Ajnana, Ajñāna, Ājñāna: 29 definitions


Ajnana means something in Buddhism, Pali, Hinduism, Sanskrit, Jainism, Prakrit, Marathi, Hindi. 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.

Alternative spellings of this word include Agyan.

In Hinduism

Dharmashastra (religious law)

Source: Wisdom Library: Dharma-śāstra

Ajñāna (अज्ञान) is a Sanskrit technical term, used in jurisdiction, referring to “ignorance” (imperfect knowledge). It is mentioned as one of the causes for giving false evidence. The word is used throughout Dharmaśāstra literature such as the Manusmṛti. (See the Manubhāṣya 8.121)

Dharmashastra book cover
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Dharmashastra (धर्मशास्त्र, dharmaśāstra) contains the instructions (shastra) regarding religious conduct of livelihood (dharma), ceremonies, jurisprudence (study of law) and more. It is categorized as smriti, an important and authoritative selection of books dealing with the Hindu lifestyle.

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Purana and Itihasa (epic history)

Source: archive.org: Shiva Purana - English Translation

Ajñāna (अज्ञान) refers to “ignorance”, according to the Śivapurāṇa 2.5.5 (“The Tripuras are fascinated).—Accordingly, as Arihan said to the Lord of the Three Cities: “O ruler of the Asuras, listen to my statement, pregnant with wisdom. It is the essence of the Vedānta and bears high esoteric importance. [...] Living beings have heaven and hell here itself and not anywhere else. Happiness is heaven and misery is hell. If the body is cast off in the midst of enjoyment that is the greatest liberation conceived by the philosophers. When pain comes to an end along with its impressions, If ignorance (ajñāna) too dies away, it is conceived as the greatest salvation by the philosophers. [...]”.

Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: The Purana Index

Ajñāna (अज्ञान).—Of tamas quality and the source of all dfficulties; the enemy to knowledge; creates a thirst for desire (rāga). If not got rid of, one attains tiryak-yoni.*

  • * Brahmāṇḍa-purāṇa IV. 3. 41 and 49; 4. 23. Vāyu-purāṇa 102. 62, 69.
Purana book cover
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The Purana (पुराण, purāṇas) refers to Sanskrit literature preserving ancient India’s vast cultural history, including historical legends, religious ceremonies, various arts and sciences. The eighteen mahapuranas total over 400,000 shlokas (metrical couplets) and date to at least several centuries BCE.

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Ayurveda (science of life)

Source: gurumukhi.ru: Ayurveda glossary of terms

Ajñāna (अज्ञान):—Ignorance, Illusion

Ayurveda book cover
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Āyurveda (आयुर्वेद, ayurveda) is a branch of Indian science dealing with medicine, herbalism, taxology, anatomy, surgery, alchemy and related topics. Traditional practice of Āyurveda in ancient India dates back to at least the first millenium BC. Literature is commonly written in Sanskrit using various poetic metres.

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Shaktism (Shakta philosophy)

Source: Google Books: Manthanabhairavatantram

Ajñāna (अज्ञान) refers to “ignorance”, according to the second recension of the Yogakhaṇḍa of the Manthānabhairavatantra, a vast sprawling work that belongs to a corpus of Tantric texts concerned with the worship of the goddess Kubjikā.—Accordingly, as Bhadrakālī said to Śrīkaṇṭha: “[...] O Śambhu! Supreme Lord! Destroyer of the universe [i.e., jagatsaṃhāra-kāraka]! Why are you pained, O Lord? (There is no need for it), the Lord’s accomplishment is complete. There is no other (truly) knowledgeable being apart from you amongst the wise in the triple world. Why do you worship me, delighting (as it were) in the darkness of ignorance [ajñāna-tamas-modita]? That is an unparalleled wonder. Get up and have mercy on me!”.

Source: Brill: Śaivism and the Tantric Traditions (shaktism)

Ajñāna (अज्ञान) refers to “ignorance”, according to Sāhib Kaul’s Śārikāstrotra.—Accordingly, “[...] My devotion to you nourishes me every day, as the rise of the full moon always nourishes the ocean. On account of the true affluence of victorious devotion to you I even ignore the excellent Lakṣmī. The whole world consists of you, Goddess of Gods! Your body is consciousness, you are alone and perfectly established. Nowhere is there ignorance (ajñāna). Thus, where do we see the son of a barren woman run and raise his bow? [...]”.

