A paṇḍit or pundit (Devanagari: पण्डित) is a scholar, a teacher, particularly one skilled in Sanskrit and Hindu law, religion, music or philosophy.


In the original usage of the word, 'Pandit' refers to a Hindu, almost always a Brahmin, who has memorized a substantial portion of the "Vedas", along with the corresponding rhythms and melodies for chanting or singing them.In some regions of Bihar(India) the people who make things out of clay are also called "Pandit". In hindi they are called "Kumhar".

Pundits or pujaris are hired to chant Vedic verses at yagyas and other events, both public and private. The chanting is meant to be listened to with a quiet mind for the purpose of spiritual development for the listener as well as enlivening of the atmosphere at an event. Most pundits are vegetarians for spiritual reasons. They are supposed to maintain purity of body and mind.


In India today, 'Pandit' is an honorific conferred on an expert of any subject or field, especially Indian classical music. Its usage is confined to Hindu male exponents. Muslim male musicians are bestowed with the title 'Ustad', and the terms 'Vidushi' and 'Begum' are used for Hindu and Muslim female exponents respectively.

The term 'Pandit' (always capitalised) is prefixed to the person's name, similarly to the way the term 'Maestro' is used occasionally. Examples include Pandit Ravi Shankar, Pandit D. V. Paluskar, Pandit Bhimsen Joshi, Pandit Jasraj, and Pandit Mallikarjun Mansur.

Other uses

Pandits, or locals learned in the dharmasastra, were also employed as court advisors during the 18th and 19th Centuries. Initially, British judges had very little knowledge of Hindu customs and oral traditions, and they could seek information from them on particular questions. The Supreme Court of India had a law officer styled the Pundit of the Supreme Court, who advised the English judges on points of Hindu law. The practice was abandoned by 1864, as judges had acquired some experience in dealing with Hindu law, and applied the increasing volume of case law that had developed. Further, the institution of the High Courts, two years earlier, in 1862 further diminished their official use.

ee also

*Kashmiri Pandit
*Epic Age


[ Vedic Pandits & Yagya]

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Look at other dictionaries:

  • PANDIT — PANDI Pour désigner ceux qui sont experts en sciences traditionnelles: rituel védique, beaux arts, philosophie, etc., le sanskrit utilise volontiers le terme de pandita (c’est à dire lettré, homme cultivé) dont nous avons fait «pandit», en… …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • pandit — PANDÍT, pandiţi, s.m. Titlu dat savanţilor, învăţaţilor etc. brahmani din India. Pandit Nehru. – Din fr. pandit. Trimis de valeriu, 03.02.2004. Sursa: DEX 98  pandít s. m., pl. pandíţi Trimis de siveco, 10.08.2004. Sursa: Dicţionar ortografic … …   Dicționar Român

  • pândit — PÂNDÍT s.n. Faptul de a pândi; pândă. – v. pândi. Trimis de valeriu, 13.09.2007. Sursa: DEX 98  PÂNDÍT s. v. pândă. Trimis de siveco, 13.09.2007. Sursa: Sinonime  pândít s. n. Trimis de siveco, 10.08.2004. Sursa: Dicţionar ortografic …   Dicționar Român

  • Pandit — (du sanskrit « pandita » qui signifie « lettré ») est un titre honorifique accordé en Inde aux érudits et aux maîtres de la musique classique indienne hindous. Voir aussi Articles connexes Gurû Sri …   Wikipédia en Français

  • pandit — pàndit m DEFINICIJA naziv za učene ljude u Indiji; znanstvenik, učenjak ETIMOLOGIJA engl. pandit ≃ hind. ← skr. paṇḍita …   Hrvatski jezični portal

  • Pandit — Pan dit, n. Same as {Pundit}. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Pandit — Pandit, in engl. Schreibung Pundit, d.i. Gelehrter, Titel ind. Gelehrter, unserm Doktortitel entsprechend …   Kleines Konversations-Lexikon

  • pandit — (del hindi) m. En la India, brahmán erudito. Se usa como título honorífico. * * * ► masculino RELIGIÓN Título honorífico hindú que significa doctor y se aplica a los brahmanes …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • pandit — [pun′dit] n. [var. of PUNDIT] 1. in India, a Brahman who is learned in Sanskrit and in Hindu philosophy, law, and religion 2. [P ] a title of respect for such a person: used before the name …   English World dictionary

  • pandit — Pundit Pun dit, n. [Hind. pandit, Skr. pandita a learned man.] A learned man; a teacher; esp., a Brahman versed in the Sanskrit language, and in the science, laws, and religion of the Hindoos; in Cashmere, any clerk or native official. [Written… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

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