Akara, aka: Ākara, Ākāra, Akāra; 6 Definition(s)

Introduction

Akara 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

Purāṇa

1) Akāra (अकार).—Its significance in oṃ;1 the source of 63 varṇas;2 the primordial svara and its place in creation.3

  • 1) Vāyu-purāṇa 20. 8ff.
  • 2) Vāyu-purāṇa 26. 28.
  • 3) Vāyu-purāṇa 26. 29ff.

2) Ākāra (आकार).—The second face of the fourteen faced Deva, Manu Svārociṣa born in white colour.*

  • * Vāyu-purāṇa 26. 33.
(Source): Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: The Purana Index
Purāṇa book cover
context information

The Purāṇas (पुराण, purana) refers to Sanskrit literature preserving ancient India’s vast cultural history, including historical legends, religious ceremonies, various arts and sciences. The eighteen mahāpurāṇas total over 400,000 ślokas (metrical couplets) and date to at least several centuries BCE.

In Buddhism

Pali

ākara : (m.) a mine; place of production. || ākāra (m.), manner; condition; state; appearance.

(Source): BuddhaSasana: Concise Pali-English Dictionary

Ākara, (cp. Sk. ākara) a mine, usually in cpd. ratan-ākara a mine of jewels Th.1, 1049; J.II, 414; VI, 459; Dpvs.I, 18. — Cp. also Miln.356; VvA.13. (Page 93)

— or —

Ākāra, (a + karoti, kṛ) “the (way of) making”, i. e. (1) state, condition J.I, 237 (avasan° condition of inhabitability); II, 154 (patan° state of falling, labile equilibrium), cp. paṇṇ°. — (2) property, quality, attribute D.I, 76 (anāvila sabb°-sampanna endowed with all good qualities, of a jewel); II, 157 (°varûpeta); J.II, 352 (sabb° paripuṇṇa altogether perfect in qualities). — (3) sign, appearance, form, D.I, 175; J.I, 266 (chātak° sign of hunger); Miln.24 (°ena by the sign of . .); VvA.27 (therassa ā. form of the Th.); PvA.90, 283 (rañño ā. the king’s person); Sdhp.363. — (4) way, mode, manner, sa-ākāra in all their modes D.I, 13 = 82 = III, 111; J.I, 266 (āgaman° the mode of his coming). Esp. in Instr. sg. & pl. with num. or pron. (in this way, in two ways etc.): chah’ākārehi in a sixfold manner Nd2 680 (cp. kāraṇehi in same sense); Nett 73, 74 (dvādasah’ākārehi); Vism.613 (navah’ākārehi indriyāni tikkhāni bhavanti); PvA.64 (yen’ākārena āgato ten’ākārena gato as he came so he went), 99 (id.). ‹-› (5) reason, ground, account D.I, 138, 139; Nett 4, 8 sq., 38; DhA.I, 14; KhA 100 (in expln. of evaṃ). In this meaning freq. with dass (dasseti, dassana, nidassana etc.) in commentary style “what is meant by”, the (statement of) reason why or of, notion, idea PvA.26 (dātabb°dassana), 27 (thoman°-dassana), 75 (kāruññ °ṃ dassesi), 121 (pucchan°-nidassanaṃ what has been asked); SnA 135 (°nidassana).

—parivitakka study of conditions, careful consideration, examination of reasons S.II, 115; IV, 138; A.II, 191 = Nd2 151. (Page 93)

(Source): Sutta: The Pali Text Society's Pali-English Dictionary
Pali book cover
context information

Pali is the language of the Tipiṭaka, which is the sacred canon of Theravāda Buddhism and contains much of the Buddha’s speech. Closeley related to Sanskrit, both languages are used interchangeably between religions.

General definition (in Buddhism)

The term ākāra literally means shape or form, with a secondary meaning of appearance, aspect, or image. Classical Indian philosophers, Buddhist and non-Buddhist, have long debated the status and role of ākāra in cognition and in consciousness more generally, with major questions including whether the forms in awareness are intrinsic to cognition and whether such forms can be taken as evidence of an external world.

Birgit Kellner’s contribution to this issue thus brings us back to some of the earliest technical uses of the term ākāra in Indian Buddhist Abhidharma and Yogācāra treatises, showing how those usages should not too quickly be conflated with later uses in the logico-epistemological or pramāṇa tradition stemming from Dignāga (ca. 480–540 CE) and elaborated by Dharmakīrti (between mid-sixth and mid-seventh century CE). In particular, she points to another meaning of the term ākāra found in Vasubandhu’s Abhidharmakośabhāṣya (ca. second half of fourth century CE) in which the word indicates “a mode of mental functioning” such that all mental events (citta) and their associates (caitta) can be said to have their own distinct manner of operating.

The term ākāra plays an important role also in discussions of the path to liberation, as indicated in the well-known rubric of the sixteen aspects (ākāra) of the four noble truths. Although Kellner concludes ultimately that this usage can be seen as a sub-species of the mode-ākāra she has already delineated from the object-ākāra prevalent in Buddhist epistemological use, her search for an “umbrella concept” that would unite these various usages leaves her unsatisfied.

Variations in the meaning and usage of the term ākāra in Buddhist texts is just one of the complicating factors in any thematic study of ākāra across time. Disagreements have most characteristically revolved around the question whether the ākāra of a cognized object—its “form,” its particular way of presenting itself–may be said to “belong” to the external world or more properly to cognition alone. The question seems to have been explicitly raised first in Śabara’s Bhāṣya on the Mīmāṃsāsūtras in the late fifth century, and it continued to occupy thinkers for centuries.

(Source): Springer: ākāra in Buddhist Philosophical and Soteriological Analysis

Languages of India and abroad

Marathi-English dictionary

akarā (अकरा).—a Eleven.

--- OR ---

ākara (आकर).—m A quarry, mine.

--- OR ---

ākāra (आकार).—m Form. A rough estimate. The Jamabandi settlement. An idea. Ap- pearance. ākārāsa yēṇēṃ Be assuming some definite shape. ākārē raṅgatī cēṣṭā Face is the mirror of man's mind.

(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.

Relevant definitions

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