Parabrahma, Paramatma, ParaShiva, Parampitha, Paraparam

When we insert Para before a word it becomes great. So what is meaning of Para as per our scriptures?

  • It does not require scriptures to answer ur query we just need a dictionary.. Para means Supreme, Beyond etc.. – Rickross Aug 19 at 6:38
  • Am not a scholar. Am a learner! – Akshay Kumar S Aug 19 at 7:14
  • 5
    you answered your own question in your question.......... – Swami Vishwananda Aug 19 at 9:04
  • @SwamiVishwananda great? – Akshay Kumar S Aug 19 at 9:27
up vote 3 down vote accepted

Your enquiry is about the meaning of word Para discussed in Hinduism scriptures. The word "Para" is a sanskrit word which means "supreme , "highest or absolute. This word is generally used to describe the Supreme/Absolute Reality or Brahman . like " Para-Brahman"

Apart from that the word para is interpreted in hinduism scriptures according to context. Just for example see below mantra .Mundaka upanishad uses two words one is Para and another is Apara to mention two kinds of knowledge. The meaning of the word para given here in translation by Adi-Shankaracharya is that by which the immortal is known. So the word Para is used here in order to denote Changeless Reality , highest reality i.e. supreme . Also the meaning of the word is infinite ,beyond ,boundless , "highest point" or "paramount object etc.

द्वे विद्ये वेदितव्ये इति ह् स्म यद्ब्रह्मविदो वदन्ति परा चैवापरा च | 4 तत्रापरा ऋग्वेदो यजुर्वेदः सामवेदोऽथर्ववेदः शिक्षा कल्पो व्याकरणं निरुक्तं छन्दो ज्योतिषमिति | अथ परा यया तदक्षरमधिग्म्यते | | Khanda 1 - Mundaka 1-Mantra 4-5 ||

Of these, the Apara is the Rig Veda, the Yajur Veda, the Sama Veda, and the Atharva Veda, the siksha, the code of rituals, grammar, nirukta, chhandas and astrology. Then the para is that by which the immortal is known.


In Vishnu-Purana -Book1 - Chapter 15 - Verse 55 the other menings of word para are also given.

पारं परंविष्णुपारापार: पर : परेभ्य परमार्थ रूपी|
स ब्रह्मपार: परपारभूत : पर: पराणापि पारपार || Vishnu Purana 1.15.55||

Vishnu is beyond boundary of all the things ; he is the infinite ; he is beyond that which is boundless ; he is above all that is above ; he exist in finite truth.

Also see this footnote of Vishnu Purana.


Here Katha upanishad Verse 1.3.10 is defining the word Para as beyond.

इन्द्रियेभ्यः परा ह्यर्था अर्थेभ्यश्च परं मनः ।
मनसस्तु परा बुद्धिर्बुद्धेरात्मा महान्परः ॥ 1.3.10 ॥

indriyebhyaḥ parā hyarthā arthebhyaśca paraṃ manaḥ |
manasastu parā buddhirbuddherātmā mahānparaḥ || 10 ||

Beyond the senses, are the rudiments of its objects; beyond these rudiments is the mind; beyond the mind is âtman known as Mahat (great).


  • I think the second reference (Vishnupuranam) is not the right parA. The question is on the upasarga while the parANApi is from parAn, the second vibhakti plural of param. – user1952500 Aug 20 at 5:38
  • Sorry I was confused. Actually the second is correct w.r.t. the question but the parA and param are two different words. Parabrahma will not use the parA upasarga. – user1952500 Aug 20 at 5:39
  • 1
    Oh it's ok. i am really sorry for late reply but i forgot. Anyway yes you are right "Param" and "Para" are two different words grammatically but generally thety aro considered to be conveying same thing.But word Para has lot's of other meanings also which are not covered. But the word ”परं , परम ", is more used in conjunction with words like ब्रह्म , सुख , आनंद , परा , आत्मा etc. – SwiftPushkar Aug 21 at 18:28

There are many meanings for the word para as listed here but the appropriate meaning in this context would be

Example,

Para Shakti: She is an embodiment of the goddesses Devi/Parvati/Durga. Her name means "Supreme Being."

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