mantra मन्त्र

Definition: name given to the Samhitā portion of the Veda works especially of the Ṛgveda and the Yajurveda as different from the Brāhmaṇa, Āraṇyaka and other portions of the two Vedas as also from the other Vedas; cf. मन्त्रशब्द ऋक्शब्दे च यजु:शब्दे च; M. Bh. on P.I. 1.68 Vārt. 4. The word मन्त्र occurs several times in the rules of Pāṇini (cf. P. II. 4. 80, III.2.71, III.3.96, VI. 1. 151, VI.1.210, VI.3.131, VI.4.53, VI. 4.141) and a few times in the Vārttikas. (cf. I. 1. 68 Vārt. 4, IV.3.66 Vārt. 5 and VI. 4. 141 Vārt. 1). It is, however, doubtful whether the word was used in the limited sense by Pāṇini and Kātyāyana. Later on, the word came to mean any sacred text or even any mystic formula, which was looked upon as sacred. Still later on, the word came to mean a secret counsel. For details see Goldstūcker's Pāṇini p. 69, Thieme's 'Pāṇini and the Veda ' p. 38.

Dictionary: Abhyankar
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