Svadha, Svadhā: 12 definitions

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  1. Introduction
  2. In Hinduism
    1. Purana
    2. Shaktism
    3. General definition
  3. Languages
    1. Sanskrit
  4. See also

Svadha means something in Hinduism, Sanskrit. 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: Wisdom Library: The Matsya-purāṇa

Svadhā (स्वधा) is the name of a mind-born ‘divine mother’ (mātṛ), created for the purpose of drinking the blood of the Andhaka demons, according to the Matsya-purāṇa 179.8. The Andhaka demons spawned out of every drop of blood spilled from the original Andhakāsura(Andhaka-demon). According to the Matsya-purāṇa 179.35, “Most terrible they (eg., Svadhā) all drank the blood of those Andhakas and become exceedingly satiated.”

The Matsyapurāṇa is categorised as a Mahāpurāṇa, and was originally composed of 20,000 metrical verses, dating from the 1st-millennium BCE. The narrator is Matsya, one of the ten major avatars of Viṣṇu.

Source: Shiva Purana – English Translation

Svadhā (स्वधा) is one of the twenty-four daughters of Dakṣa by Prasūti: one of the three daughters of Svāyambhuvamanu and Śatarūpā, according to the Śivapurāṇa 2.1.16:—“Dakṣa begot twenty-four daughters. The eleven younger daughters were [… Svadhā]. The great aspirants [the Pitṛs] and others took the hands of these famous daughters (eg., Svadhā married the Pitṛs/manes). Thereupon the entire universe consisting of three worlds, mobile and immobile was filled (with progeny). Thus according to their own actions and at the bidding of Śiva innumerable famous Brahmins were born out of the various living beings”.

Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: The Purana Index

1a) Svadhā (स्वधा).—A daughter of Dakṣa and consort of Agnīs: (Pitṛs, Vāyu-purāṇa, and Viṣṇu-purāṇa) gave birth to two daughters Vayunā (Menā, Vāyu-purāṇa) and Dhāriṇī, who were Brahmavadīns.*

1b) A wife of Angiras—mother of Pitṛs.*

1c) Married Kavi Agni: her sons were Kāvyas: her daughter the source of Pitṛs with forms.*

1d) A god of one of the ten branches of the Harita Gaṇa.*

1e) The essence milked by Antaka for Pitṛs; out of this came Pitṛs1 (Somapas).2

1f) The exclamation or benediction used in presenting oblation to departed ancestors.*

Source: Shodhganga: The saurapurana – a critical study

1) Svadhā (स्वधा) refers to one of the daughters of Dakṣa and Prasūti: one of the two daughters of Manu-svāyaṃbhuva and Śatarūpā, according to the Vaṃśa (‘genealogical description’) of the 10th century Saurapurāṇa: one of the various Upapurāṇas depicting Śaivism.—Accordingly, Ākūti was married to Ruci and Prasūti to Dakṣa. Dakṣa produced in Prasūti twenty-four daughters. […] [Svadhā was given to Pitṛs.] Pitṛ and Svadhā had two daughters—Menā and Dhāriṇi. Menā was given in marriage to Himavān who begot two sons—Maināka and Krauñca and two daughters—Gaurī and Gaṅgā. Dhāriṇi was married to Meru and had a son named Mandara and three daughters—Velā, Niyati and Āyati.

2) Svadhā (स्वधा) refers to one of thirteen of Dakṣa’s sixty daughters given to Kaśyapa in marriage, according to another account of Vaṃśa in the Saurapurāṇa.—Accordingly, Dakṣa gets married to Asikni, the daughter of Prajāpati Viraṇa and begot sixty daughters. [He gave thirteen daughters to Kaśyapa]. Kaśyapa’s thirteen wives are Aditi, Diti, Danu, Ariṣṭā, Surasā, Svadhā, Surabhi, Vinatā, Tamrā, Krodhavasā, Irā and Muni.

