Vrata, Vrāta: 21 definitions

Introduction

Vrata means something in Hinduism, Sanskrit, Jainism, Prakrit, 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

Purana and Itihasa (epic history)

Source: archive.org: Nilamata Purana: a cultural and literary study

Vrata (व्रत) refers to certain “religious practices” once prevalent in ancient Kashmir (Kaśmīra) as mentioned in the Nīlamatapurāṇa.—The term vrata means here a religious observance, a sacred undertaking regarding some restriction on behaviour or food. These vratas may be classified as purificatory and devotional with reference to their purpose and as Śaiva, Vaiṣṇava, Śākta, Saura etc. with reference to the deities presiding over them. Similarly, the festivals may be seasonal, historical and religious—the last group further divisible into Śaiva, Vaiṣṇava etc.

Source: archive.org: Puranic Encyclopedia

Vrata (व्रत).—Controls ordained by Vedic Saṃhitās are called Vratas. It is known as tapas (penance) also. Vratas are Avadama etc. When it involves mortifications of the body (tapas) it is called tapas or penance. Controlling the organs of sense is called niyama (control). Vrata, fast and restraining or control are always good. (Agni Purāṇa, Chapter 175).

Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: The Purana Index

1a) Vrata (व्रत).—A son of Cākṣuṣa Manu.*

  • * Bhāgavata-purāṇa IV. 13. 16.

1b) A god of the Ābhūtaraya group.*

  • * Brahmāṇḍa-purāṇa II. 36. 56.

1c) Vows enumerated.*

  • * Matsya-purāṇa Ch. 101 (whole).

2) Vrāta (व्रात).—A son of Kṛtamjaya.*

  • * Vāyu-purāṇa 99. 287.
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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Shaivism (Shaiva philosophy)

Source: archive.org: Sardhatrisatikalottaragama

Vrata (व्रत) refers to the “four vows of a Brahmacārin”, which is mentioned as one of the fire-rituals related to the kuṇḍa (“fire-pit”), according to the various Āgamas and related literature. Vrata is mentioned in the Vīra-āgama (chapter 41) and the Makuṭa-āgama (chapter 6).

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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Vaishnavism (Vaishava dharma)

Source: Pure Bhakti: Bhagavad-gita (4th edition)

Vrata (व्रत) refers to “vow undertaken for self-purification and spiritual benefit”. (cf. Glossary page from Śrīmad-Bhagavad-Gītā).

Source: Pure Bhakti: Bhajana-rahasya - 2nd Edition

Vrata (व्रत) refers to:—A vow undertaken for self-purification and spiritual benefit. (cf. Glossary page from Bhajana-Rahasya).

Vaishnavism book cover
context information

Vaishnava (वैष्णव, vaiṣṇava) or vaishnavism (vaiṣṇavism) represents a tradition of Hinduism worshipping Vishnu as the supreme Lord. Similar to the Shaktism and Shaivism traditions, Vaishnavism also developed as an individual movement, famous for its exposition of the dashavatara (‘ten avatars of Vishnu’).

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General definition (in Hinduism)

Source: ACHC: Smarta Puja

Vrata (व्रत) refers to a “religious observance”.—Vratas—belonging to kāmya rites—include other practices which aim at the devotee’s purification like sleeping on the ground, getting up early before dawn, taking bath, observing certain rules of conduct,performing pūjā, homa, feeding of Brahmins, giving of gifts. The pūjā part often ends with the reading of a story which narrates the origin of the vrata / pūjā and states the reward (phala-sruti) which is gained by its performance. A vrata usually ends with a concluding ceremony (udyapāna/pāraṇa/pāraṇā).

In Jainism

General definition (in Jainism)

Source: Wisdom Library: Jainism

Vrata (व्रत) or Vratapratimā represents the second of eleven pratimā (stages) laid down for Jain laymen. Vrata-pratimā refers to “keeping up the twelve vows and the extra vow of Sallekhanā.” according to J. L. Jaini in his “outlines of Jainism” (pp. 67-70).

These pratimās (eg., vrata) form a series of duties and performances, the standard and duration of which rises periodically and which finally culminates in an attitude resembling monkhood. Thus the pratimās rise by degrees and every stage includes all the virtues practised in those preceeding it. The conception of eleven pratimās appears to be the best way of exhibiting the rules of conduct prescribved for the Jaina laymen.

