A pandit (IAST: paṇḍita), also spelled pundit (both pronounced //; Sanskrit: पण्डित) is a scholar or a teacher of any field of knowledge in Hinduism, particularly the Vedic scriptures, dharma, Hindu philosophy, or secular subjects such as music. He may be a Guru in a Gurukul.
In Sanskrit, states Monier Williams, Pandit generally refers to any "wise, educated or learned man" with specialized knowledge. The term is derived from paṇḍ (पण्ड्) which means "to collect, heap, pile up", and this root is used in the sense of knowledge. The term is found in Vedic and post-Vedic texts, but without any sociological context. In the colonial era literature, the term generally refers to Brahmins specialized in Hindu law.
The related term Purohit refers to a house priest.
- "pandit". Random House Webster's Unabridged Dictionary.
- Lise McKean (1996). Divine Enterprise: Gurus and the Hindu Nationalist Movement. University of Chicago Press. pp. 13–14. ISBN 978-0-226-56009-0.
- Axel Michaels; Barbara Harshav (2004). Hinduism: Past and Present. Princeton University Press. p. 190. ISBN 0-691-08952-3.
- Monier Monier-Williams (1872). A Sanskrit-English Dictionary. Oxford University Press. p. 527.
- Monier Monier-Williams (1872). A Sanskrit-English Dictionary. Oxford University Press. pp. 526–527.
- Timothy Lubin; Donald R. Davis Jr; Jayanth K. Krishnan (2010). Hinduism and Law: An Introduction. Cambridge University Press. p. 8. ISBN 978-1-139-49358-1.
- This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "article name needed". Encyclopædia Britannica (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press.