Adattadana, Adattādāna, Adatta-adana: 7 definitions


Adattadana means something in Buddhism, Pali, Jainism, Prakrit, Hinduism, Sanskrit. If you want to know the exact meaning, history, etymology or English translation of this term then check out the descriptions on this page. Add your comment or reference to a book if you want to contribute to this summary article.

In Buddhism

Mahayana (major branch of Buddhism)

[«previous next»] — Adattadana in Mahayana glossary
Source: Wisdom Library: Maha Prajnaparamita Sastra

Adattādāna (अदत्तादान) refers to “witholding what is not given” or simply “theft”; the abstinence thereof represents one of the three paths classified as kāyakarma-patha” (paths of bodily action) according to the 2nd century Mahāprajñāpāramitāśāstra (chapter XIV).—The paths of bodily action (kāyakarma-patha) are three in number: abstaining (virati) from murder (prāṇātipāta), theft (adattādāna), and wrongful sexual relations (kāmamithyācāra).

According to the 2nd century Mahāprajñāpāramitāśāstra (chapter XXII), “Taking what is not given (adattādāna), knowing that an object belongs to another, forming the intention to steal it, taking the object and leaving the original place, saying: ‘This object belongs to me’: that is theft (steya). Not doing that is abstaining from theft. The rest, viz., stratagems (upāya), plots (nirūpaṇa), up to the fact of laying hands on some land that is not abandoned are auxiliary to theft (steyopakāra)”.

Mahayana book cover
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Mahayana (महायान, mahāyāna) is a major branch of Buddhism focusing on the path of a Bodhisattva (spiritual aspirants/ enlightened beings). Extant literature is vast and primarely composed in the Sanskrit language. There are many sūtras of which some of the earliest are the various Prajñāpāramitā sūtras.

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Tibetan Buddhism (Vajrayana or tantric Buddhism)

Source: Sydney eScholarship Repository: A Study of the Karma Chapter of the Abhidharmakośa Commentaries

Adattādāna (अदत्तादान) (Tibetan: ma byin len pa) refers to “theft”.—Stealing is taking wealth owned by others with the use of force or appropriating it without the knowledge of an owner. dBang pyug rdo rje states two aspects of stealing. Firstly, a thief should have the motivation to steal since taking others’ wealth without the motivation simply does not qualify as wrongdoing (nyes pa). Secondly, taking the property from a wrong owner rather than the intended one would simply incur the wrongdoing of preparatory phase. For these reasons, motivation appears one of the indispensable dimensions to complete an act of stealing. However, the Abhidharmakośabhāṣya defines stealing as following: “To appropriate to oneself, through force or in secret, that which is possessed by another, when one does not confuse the person from whom one wants to steal with another person, constitutes stealing”.

Source: OSU Press: Cakrasamvara Samadhi

Adattādāna (अदत्तादान) or “taking that which is not given” refers to one of the “five precepts” (pañcaśīla), according to Buddhist teachings followed by the Newah in Nepal, Kathmandu Valley (whose roots can be traced to the Licchavi period, 300-879 CE).—The moral conduct (śīla) Buddhists follow are the Pañcaśīla, "Five Precepts", for the laity, Aṣṭaśīla, "Eight Precepts", for nuns and novice monks, and Daśaśīla, "Ten Precepts", for fully ordained monks. The Pañcaśīla consists of abstaining from [e.g., adattādāna, "taking that which is not given", ...]

Tibetan Buddhism book cover
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Tibetan Buddhism includes schools such as Nyingma, Kadampa, Kagyu and Gelug. Their primary canon of literature is divided in two broad categories: The Kangyur, which consists of Buddha’s words, and the Tengyur, which includes commentaries from various sources. Esotericism and tantra techniques (vajrayāna) are collected indepently.

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General definition (in Buddhism)

[«previous next»] — Adattadana in Buddhism glossary
Source: Wisdom Library: Dharma-samgraha

Adattādāna (अदत्तादान) refers to “taking what has not been given” and represents one of the “ten unwholesome things” (kuśala) as defined in the Dharma-saṃgraha (section 56). The Dharma-samgraha (Dharmasangraha) is an extensive glossary of Buddhist technical terms in Sanskrit (e.g., adatta-adāna). The work is attributed to Nagarguna who lived around the 2nd century A.D.

In Jainism

General definition (in Jainism)

[«previous next»] — Adattadana in Jainism glossary
Source: Encyclopedia of Jainism: Tattvartha Sutra 7: The Five Vows

Adattādāna (अदत्तादान, “not commendable”) refers to “taking anything that is not given” according to the 2nd-century Tattvārthasūtra 7.15, “taking anything that is not given (adattādāna) is stealing (steya)”. What is meant by steya? It is synonymous with stealing. What is meant by adatta? Datta means what is given and adatta means what is not given. What is meant by ādāna? It means to accept.

If taking what is not given (adattādāna) is stealing (steya), then accepting body building particles (nokarma) by the empirical soul is also stealing as they are also not given by anyone? Stealing implies where the activity of give and take is possible. In nokarmas, such activity does not occur and so it is not stealing. Does the flaw of accepting what is not given also apply to monks entering a city and its streets and by-lanes? No since the city and its streets and by-lanes are open to all; the flaw of accepting what is not given does not apply to monks entering a city and its streets and by-lanes. Also the monks are free from passionate activities when they do such activity.

General definition book cover
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Jainism is an Indian religion of Dharma whose doctrine revolves around harmlessness (ahimsa) towards every living being. The two major branches (Digambara and Svetambara) of Jainism stimulate self-control (or, shramana, ‘self-reliance’) and spiritual development through a path of peace for the soul to progess to the ultimate goal.

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Languages of India and abroad

Sanskrit dictionary

[«previous next»] — Adattadana in Sanskrit glossary
Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: Monier-Williams Sanskrit-English Dictionary

Adattādāna (अदत्तादान):—[=a-dattādāna] [from a-datta] n. stealing (with Buddhists one of the ten sins), [Dharmasaṃgraha 56].

[Sanskrit to German]

Adattadana in German

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Sanskrit, also spelled संस्कृतम् (saṃskṛtam), is an ancient language of India commonly seen as the grandmother of the Indo-European language family (even English!). Closely allied with Prakrit and Pali, Sanskrit is more exhaustive in both grammar and terms and has the most extensive collection of literature in the world, greatly surpassing its sister-languages Greek and Latin.

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