Source: Google Books: Comparative Religion (Jainism)

Vrata (व्रत, “vow”).—Jainism gives a long list of actions constituting the right conduct for a householder and for a monk separately. However, the five vows mentioned below constitute the necessary ingredients of the behaviour of everyone, wether he be a householder or a monk. These five vows are known as Pañcamahāvrata (Panchamahavrata):

  1. Ahiṃsā (non-violence),
  2. Satya (truthfulness),
  3. Asteya (non-stealing),
  4. Brahmacarya (celibacy),
  5. Aparigraha (non-possession or non-attachment).

Besides these Mahāvratas (great vows) Jainism prescribes manyu more Aṇuvratas (supplementary vows) for a householder and still more for a monk. The chief supplementary vows for a householder are divided into (i) Guṇavrata and (ii) Śikṣāvrata.

The former (guṇavrata) again are divided into

  1. Digvrata,
  2. Desāvakāśikavrata,
  3. Ānarthadanadavrata.

(The Śvetāmbara tradition replaced deśāvakāśikavrata by bhogopabhoga-vrata).

The latter (śikṣāvrata) are sub-divided into:

  1. Sāmāyika-vrata,
  2. Proṣadhopavāsa-vrata,
  3. Bhogopabhoga-vrata,
  4. Atihisaṃvighāga-vrata.

(As the Śvetāmbara tradition includes bhogopabhoga in the Guṇavratas, so it replaces it here by deśāvakāsika-vrata).

Source: archive.org: Jaina Yoga

Vrata (व्रत).—Five aṇu-vratas, three guṇa-vratas, and four śikṣā-vratas, makinga total of twelve, are listed in the Upāsaka-daśāḥ, together with the supplementary, and by its nature non-obligatory, sallekhanā-vrata. The aṇu-vratas are of course closely parallel to the mahā-vratas of an ascetic; and it is therefore not surprising that some writers have imitated the Daśa-vaikālika-sūtra which counts a sixth mahā-vrata—that of a-rātri-bhojana—in the aṇu-vratas.

It is possible to discern in the treatment of the vratas and their aticāras a number of different traditions: (for example) The orthodox Śvetāmbara tradition rigidly faithful to the Upāsaka-daśāḥ. The Digambara tradition based on the Tattvārtha-sūtra. One significant writer—Somadeva—who alone has not respected the tradition of five aticāras for each vrata.

Source: HereNow4U: Śrāvakācāra (Ethics of the Householder)

Vrata (व्रत) refers to one of the eleven pratimās (eleven stages for becoming excellent śrāvaka).—The second stage is called Vrata-pratimā. This second rung of the ladder of the householder’s evolution of conduct comprises the scrupulous observance of Aṇūvratas, Gūṇavratas and Śikṣāvratas. We have already dwelt upon the nature of these vratas, so need not turn to them again.

Source: Encyclopedia of Jainism: Tattvartha Sutra 7: The Five Vows

Vrata (व्रत, “vow”) refers to the “fivefold vow” according to the 2nd-century Tattvārthasūtra 7.1.—“Desisting from injury (hiṃsā), falsehood (asatya), stealing (steya or corikā), un-chastity (abrahma) and attachment (parigraha) is the (fivefold) vow (vrata)”. Non-violence (ahiṃsā) is mentioned first as it is the primary or most important vow. Just as the surrounding fence protects the cereals in the field, similarly non-violence safeguards the truth etc.

What is the purpose of describing these vows (vrata) by the preceptors? The purpose is to describe the path of spiritual purification so that the living beings can attain liberation from the cycle of transmigression. Liberation is free from both abstinence and indulgence and is the eternal existence in the nature of the self. Vows here are described more for indulgence in auspicious activities rather than abstinence in nature.

What is the benefit of the five contemplations of non-violence vow (vrata)? They cause purification of the psychical thoughts and result in innumerably faster dissociation of karmas.

General definition book cover
context information

Jainism is an Indian religion of Dharma whose doctrine revolves around harmlessness (ahimsa) towards every living being. The two major branches (Digambara and Svetambara) of Jainism stimulate self-control (or, shramana, ‘self-reliance’) and spiritual development through a path of peace for the soul to progess to the ultimate goal.

