Vitasti: 12 definitions

Introduction

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

Purana and Itihasa (epic history)

Source: Google Books: Cultural History from the Vāyu Purāna

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: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: The Purana Index

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.
Purana book cover
context information

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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Vastushastra (architecture)

Source: Wisdom Library: Vāstu-śāstra

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.

Vastushastra book cover
context information

Vastushastra (वास्तुशास्त्र, vāstuśāstra) refers to the ancient Indian science (shastra) of architecture (vastu), dealing with topics such architecture, sculpture, town-building, fort building and various other constructions. Vastu also deals with the philosophy of the architectural relation with the cosmic universe.

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Shilpashastra (iconography)

Source: Shodhganga: The significance of the mūla-beras (śilpa)

Vitasti (वितस्ति) refers to the “distance between the tips of the stretched out thumb and ring finger” and represents a type of measurement, as defined in the texts dealing with śilpa (arts and crafs), known as śilpaśāstras.—Besides the smaller units known as dehāṅgula there are other larger relative units of length, which are called prādeśa, tāla, vitasti and gokarṇa. The distance between the tips of the stretched out thumb and ring finger is vitasti.

Shilpashastra book cover
context information

Shilpashastra (शिल्पशास्त्र, śilpaśāstra) represents the ancient Indian science (shastra) of creative arts (shilpa) such as sculpture, iconography and painting. Closely related to Vastushastra (architecture), they often share the same literature.

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Ayurveda (science of life)

Source: Shodhganga: Dietetics and culinary art in ancient and medieval India

Vitastī (वितस्ती) is an important river whose water (jala) qualities are described in the Bhojanakutūhala (dravyaguṇāguṇa-kathana), and is commonly found in literature dealing with the topics of dietetics and culinary art, also known as Pākaśāstra or Pākakalā.—Different types of water (jala) and their properties are mentioned here [viz., in jala-prakaraṇa]. The text explains the qualities of the water of certain important rivers like [viz., Vitastī].

Ayurveda book cover
context information

Āyurveda (आयुर्वेद, ayurveda) is a branch of Indian science dealing with medicine, herbalism, taxology, anatomy, surgery, alchemy and related topics. Traditional practice of Āyurveda in ancient India dates back to at least the first millenium BC. Literature is commonly written in Sanskrit using various poetic metres.

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General definition (in Hinduism)

Source: Wisdom Library: 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.

Languages of India and abroad

Marathi-English dictionary

Source: DDSA: The Molesworth Marathi and English Dictionary

vitasti (वितस्ति).—m S A long span,--the measure of the thumb and little finger extended.

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

Source: DDSA: The practical Sanskrit-English dictionary

Vitasti (वितस्ति).—[vau taseḥ tiḥ Uṇ.4.189] A measure of length equal to 12 aṅgulas (being the distance between the extended thumb and the little finger); तेनेदमावृतं विश्वं वितस्तिमधितिष्ठति (tenedamāvṛtaṃ viśvaṃ vitastimadhitiṣṭhati) Bhāg.2.6.16.

Derivable forms: vitastiḥ (वितस्तिः).

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

Vitasti (वितस्ति).—f.

(-stiḥ) A long span measured by the extended thumb and little finger, considered equal to twelve fingers. E. vi apart, tas to throw, Unadi aff. ktic .

Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: Benfey Sanskrit-English Dictionary

Vitasti (वितस्ति).—i. e. vi-taṃs + ti, m. and f. A long span, measured by the extended thumb and little finger, Āśvalāy. Gṛhyas. iv. 1, in Journ. of the German Oriental Society, ix. i. 8.

Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: Cappeller Sanskrit-English Dictionary

Vitasti (वितस्ति).—[feminine] span (as a measure of length).

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

Vitasti (वितस्ति):—[=vi-tasti] f. (once in [Hemādri’s Caturvarga-cintāmaṇi] m.; [probably] [from] √tan) a [particular] measure of length (defined either as a long span between the extended thumb and little finger, or as the distance between the wrist and the tip of the fingers, and said to = 12 Aṅgulas or about 9 inches), [Śatapatha-brāhmaṇa; Gṛhya-sūtra and śrauta-sūtra] etc.

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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