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Vitasti, 4 Definition(s)


Vitasti means something in 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 Hinduism


Vitasti (वितस्ति): A unit of measurement of distance, according to the Vāyu Purāṇa (वायु पुराण). The following table gives some idea about their relations to each other:

8 Aṅgulas = Prādeśa (?);
21 Aṅgulas = Ratni;
24 Aṅgulas = Hasta;
2000 Dhanus = Gavyūti;
12 Aṅgulas = Vitasti;
2 Ratnis or 42 Aṅgulas = Kiṣku;
4 hastas = Dhanus;
8000 Dhanus = Yojana.
Source: Google Books: Cultural History from the Vāyu Purāna

Vitasti (वितस्ति).—A measurement by the little finger, 12 aṅgulas;1 in connection with gṛhabalikuṇḍam.2

  • 1) Matsya-purāṇa 58. 8; Vāyu-purāṇa 8. 104; 101. 122; Brahmāṇḍa-purāṇa II. 7. 98.
  • 2) Matsya-purāṇa 93. 7.
Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: The Purana IndexPurāṇa book cover
context information

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.

Vāstuśāstra (architecture)

Vitasti (वितस्ति, “span”) is the Sanskrit name for a unit of measurement, used in Vāstuśāstra literature, according to the Mānasāra II.40-53. A single Vitasti unit corresponds to 12 Aṅgula units. It takes 2 Vitasti units to make a single Kiṣku unit.

Below follows a table of the different units of measurement in relation to one another:

  • 8 Paramāṇu = 1 Rathadhūli, chariot-dust
  • 8 Rathadhūli = 1 Vālāgra, hair-end
  • 8 Vālāgra = 1 Likṣā, nit,
  • 8 Likṣā = 1 Yūka, louse
  • 8 Yūka = 1 Yava, barley-corn,
  • 8 Yava = 1 Aṅgula, digit (finger-breadth),
  • 12 Aṅgula = 1 Vitasti, span,
  • 2 Vitasti (24 aṅgulas) = 1 Kiṣku, cubit,
  • 4 Dhanurmuṣṭi (26 aṅgulas) = 1 Daṇḍa, rod,
  • 8 Daṇḍa = 1 Rajju, rope

The smallest unit, which is paramāṇu, atom is stated ta be perceived (only) by the sages. For all practical purposes, aṅgula is the smallest unit of measurement. For this reason, it is seen to be treated in a special way in the text with regards to its universality that significantly downplays its semantic reference to the body.

Source: Wisdom Library: Vāstu-śāstraVāstuśāstra book cover
context information

Vāstuśāstra (वास्तुशास्त्र, vastu-shastra) refers to the knowledge of architecture. It is a branch of ancient Indian science dealing with topics such architecture, construction, sculpture and their relation with the cosmic universe.

General definition (in Hinduism)

Vitasti; ancient Hindu unit of measurement of distance. 12 Aṅgulas make a single Vitasti and thus, 64000 Vitastis make up for a single Yojana.

If we consider a single Yojana to be 8 miles (~12.87km), one Vitasti would correspond to roughly 7.95 inches (~20.12cm)

If we consider a single Yojana to be 5 miles (~8.04km), one Vitasti would correspond to roughly 4.95 inc (~12.57cm)

A Tāla or a Mukha is another name for a measurement of distance which measures the same as a Vitasti.

Source: Wisdom Library: Hinduism

Relevant definitions

Search found 24 related definition(s) that might help you understand this better. Below you will find the 15 most relevant articles:

Angula refers to “ a finger’s breadth”. (see Bhudeb Mookerji and his Rasajalanidhi)
daṇḍa (दंड).—m A stick, a staff, a mace. Beating, fining, punishment gen. but esp. by mulct or ...
yava (यव).—m (S) Barley, Hordeum hexastichon. 2 A natural line across the fingers of the shape ...
Kiṣku (किष्कु).—A measure of length; two ratnis or 42 aṅgulas.** Brahmāṇḍa-purāṇa II. 7. ...
rajju (रज्जु).—f A string, rope. A fibre.
Tāla (ताल).—Even though each of these options of measurement are elabarated further by the Māna...
hasta (हस्त).—m A hand. The 13th lunar asterism. An elephant's trunk.
Paramāṇu (परमाणु, “sub-atom”).—What is meant by sub-atom (paramāṇu)? The smallest indivisible p...
Pradeśa (प्रदेश, “space-point”).—What is meant by a space-point (pradeśa)? The space occupied b...
Dhanus (धनुस्) corresponds with the Sagittarius zodiac sign and refers to the ninth of twelve r...
Yoni (योनि).—What is the meaning of nuclei (yoni)? The place of birth of a living being is call...
Yūkā (यूका).—A measurement; eight times the likhyā (s.v.), (likṣā).** Brahmāṇḍa-purāṇa IV...
Yojana (योजन).—The yojana, too, has been variously described. According to one view an utsedha-...
Vālāgra (वालाग्र).—Eight times the measurement of Trasareṇu (s.v.).** Matsya-purāṇa 258. ...
Likṣā (लिक्षा, “nit”) is the Sanskrit name for a unit of measurement, used in Vā...

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