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India history and geogprahy

Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: Indian Epigraphical Glossary

Vrata.—(CITD), religious vow; a self-imposed task; a religious act of devotion or austerity; vowed observance; a vow in general. There are many vratas mentioned in the different Purāṇas. But new vratas crop up in different parts of the country. (EI 4), five in number. Note: vrata 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
context information

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

Marathi-English dictionary

Source: DDSA: The Molesworth Marathi and English Dictionary

vrata (व्रत).—n (S) Any self-imposed religious observance or obligation to hold it; a course imposed of works or sufferings; or a vow made to do or bear. māsavrata An observance occupying a month: varṣavrata....a year.

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

vrata (व्रत).—n A religious observance. A vow.

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

Vrata (व्रत).—[vraj-gha jasya taḥ]

1) A religious act of devotion or austerity, vowed observance, a vow in general; अभ्यस्यतीव व्रतमासिधारम् (abhyasyatīva vratamāsidhāram) R.13.67;2.4,25; (there are several vratas enjoined in the different Purāṇas; but their number cannot be said to be fixed, as new ones, e. g. satyanārāṃyaṇavrata, are being added every day).

2) A vow, promise, resolve; सोऽभूद् भग्नव्रतः शत्रूनुद्धृत्य प्रतिरोपयन् (so'bhūd bhagnavrataḥ śatrūnuddhṛtya pratiropayan) R.17.42; so सत्यव्रत, पुण्यव्रत, दृढव्रत (satyavrata, puṇyavrata, dṛḍhavrata) &c.

3) Object of devotion or faith, devotion; as in पतिव्रताः (pativratāḥ) (patirvrataṃ yasyāḥ sā); यान्ति देवव्रता देवान् पितॄन् यान्ति पितृव्रताः (yānti devavratā devān pitṝn yānti pitṛvratāḥ) Bg.9.25.

4) A rite, an observance, practice, as in अर्कव्रत (arkavrata) q. v; Śabaraswāmin difines it as पुरुषाणां क्रियार्थानां शरीरधारणार्थो बलकरणार्थश्चायं संस्कारो व्रतं नाम (puruṣāṇāṃ kriyārthānāṃ śarīradhāraṇārtho balakaraṇārthaścāyaṃ saṃskāro vrataṃ nāma) ŚB. on MS.4.3.8.

5) Mode of life, course of conduct; अथ तु वेत्सि शुचि व्रतमात्मनः (atha tu vetsi śuci vratamātmanaḥ) Ś.5.27.

6) An ordinance, a law, rule.

7) Sacrifice.

8) An act, deed, work.

9) A design, plan.

1) Mental activity; व्रतमिति च मानसं कर्म उच्यते (vratamiti ca mānasaṃ karma ucyate) ŚB. on MS.6.2.2.

11) Celibacy; व्रतलोपनम् (vratalopanam) Ms.11.61 (com. brahmacāriṇo maithunam); Mb.12.11.22. (com. vrataṃ brahmacaryādyupetamadhyayanam).

Derivable forms: vrataḥ (व्रतः), vratam (व्रतम्).

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Vrāta (व्रात).—A multitude, group, flock, an assemblage; श्वपाकानां व्रातैः (śvapākānāṃ vrātaiḥ) G. L.29; R.12.94; Śi.4.35.

-tam 1 Bodily or manual labour.

2) Day-labour.

3) Casual employment.

4) The company or attendants at a marriage feast.

Derivable forms: vrātaḥ (व्रातः).

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

Vrata (व्रत).—mn.

(-taḥ-taṃ) 1. Any meritorious act of devotion, the voluntary or vowed observance, or imposition of any penance, austerity, or privation, as fasting, continence, exposure to heat and cold, &c. 2. Eating. 3. Design, plan. 4. Vow, resolution. 5. Course of conduct. E. vṛ to choose, aff. atac, ra substituted for the vowel; or vraj to go, (to heaven by it,) gha aff. and ja changed to ta .

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Vrāta (व्रात).—m.

(-taḥ) 1. A multitude, an assemblage. 2. The descendant of an outcaste Brahman, &c. 3. The company and attendants at a marriage feast. n.

(-taṃ) 1. Manual or bodily labour. 2. Day-labour, employment of a precarious kind. 3. Casual employment. E. vṛ to choose, aff. atac and the vowel made long; or vrata a religious observance, or vrātya an outcaste, aff. aṇ .