Shaktism book cover
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Shakta (शाक्त, śākta) or Shaktism (śāktism) represents a tradition of Hinduism where the Goddess (Devi) is revered and worshipped. Shakta literature includes a range of scriptures, including various Agamas and Tantras, although its roots may be traced back to the Vedas.

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Shaivism (Shaiva philosophy)

Source: Brill: Śaivism and the Tantric Traditions

Ajñāna (अज्ञान) refers to “ignorance”, according to the Īśvarapratyabhijñāvivṛtivimarśinī (KSTS vol. 65, 327–331).—Accordingly, “[Utpala teaches that] the ‘distinguishing mark of samāveśa’ is ‘insight,’ since it is opposed to the Impurity that is ignorance (ajñāna-rūpa-mala), being characterized by a perfect, that is to say complete (‘ā samantāt’), entry into one’s true nature, obtaining which one becomes a gnostic, and practicing which, on the levels of body, prāṇa, etc., one becomes a Yogī, due to attaining the glory that is an intrinsic quality of infinite Consciousness.”.

Shaivism book cover
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Shaiva (शैव, śaiva) or Shaivism (śaivism) represents a tradition of Hinduism worshiping Shiva as the supreme being. Closely related to Shaktism, Shaiva literature includes a range of scriptures, including Tantras, while the root of this tradition may be traced back to the ancient Vedas.

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Yoga (school of philosophy)

Source: ORA: Amanaska (king of all yogas): A Critical Edition and Annotated Translation by Jason Birch

Ajñāna (अज्ञान) refers to “ignorance”, according to the the Amanaska Yoga treatise dealing with meditation, absorption, yogic powers and liberation.—Accordingly, as Īśvara says to Vāmadeva: “[...] By astonishing, [magical] feats such as [creating] enmity [among friends], driving off and killing [adversaries] and by [tantric] mantras [of all kinds], [deluded] multiplicity multiplies. By all [yogic] practices, the various Bandhas and Mudrās, nothing but union with ignorance (ajñāna-yoga) [is achieved]. Meditation on points in the body, the channels [of vitality] and the six Cakras is an error of mind. Therefore, having abandoned all that, [because it has been] constructed by the mind, resort to the no-mind [state]. [...]”.

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).

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In Buddhism

Mahayana (major branch of Buddhism)

Source: academia.edu: A Study and Translation of the Gaganagañjaparipṛcchā

Ajñāna (अज्ञान) refers to “ignorance”, according to the Gaganagañjaparipṛcchā: the eighth chapter of the Mahāsaṃnipāta (a collection of Mahāyāna Buddhist Sūtras).—Accordingly, “Then, the Lord went on to speak these verses: ‘[...] (74) By means of skill in meditation (dhyāna) and the supernormal knowledge of magical power (ṛddhi-abhijñā), they go to a great number of millions of Buddha-fields (buddhakṣetra) to make offerings to innumerable Buddhas, with a mind removed from the vice of all ignorance (sarva-ajñāna-kleśa). [...]’”.

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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In Jainism

General definition (in Jainism)

Source: archive.org: Trisastisalakapurusacaritra

Ajnāna (अज्नान, “ignorance”) refers to one of the hardships (parīṣaha), or “series of trials hard to endure” according to the Triṣaṣṭiśalākāpuruṣacaritra 10.1 (Incarnation as Nandana). While practicing penance for a lac of years, Muni Nandana also endured a series of trials hard to endure (e.g., ajnāna). Nandana is the name of a king as well as one of Mahāvīra’s previous births.

Source: Encyclopedia of Jainism: Tattvartha Sutra 2: the Category of the living

Ajñāna (अज्ञान, “ignorance”) refers to a category of dispositions (bhāva) due to the rising of karmas (audayika), according to the 2nd-century Tattvārthasūtra 2.6. What is the meaning of ignorance (ajñāna)? Inability to know /cognize an object is called ignorance.

