Definition of sutra in English:


(also sutta)


  • 1A rule or aphorism in Sanskrit literature, or a set of these on grammar or Hindu law or philosophy.

    • ‘Shukla says that no existing appendix of the Atharva Veda contains the sixteen sutras, and when asked to produce them, Bharati Krishna was unable to.’
    • ‘The book, which gives the yoga sutras in Sanskrit followed by a translation and commentary by TKV Desikachar, renowned yoga teacher, was released by actress Amala.’
    • ‘All Vedantic expositions are commentaries by various Acharyas on the Vedanta sutras.’
    • ‘Brahman that is the source of everything as mentioned in the Vedanta sutras is not jiva is very clear from Lord Siva's prayer.’
    • ‘The third chapter of the Yoga sutras describe the following minor siddhis.’
    • ‘Al-Biruni wrote a note on Patanjali's Yoga sutra, Bhagavad-Gita and Sankhyakarika.’
    • ‘Vedas, shastras and sutras alike decry the killing and eating of animals’
    • ‘Clearly illustrated in Patanjali's yoga sutras, which states in the eight limbs that before meditation can begin one must possess concentration (Dharana).’
    • ‘In the yoga sutra of Patanjali, as long as the soul is attached to sense enjoyment, it is called pratyag-atma.’
    • ‘Shankara's commentary on the Vedanta sutra is thought of more highly than the original sutra written by Badarayana.’
    • ‘The book consists of 195 sutras (Sutra is a Sanskrit word meaning precise maxim) and is divided into four sections.’
    • ‘Yadavacharya explained that according to Shankara the sutra says the two eyes of Pundarika are like two lotuses which are red like the nates of a monkey.’
    • ‘The bases of Vedic mathematics are the 16 sutras which attribute a set of qualities to a number or a group of numbers.’
    • ‘A sutra is a code that expresses the essence of all knowledge in a minimum of words.’
    • ‘It is a philosophy informed by alchemy, hermetica, kabbalah, mythology, gnosticism, taoism, the yoga sutras, I-ching, and many other world systems.’
    • ‘Mr. Haridas says that there are 12 sutras in the Vedas and the method was first propounded by Swamy Brathi Krishna Theertha.’
    • ‘Traditionally, Vedic mathematics was taught through sutras.’
    • ‘Somananda was the disciple of Vasugupta who as per a different version received the sutras, as these exist today, directly from Lord Shiva in his dream.’
    • ‘According to tradition, recorded by Kshemaraja, the sutras were found, by the sage Yasugupta inscribed on a rock at the foot of Mahadeva mountain, about 12 miles from Srinagar.’
    • ‘The system of ethics and disciplines found within Patanjali's yoga sutras includes tapas, which means fire and refers to the passionate commitment to practice.’
  • 2A Buddhist or Jainist scripture.

    • ‘The scriptures followed by the trainees are the Mahayana sutras, taught by the Buddha and other Buddhist masters.’
    • ‘As the new sutras multiplied, Buddhist teachers began to compose commentaries and treatises setting forth the philosophical basis of Mahayana beliefs.’
    • ‘The monks also study various subjects of Buddhist sutra and tantra of both the Ancient and New traditions.’
    • ‘Now, as knowledge, the Buddha taught many sutras and many tantras, and they are all words - words of advice given by the Buddha, the enlightened one who reached that level.’
    • ‘Dislocation also occurred when Buddhist sutras and commentaries were cut up, dispersed, and sometimes reformatted in calligraphy model books (tekagami).’
    • ‘Although the nine stages are treated in many Buddhist sutras, no other pictorial examples illustrating the complete sequence of the decaying corpse have survived in other Asian countries.’
    • ‘They hold a ceremony called ‘pot-reciting’ with Buddhist sutras, singing and dancing, receiving the departed spirits and sending away the solitary ghosts.’
    • ‘Among the 440 cable radio stations available to condo owners in one section of Osaka are those broadcasting traditional street vendor cries, buzzing cicadas and Buddhist sutras.’
    • ‘As it was frequently mentioned in Buddhist sutras, the practice of contemplating on a decaying corpse was adopted widely by monks regardless of their sectarian affiliations.’
    • ‘Other earlier Buddhist sutras mention that the contemplation on a corpse is effective for curbing sensual desires, but they make no reference to the gender or appearance of the corpse.’
    • ‘The correspondence is compelling in light of the fact that the companion Buddhist sutras offer no information about the landscape of this bleak scene.’
    • ‘Both versions of the text were sold in front of the Chion'in, a temple in Kyoto, at a bookstore that specialized in Buddhist sutras and commentaries.’
    • ‘A Taoist religious ceremony was held at the crash site as monks chanted Buddhist sutras to summon the spirits of the victims.’
    • ‘He thought of death, and he thought of his mother, and he started to pray, chanting Buddhist sutras.’
    • ‘It's documented in the ancient Hindu epics, the Buddhist sutras, the Bible, and the Koran.’
    • ‘The sutras are the teachings, mostly given by the Buddha, in answer to questions or as direction to the community.’
    • ‘Shakyamuni taught the sutras to ordinary disciples, in the form of a Buddha.’
    • ‘Hearing the bell, clappers, gong, announcement of the sutras, thinking about when to end or when to strike the big gong-you may think that all this is exotic Zen.’
    • ‘According to the sutra system, this indivisibility of method and wisdom refers to wisdom affected by method and method affected by wisdom.’
    • ‘Each morning in the sutra hall he would respond vigorously to the drum and gong accompanying the recitation of the Heart Sutra.’


From Sanskrit sūtra ‘thread, rule’, from siv ‘sew’.