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

Vrata (व्रत).— (an old ptcple. of the pf. pass. of vṛ), n. 1. A (self-chosen) voluntary act, Chr. 43, 24; rule, [Rāmāyaṇa] 3, 53, 18; [Bhartṛhari, (ed. Bohlen.)] 2, 69. 2. Action, doing, [Mānavadharmaśāstra] 9, 304. 3. Work, Chr. 295, 12 = [Rigveda.] i. 92, 12. 4. A devout act, [Mānavadharmaśāstra] 2, 173; as fasting, continence, a vowed observance, a vow, [Vikramorvaśī, (ed. Bollensen.)] 37, 7; [Pañcatantra] 260, 13. 5. Eating (cf. payas -vrata).

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Vrāta (व्रात).—probably vrata + a, I. m. 1. The company and attendants at a marriage feast. 2. An assemblage, a multitude, [Bhāgavata-Purāṇa, (ed. Burnouf.)] 4, 25, 19; Chr. 4, 19. 3. The son of an outcaste. Ii. n. 1. Bodily labour. 2. Day labour.

Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: Aufrecht Catalogus Catalogorum

Vrata (व्रत) as mentioned in Aufrecht’s Catalogus Catalogorum:—[dharma] (an accurate title is wanting in the Ms.), composed in 1633 under the reign of Kalyāṇamalla of Iladurga. W. p. 333.

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

1) Vrata (व्रत):—n. (ifc. f(ā). ; [from] √2. vṛ) will, command, law, ordinance, rule, [Ṛg-veda]

2) obedience, service, [ib.; Atharva-veda; Āśvalāyana-gṛhya-sūtra]

3) dominion, realm, [Ṛg-veda]

4) sphere of action, function, mode or, manner of life (e.g. śuci-vr, ‘pure manner of life’ [Śakuntalā]), conduct, manner, usage, custom, [Ṛg-veda] etc. etc.

5) a religious vow or practice, any pious observance, meritorious act of devotion or austerity, solemn vow, rule, holy practice (as fasting, continence etc.; vrataṃ-√car, ‘to observe a vow’, [especially] ‘to practise chastity’), [ib.]

6) any vow or firm purpose, resolve to ([dative case] [locative case], or [compound]; vratāt or vrata-vaśāt, ‘in consequence of a vow’; cf. asi-dhārā-vrata and āsidhāraṃ vratam), [Mahābhārata; Kāvya literature] etc.

7) the practice of always eating the same food (cf. madhu-vr), [cf. Lexicographers, esp. such as amarasiṃha, halāyudha, hemacandra, etc.]

8) the feeding only on milk (as a fast or observance according to rule; also the milk itself), [Vājasaneyi-saṃhitā; Brāhmaṇa; Kātyāyana-śrauta-sūtra]

9) any food (in a-yācita-vr q.v.)

10) = mahā-vrata (id est. a [particular] Stotra, and the day for it), [Brāhmaṇa; ???];

11) (with [genitive case] or ifc.) Name of Sāmans, [Ārṣeya-brāhmaṇa] ([cf. Lexicographers, esp. such as amarasiṃha, halāyudha, hemacandra, etc.] also ‘month’; season; year; fire; ‘= Viṣṇu’; ‘Name of one of the seven islands of Antara-dvīpa’)

12) m. (of unknown meaning), [Atharva-veda v, 1, 7; Āpastamba-śrauta-sūtra xiii, 16, 8]

13) Name of a son of Manu and Naḍvalā, [Bhāgavata-purāṇa]

14) ([plural]) Name of a country belonging to Prācya, [cf. Lexicographers, esp. such as amarasiṃha, halāyudha, hemacandra, etc.]

15) mfn. = veda-vrata, one who has taken the vow of learning the Veda, [Gṛhyāsaṃgraha ii, 3] ([Scholiast or Commentator])

16) Vrāta (व्रात):—[from vrata] a etc. See below.

17) b m. (connected with √1. vṛ, or with vrata and √2. vṛ) a multitude, flock, assemblage, troop, swarm, group, host (vrātaṃ vrātam, in companies or troops; pañca vrātās, the five races of men), association, guild, [Ṛg-veda] etc. etc.

18) the company or attendants at a marriage feast, [Horace H. Wilson]

19) = manuṣya, [Naighaṇṭuka, commented on by Yāska ii, 3]

20) the descendant of an out-caste Brāhman etc. (= vrātya), [cf. Lexicographers, esp. such as amarasiṃha, halāyudha, hemacandra, etc.]

21) n. manual or bodily labour, day-labour, [ib.]

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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