Ajnana, Ajñāna, Ājñāna: 10 definitions


Ajnana means something in Hinduism, Sanskrit, Jainism, Prakrit, 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

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: 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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In Jainism

General definition (in Jainism)

Source: archive.org: Trisastisalakapurusacaritra Vol-i

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 (eg., 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.

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-English 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: Gv 493.2 kalyāṇamitrājñānaṃ na vilo- mayanti.In LV 3.13 -asaṅgājñāna-, read -asaṅga-jñāna- with best ms. A; so also LV 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.

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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. 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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