Source: Encyclopedia of Jainism: Tattvartha Sutra 8: Bondage of karmas

Ajñāna (अज्ञान) refers to “ignorant attitude” and represents one of the five types of “wrong belief derived from teachings” (grahīta), itself representing one of the two types of mithyādarśana (wrong belief) which is one of the five causes of bondage (bandha) according to the 2nd-century Tattvārthasūtra 8.1.—What is ignorant attitude wrong belief (ajñāna)? Not having intellect to differentiate between what is good and what is evil is ignorant attitude wrong belief.

Source: The University of Sydney: A study of the Twelve Reflections

Ajñāna (अज्ञान) refers to “ignorance”, according to the 11th century Jñānārṇava, a treatise on Jain Yoga in roughly 2200 Sanskrit verses composed by Śubhacandra.—Accordingly, “Certainly, for embodied souls whose selves are blinded by the irresistible spreading of ignorance and passion [com.ajñān-arāga—‘ignorance and passion’], pains are to be endured for a very long time in hell, etc.”.

Synonyms: Avidyā, Vibhrama, Tamas.

Source: academia.edu: Tessitori Collection I

Ajñāna (अज्ञान, “ignorance”) refers to one of the “thirteen difficulties”, according to the “Teraha kāṭhīyā-svādhyāya” by Jinaharṣa (dealing with the Ethics section of Jain Canonical literature), which is included in the collection of manuscripts at the ‘Vincenzo Joppi’ library, collected by Luigi Pio Tessitori during his visit to Rajasthan between 1914 and 1919.—The exposition of the ‘thirteen difficulties’ against which one should fight as they are hindrances to proper religious practice is a widespread topic in Jain literature in Gujarati. They are either listed in brief compositions or described with several verses for each of the components. The list of terms is always the same, with a few variations in designations: [e.g., ignorance (ajñāna), ...].—See ch. Krause 1999, p. 277 for the list as found in a Ratnasañcaya-granth stanza 118.

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

Marathi-English dictionary

Source: DDSA: The Molesworth Marathi and English Dictionary

ajñāna (अज्ञान).—n (S) Want of knowledge, ignorance. 2 Spiritual ignorance; worldly illusion; admission as real of the material world. 3 Want or absence of understanding or intelligence. Ex. pāṣāṇādi jaḍa- padārthī a0 rāhatēṃ. 4 Stupidity.

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ajñāna (अज्ञान).—a (S) Unlearned or ignorant: also stupid or dull.

Source: DDSA: The Aryabhusan school dictionary, Marathi-English

ajñāna (अज्ञान).—n Ignorance. Worldly illusion. a Unlearned. Dull. A minor.

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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.

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Sanskrit dictionary

Source: DDSA: The practical Sanskrit-English dictionary

Ajñāna (अज्ञान).—a. [na. ba.] Ignorant, unwise.

-nam [na. ta.] Ignorance, unconsciousness; especially, spirtual ignorance (avidyā) which makes one consider his self as distinct from the Supreme spirit and the material world as a reality. According to the Vedāntins, अज्ञान (ajñāna) is not merely a negative principle; (jñānasya abhāvaḥ), but a distinct positive principle; oft. identified with माया, प्रकृति (māyā, prakṛti) &c. See अविद्या (avidyā) aiso In compounds अज्ञान (ajñāna) may be translated by 'unawares,' 'inadvertently', 'unconsciously'; °आचरित, °उच्चारित (ācarita, °uccārita) &c.; °नतः, -°नेन, °नात् (nataḥ, -°nena, °nāt) unawares, inadvertently, unconsciously, unwillingly °तः स्वचरितं नृपतिः शशंस (taḥ svacaritaṃ nṛpatiḥ śaśaṃsa) R.9.77. committed unintentionally or unconsciously.

-parīkṣā See अज्ञातवस्तुशास्त्र (ajñātavastuśāstra).

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Ājñāna (आज्ञान).—The act of observing, perceiving (ājñānaṃ = ājñaptiḥ īśvarabhāvaḥ Śaṅkara.).

