Nirukta of Yaska
  • Adhvara

    The word adhvara signifies yajña (yajna). The verbal root dhvar means to be violent. Subsequently, the words dhvaraṇa (dhvarana), or dhvara mean violence. That which has no brutality is known as adhvara— adhvara iti yajñanāma. dhvaratirhiṃsākarmā. During yajñas, grace is bestowed on everyone. The question, however, may arise that there is violence in the animal sacrifice involved in […]

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  • Adhvaryu

    At the outset of yajña (yajna) ceremonies, the priest of Ṛgveda (Rigveda), or ṛtvika (ritwika) used to execute the functions of both the priest and the hotā (hota) or the performer of the yajña. [See Ṛtvika, Hotā] Later, when the rituals of a yajña became more intricate, four priests or ṛtvika of Caturveda (Chaturveda) were appointed separate vedic tasks. […]

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  • Aditya – 1

    Āditya (Aditya) is the Sun. The most important observation about Āditya has been made in Aitareya Brāhmaṇa (Aitareya Brahmana). The One who provides heat, is manifested as Agniṣṭoma yajña (Agnishtoma yajna). Āditya is associated with daytime, and the Agniṣtoma yajña has to be performed in one day. So Āditya  himself is Agniṣṭoma. When rises in the morning, he emits a […]

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  • Agni – 1

    Agni is the Sanskrit word for ‘fire’. Agni is one of the foremost among the Vedic deities. In regard of the number of Vedic hymns (sūkta; sukta) attributed to the deities, Agni comes only second to Indra (almost two hundred hymns have been dedicated to Agni). Since Agni’s deeds and actions are mainly observable on […]

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  • Ahirvudhnya – 1

    In Vāyupurāṇa (Vayupurana), when the term Ahirvudhnya is used for the first time, it is referred to as one of the several yajñasthāna(s) (yajnasthana; place of fire-sacrifice). It is said that Ahirvudhnya is the name of gṛhapti (grihapati)agni or gārhapatya agnisthāna (garhapatya agnisthana, a ritual fireplace considered sacred for the life of a householder). Ahirvudhnya […]

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  • Angshu – 1

    Aṃśu (Angshu) literally means ray or glow of light. According to Ṛgveda (Rigveda), when a certain portion part or aṃśa of the sacrificial moon-plant or somlatā (somlata) is grounded, what we have is known as aṃśu. Therefore, aṃśu is that which flows from the moon— pra syandasvba soma biśbebhiraṁśubhiḥ.  The word aṃśu literally refers to the moon, […]

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  • Arka – 1

    The dhātu (dhatu; verb-root) ‘arc’ means ‘to pray, to praise and worship’. In one mantra of Ṛgveda (Rigveda), the term has been used in the sense of ‘one who is worthy of worship’. In the hymn dedicated to Indra, composed by Sage Madhucchandā (Madhucchanda), the first line is as follows — gāyanti tvā gāyatrino arcantyarkaṃ […]

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  • Asikni – 1

    Asiknī (Asikni) is one of the sacred rivers in ancient India. According to scholars, The river called Asiknī, in Vedic times , later came to be known as Candrabhāgā (Chandrabhaga) in Sanskrita (Sanskrit).Yāska (Yaska), the author of Nirukta has said , asiknyāśuklāsitā, sitāmiti varṇa nāma. tat prativedho’sitam. That is — the river has a blcakish […]

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  • Atithi – 1

    Since the Ṛgvedic (Rigvedic) period, Indian culture has conceived of the guest (atithi) as one who must be treated with respectful and humble hospitality and offered food and shelter. The host should do everything within his power to please the guest. Any yajña (yajna) would require fire (agni; imagined as the Fire-god), therefore fire has been […]

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  • Iravati – 1

    Irāvatī(Iravati) is a famous holy river of the Vedic period. In the Vedic era itself, Irāvatī had already been marked as an alternative name of river Paruṣṇ̣ī (Parushni). In Nadī-sūkta(Nadi-sukta; Hymn dedicated to rivers) of Ṛgveda (Rigveda), river Paruṣṇ̣ī is praised along with the other ancient rivers like Gaṅgā (Ganga), Yamunā (Yamuna), Sarasvatī (Sarasvarti), Śutudrī(Sutudri) in […]

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  • Rishi

    The dhātu (dhatu; verbal-root) ‘ṛṣ‘ (rish) means ‘to go’; and it is also applied to denote śruti (hearing), satya (the truth) and tapasyā (tapasya; to practice asceticism). Those who possess such qualities and engage themselves in the thought of Brahman, are called ṛṣi (rishi)– ṛṣityeṣu gatau dhātuḥ śrutau satye tapasyatha etat sannirataṁ tasmin brahmaṇā sa […]

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