. 2 Laxly. An art (as of writing, drawing, singing &c.) vidyāvinayasampanna (A phrase or an epithet of praise of Brahmans. It constantly occurs in notes.) Skilled profoundly in science, and accomplished in the virtues of humility and modesty.

Source: DDSA: The Molesworth Marathi and English Dictionary

vidyā (विद्या).—f Knowledge, learning. Science. An art.

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

Vidyā (विद्या).—[vid-kyap]

1) Knowledge, learning, lore, science; (tāṃ) विद्यामभ्यसनेनेव प्रसादयितुमर्हसि (vidyāmabhyasaneneva prasādayitumarhasi) R.1.88; विद्या नाम नरस्य रूपमधिकं प्रच्छन्नगुप्तं धनम् (vidyā nāma narasya rūpamadhikaṃ pracchannaguptaṃ dhanam) &c. Bh.2.2. (According to some Vidyās are four :-ānvīkṣikī trayī vārtā daṇḍanītiśca śīśvatī Kāmandaka); चतसृष्वपि ते विवेकिनी नृप विद्यासु निरूढिमागता (catasṛṣvapi te vivekinī nṛpa vidyāsu nirūḍhimāgatā) Ki.2.6; to these four Manu adds a fifth आत्मविद्या (ātmavidyā); त्रैविद्येभ्यस्त्रयीं विद्यां दण्डनीतिं च शाश्वतीम् । आन्वीक्षिकीं चात्मविद्यां वार्तारम्भांश्च लोकतः (traividyebhyastrayīṃ vidyāṃ daṇḍanītiṃ ca śāśvatīm | ānvīkṣikīṃ cātmavidyāṃ vārtārambhāṃśca lokataḥ) || Ms.7.43. But the usual number of Vidyās is stated to be fourteen, i. e. the four Vedas, the six Aṅgas, Dharma, Mimāṃsā, Tarka or Nyāya and the Purāṇas; see चतुर्दशविद्या (caturdaśavidyā) under चतुर् (catur); and N.1.4. In N.1.5 the number is spoken of as being eighteen by including Medicine, Military Art, Music and Polity; अगाहताष्टादशतां जिगीषया (agāhatāṣṭādaśatāṃ jigīṣayā).)

2) Right knowledge, spiritual knowledge; विद्याकल्पेन मरुता मेघानां भूयसामपि (vidyākalpena marutā meghānāṃ bhūyasāmapi) (kvāpi pravilayaḥ kṛtaḥ) U.6.6; cf. अविद्या (avidyā).

3) A spell, an incantation; गन्धधूपादिभिश्चार्चेद् द्वादशाक्षर- विद्यया (gandhadhūpādibhiścārced dvādaśākṣara- vidyayā) Bhāg.8.16.39.

4) A mystical name of the letter इ (i).

5) A small bell.

6) The goddess Durgā.

7) Magical skill.

Source: DDSA: The practical Sanskrit-English 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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Relevant definitions

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