Adhyatma, aka: Adhyātma; 8 Definition(s)

Introduction

Adhyatma means something in Buddhism, Pali, Hinduism, Sanskrit, Marathi. 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 Hinduism

Natyashastra (theatrics and dramaturgy)

Adhyātma (अध्यात्म) refers to the “personal experience” (the intuitive knowledge of the self). It is one of the three means of valid knowledge (pramāṇa). According to the Nāṭyaśāstra 25.120-121, “Drama (nāṭya) composed of veda and adhyātma is couched in words and metres, is testified by loka (actual life)”.

(Source): Wisdom Library: Nāṭya-śāstra

Adhyātma (अध्यात्म).—In music, the identification of the three registers of musical sound, i.e. adhibhūta with adhyātma, viewed in the locations in the human body are so strong that the Nāṭya-śāstra equates the two and mentions only the adhyātma aspect while describing the three sthānas of music, subsuming the adhibhūta. Adhibhūta and adhyātma are intertwined in the sense that the process of sound-production is described with exclusive reference to the human body, mind and ātman.

(Source): Google Books: Kalātattvakośa (nāṭya-śāstra)
Natyashastra book cover
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Natyashastra (नाट्यशास्त्र, nāṭyaśāstra) refers to both the ancient Indian tradition (śāstra) of performing arts, (nāṭya, e.g., theatrics, drama, dance, music), as well as the name of a Sanskrit work dealing with these subjects. It also teaches the rules for composing dramatic plays (nataka) and poetic works (kavya).

Yoga (school of philosophy)

Adhyātma (अध्यात्म) refers to “that which pertains to the body”. The Subālopaniṣad (fifth section) draws correspondences between that which pertains to the body (adhyātma), the elements (adhibhūta) and their presiding deities (adhidaivata).

(Source): Wisdom Library: Yoga
Yoga book cover
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Yoga is originally considered a branch of Hindu philosophy (astika), but both ancient and modern Yoga combine the physical, mental and spiritual. Yoga teaches various physical techniques also known as āsanas (postures), used for various purposes (eg., meditation, contemplation, relaxation).

Kosha (encyclopedic lexicons)

Adhyātma (अध्यात्म).—The three terms, viz. adhibhūta, adhidaiva and adhyātma—are known today as a triad but they have also been used singly or in pairs, viz. adhibhūta-adhyātma, adhibhūta-adhidaiva, adhidaiva-adhyātma, their order being insignificant. Basically, the three stand for the outer or tangible (adhibhūta), the intangible described as divine (adhidaiva) and the one pertaining to the ‘self’ identified with the body, mindm, ātman, etc. (adhyātma). This triad has very deep roots in Indian though reflected in Vedic and later literature.

Adhyātma has been identified here with svabhāva which is explained by Abhinavagupta in his commentary as caitanyabhāva that is never dissociated from self. The most common meaning of the term adhyātma is ‘belonging to self’, or ‘one’s corporeal body’, ‘concerning an individual’. The term ātman is of crucial significance in Indian thought. Basically it denotes the essence of anything that is all-pervading. The etymology of the word ātman is uncertain. It is variously derived from the roots an-‘to breath’ (cf. prāṇa), at-‘to move’, or -‘to blow’. With adhi, it forms a neuter indeclinable compound adhyātman.

(Source): Google Books: Kalātattvakośa, volume 3
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Kosha (कोश, kośa) refers to Sanskrit lexicons intended to provide additional information regarding technical terms used in religion, philosophy and the various sciences (shastra). The oldest extant thesaurus (kosha) dates to the 4th century AD.

In Buddhism

General definition (in Buddhism)

Adhyātma (अध्यात्म) or adhyātmaśūnyatā refers to “internal emptiness” one of the “twenty emptinesses” (śūnyatā) as defined in the Dharma-saṃgraha (section 41). The Dharma-samgraha (Dharmasangraha) is an extensive glossary of Buddhist technical terms in Sanskrit (eg., adhyātma). The work is attributed to Nagarjuna who lived around the 2nd century A.D.

(Source): Wisdom Library: Dharma-samgraha

Languages of India and abroad

Marathi-English dictionary

adhyātma (अध्यात्म).—n S The sense, faculty, or power which apprehends, takes cognizance of, receives impressions from an adhibhūta or entity. See adhidēvata. 2 Dissertation or discourse on the Deity as the mundane soul or pervading and ruling spirit. Ex. āja purāṇānta kathā navhatī a0 ca nighālēṃ or gōsāvyānēṃ kathā phāra lāvalī nāhīṃ a0 ca lāvalēṃ hōtēṃ.

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adhyātmā (अध्यात्मा).—m S The soul; the spirit as individuate or distinct from the Supreme essence, and as presiding over the body. 2 Knowledge of self, or of spirit, or of the Deity.

(Source): DDSA: The Molesworth Marathi and English Dictionary

adhyātma (अध्यात्म).—n The supreme spirit mani- fested as the individual self.

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adhyātmā (अध्यात्मा).—m The soul; knowledge of self.

(Source): DDSA: The Aryabhusan school dictionary, Marathi-English
context information

Marathi is an Indo-European language having over 70 million native speakers people in (predominantly) Maharashtra India. Marathi, like many other Indo-Aryan languages, evolved from early forms of Prakrit, which itself is a subset of Sanskrit, one of the most ancient languages of the world.

Sanskrit-English dictionary

Adhyātma (अध्यात्म).—a. [ātmana. saṃbaddhaṃ, ātmani adhikṛtaṃ vā] Belonging to self or person; concerning an individual.

-tmam ind. [ātmānamadhikṛtya] Concerning self.

-tmam The supreme spirit (manifested as the individual self) or the relation between the supreme and the individual soul; अक्षरं ब्रह्म परमं स्वभावोऽध्यात्ममुच्यते (akṣaraṃ brahma paramaṃ svabhāvo'dhyātmamucyate) Bg.8.3 (svasyaiva brahmaṇa evāṃśatayā jīvasvarūpeṇa bhāvo bhavanaṃ sa eva ātmānaṃ dehamadhikṛtya bhoktṛ- tvena vartamāno'dhyātmaśabdenocyate Śrīdhara) 'Brahman is the supreme, the indestructible; its manifestation (as an individual self) is अध्यात्म (adhyātma)' -Telang's Bhagavadgītā;

-tman 1 Egotism; कर्माण्यध्यात्मना रुद्रे यदहं ममता क्रिया (karmāṇyadhyātmanā rudre yadahaṃ mamatā kriyā) Bhāg. 7.12.29.

2) Wind; स्पर्शमध्यात्मनि त्वचम् (sparśamadhyātmani tvacam) Bhāg.7.12.27. °चेतसा (cetasā) Bg.3.3.

(Source): DDSA: The practical Sanskrit-English dictionary
context information

Sanskrit, also spelled संस्कृतम् (saṃskṛtam), is an ancient language of India commonly seen as the grandmother of the Indo-European language family. 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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