Derivable forms: ājñānam (आज्ञानम्).

Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: Edgerton Buddhist Hybrid Sanskrit Dictionary

Ājñāna (आज्ञान).—(nt.; neither Sanskrit id. nor Pali aññāṇa is recorded in this sense), authority, substantially = Sanskrit ājñā, Pali āṇā: Gaṇḍavyūha 493.2 kalyāṇamitrājñānaṃ na vilo- mayanti.In Lalitavistara 3.13 -asaṅgājñāna-, read -asaṅga-jñāna- with best ms. A; so also Lalitavistara 4.6; see Pūrvabuddhānu- smṛty-asa°.

Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: Shabda-Sagara Sanskrit-English Dictionary

Ajñāna (अज्ञान).—n.

(-naṃ) 1. Ignorance. 2. Spiritual ignorance, worldly illusion or belief in external appearances. mfn.

(-naḥ-nā-naṃ) Ignorant, unwise. E. a neg. and jñāna knowledge.

Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: Benfey Sanskrit-English Dictionary

Ajñāna (अज्ञान).—I. n. 1. ignorance, [Pañcatantra] ii. [distich] 34. 2. inadvertence, [Mānavadharmaśāstra] 11, 145. Abl. ºnāt, without one’s knowledge, [Mānavadharmaśāstra] 8, 243. Ii. adj., f. , ignorant. Ātmajnāna, i. e.

Ajñāna is a Sanskrit compound consisting of the terms a and jñāna (ज्ञान).

Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: Cappeller Sanskrit-English Dictionary

Ajñāna (अज्ञान).—[adjective] ignorant. [neuter] ignorance; ajñānanāt & ajñānanatas unknowingly, unawares.

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Ājñāna (आज्ञान).—[neuter] perceiving, understanding.

Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: Monier-Williams Sanskrit-English Dictionary

1) Ajñāna (अज्ञान):—[=a-jñāna] [from a-jña] n. non-cognizance

2) [v.s. ...] ignorance, (in philosophy) spiritual ignorance (or a power which, consisting of the three Guṇas sattva, rajas, and tamas, and preventing the soul from realizing its identity with Brahma, causes self to appear a distinct personality, and matter to appear a reality)

3) [v.s. ...] Prakṛti, Māyā, Illusion

4) [v.s. ...] mfn. ignorant, unwise

5) Ājñāna (आज्ञान):—[=ā-jñāna] [from ā-jñā] n. noticing, perceiving, [Aitareya-upaniṣad]

Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: Goldstücker Sanskrit-English Dictionary

Ajñāna (अज्ञान):—I. [tatpurusha compound] n.

(-nam) 1) Ignorance.

2) Spiritual ignorance, worldly illusion or belief in external appearances. Ii. [bahuvrihi compound] m. f. n.

(-naḥ-nā-nam) Ignorant, unwise. E. a neg. and jñāna.

Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: Yates Sanskrit-English Dictionary

Ajñāna (अज्ञान):—(naṃ) 1. n. Ignorance; or ajñatva. a. (naḥ-nā-naṃ) ignorant.

Source: DDSA: Paia-sadda-mahannavo; a comprehensive Prakrit Hindi dictionary (S)

Ajñāna (अज्ञान) in the Sanskrit language is related to the Prakrit words: Ajāṇa, Ajāṇaṇā, Aṇṇāṇa, Amuṇiya, Ayāṇa.

[Sanskrit to German]

Ajnana 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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Hindi dictionary

Source: DDSA: A practical Hindi-English dictionary

Ajñāna (अज्ञान) [Also spelled agyan]:—(nm) ignorance, paucity of knowledge; hence~[natā] (nf); ~[] ignorant, unwise; an ignoramus.

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Kannada-English dictionary

Source: Alar: Kannada-English corpus

Ajñāna (ಅಜ್ಞಾನ):—

1) [noun] want of knowledge; ignorance.

2) [noun] carelessness; inattentiveness.

3) [noun] absence of spiritual knowledge.

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Kannada is a Dravidian language (as opposed to the Indo-European language family) mainly spoken in the southwestern region of India.

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