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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Shaktism (Shakta philosophy)

Source: Wisdom Library: Śrīmad Devī Bhāgavatam

Daughter of Brahmā, created with his mind. (Book 9. Chapter 44; p. 977)

“Brahmā then created out of His mind one daughter very beautiful, full of youth and having a face lovely, as if equal to one hundred moons. That woman was best in all respects whether in form, beauty, qualities or in learning. Her colour was white like the white Champaka flower and her body was adorned all over with jewel ornaments. This form was very pure, ready to grant boons, auspicious and the part of Prakriti. Her face was beaming with smiles; her teeth were very beautiful and her body showed signs of Lakṣmī (i.e., of wealth and prosperity).

Her name was Svadhā. Her lotus-feet were situated on one hundred lotuses. She was the wife of the Pitris. Her face resembled that of a lotus and Her eyes looked like water lilies. She was born of the lotus born Brahmā. The Grand-father Brahmā made over that daughter of the nature of Tuṣṭi (Contentment) to the hands of the Pitris and they were satisfied. Brahmā advised the Brāhmaṇas privately that whenever they would offer anything to the Pitris, they should offer duly with the mantra Svadhā pronounced at the end. Since then the Brāhmaṇas are offering everything to the Pitris, with the Mantra Svadhā uttered in the end.

Svāhā is laudable, when offerings are presented to the Gods and Svadhā is commendable when offerings are made to the Pitris. But in both the cases, Dakṣiṇā is essential. Without Dakṣiṇā (sacrificial fee), all sacrifices are useless and worthless. The Pitris, Devatās, Brāhmaṇas, the Munis, the Manus worshipped the peaceful Svadhā and chanted hymns to Her with great love. The Devas, Pitris, Brāhmaṇas, all were pleased and felt their ends achieved when they got the boon from Svadhā Devī.”

Source: Wisdom Library: Śāktism

Svadhā (स्वधा):—Name of one of the goddesses to be worshipped during Āvaraṇapūjā (“Worship of the Circuit of Goddesses”), according to the Durgāpūjātattva (“The truth concerning Durgā’s ritual”). They should be worshipped with either the five upācāras or perfume and flowers.

Her mantra is as follows:

ह्रीं ओं स्वधायै नमः
hrīṃ oṃ svadhāyai namaḥ

Shaktism book cover

context information

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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General definition (in Hinduism)

Source: Wisdom Library: Hinduism

1) Svadhā (स्वधा)—One of the eleven wives of Rudra, called a Rudrāṇī.

2) Svadhā (स्वाहा, “invocation of the ancestors”):—She is the second wife of Agni, one of the most important Vedic gods representing divine illumination.

Source: Google Books: Feeding the Ancestors: Ancestor Worship in Ancient Hinduism and Buddhism

A reference to ancestral rites (in the Ṛg-Veda).

Languages of India and abroad

Sanskrit-English dictionary

Source: DDSA: The practical Sanskrit-English dictionary

Svadhā (स्वधा).—[svad-ā-pṛṣo° dasya dhaḥ]

1) One’s own nature or determination, spontaneity.

2) One’s own will or pleasure.

3) The oblation of food offered to the Pitṛs or Manes of deceased ancestors; स्वधासंग्रहतत्पराः (svadhāsaṃgrahatatparāḥ) R.1.66; Ms.9.142; Y.1.12.

4) The food offered to the Manes personified.

5) Food or oblation in general.

6) One’s own portion or share.

7) A Śrāddha or funeral ceremony; Ms.2.142.

8) Name of Māyā or illusion. ind. An exclamation uttered on offering an oblation to the Manes (with dat.); पितृभ्यः स्वधा (pitṛbhyaḥ svadhā) Sk.


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

Svadhā (स्वधा).—[sva-dhā], I. f. 1. Spontaneity, Chr. 290, 4 = [Rigveda.] i. 64, 4 (they are produced without an external cause). 2. Self-will, strength, Chr. 294, 6 = [Rigveda.] i. 88, 6. 3. A personification of Māya, or worldly illusion. 4. The food offered to deceased ancestors, [Mānavadharmaśāstra] 9, 127. 5. A nymph, the food of the Manes personified. Ii. Indecl. An exclamation or blessing used on presenting an oblation to the Manes, [Mānavadharmaśāstra] 3, 252.

— Cf. [Latin] suetus; [Gothic.] sidus; A. S. sidu, siodo; .

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

Svadhā (स्वधा).—1. [feminine] (one’s own or peculiar) nature or condition (lit. self-position, spontaneity), habit, custom, rule; accustomed place, home; welfare, comfort, pleasure. Instr. sgl. & [plural], svadhāmanu, anu svadhām & svadhā anu willingly, freely, in wonted wise, merrily, wantonly.

— OR —

Svadhā (स्वधा).—2. [feminine] sweet drink, [especially] a libation to the Manes; the exclamation Svadhā (used on presenting or instead of this libation).

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

1) Svadhā (स्वधा):—[=sva-dhā] [from sva] a See p. 1278, col. 1, and sub voce

2) [=sva-dhā] [from sva] b f. (for svadhā See p.1280) self-position, self-power, inherent power ([according to] to some, Name of Nature or the material Universe; sva-dhayā ‘by self-power’), [Ṛg-veda]

3) [v.s. …] own state or condition or nature, habitual state, custom, rule, law, [Ṛg-veda]

4) [v.s. …] ease, comfort, pleasure (anu svadhām, svadhām anu or svadhā anu, svadhayā, or svadhābhiḥ, ‘according to one’s habit or pleasure, spontaneously, willingly, easily, freely, undisturbedly, wantonly, sportively’), [Ṛg-veda; Atharva-veda; Vājasaneyi-saṃhitā; Taittirīya-brāhmaṇa]

5) [v.s. …] own place, home (svadhe [dual number] ‘the two places or homes’, heaven and earth, [Naighaṇṭuka, commented on by Yāska iii, 30]), [ib.]

6) [v.s. …] ‘own portion or share’, the sacrificial offering due to each god, ([especially]) the food or libation, or refreshing drink (cf. 2. su-dhā) offered to the Pitṛs or spirits of deceased ancestors (consisting of clarified butter etc. and often only a remainder of the Havis; also applied to other oblations or libations, and personified as a daughter of Dakṣa and wife of the Pitṛs or of Aṅgiras or of a Rudra or of Agni), [Ṛg-veda] etc. etc.

7) [v.s. …] ind. (with [dative case] or [genitive case]) the exclamation or benediction used on presenting (or as a substitute for) the above oblation or libation to the gods or departed ancestors ([according to] to [Manu-smṛti iii, 252] the highest form of benediction at a Śrāddha; with √kṛ, ‘to pronounce the exclamation or benediction sva-dhā’; svadhāstu, ‘let there be a blessing on it’ cf. [Religious Thought and Life in India104, n. 1]), [Ṛg-veda]; etc.

8) c f. (for sva-dhā See p. 1278, col. 1) an axe, knife, [Taittirīya-saṃhitā]

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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See also (Relevant definitions)

Partial matches: Dha.

Starts with (+22): Svadhabhajin, Svadhabhuj, Svadhadevi, Svadhadhipa, Svadhakara, Svadhama, Svadhamahe, Svadhamantrastotra, Svadhamaya, Svadhamrita, Svadhamritamaya, Svadhana, Svadhaninayana, Svadhaprana, Svadhapriya, Svadharma, Svadharmacarana, Svadharmadhavabodha, Svadharmadhvabodha, Svadharmamritasindhu.

Ends with: Anushvadha, Parashvadha, Parshvadha, Shashvadha, Susvadha, Svasvadha, Vaishvadha, Vishvadha.

Full-text (+55): Svadhakara, Svadhabhuj, Svadhapriya, Dharini, Svadhaninayana, Svadhashana, Susvadha, Svadhavat, Svadhaprana, Svadhabhajin, Svadhamaya, Shashvadha, Mena, Pitri, Shodashamatrika, Anushvadham, Svadhadhipa, Svadhamritamaya, Svasvadha, Vayuna.

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