Anantakaya, Ananta-kaya, Anantakāya: 2 definitions

Introduction

Anantakaya means something in Buddhism, Pali, Jainism, Prakrit. 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

Theravada (major branch of Buddhism)

[«previous (A) next»] — Anantakaya in Theravada glossary
Source: Pali Kanon: Pali Proper Names

An attendant of King Milinda who was sent by the king to escort Nagasena from the monastery to Sagala.

On his way he questioned the Elder about the soul and we are told that the latter talked to him from the Abhidhamma to such effect that Anantakaya became a convert (Mil.30-1).

He is probably to be identified with Antiochus, attendant of Menander. Milinda Questions, I.xix., xlii.

context information

Theravāda is a major branch of Buddhism having the the Pali canon (tipitaka) as their canonical literature, which includes the vinaya-pitaka (monastic rules), the sutta-pitaka (Buddhist sermons) and the abhidhamma-pitaka (philosophy and psychology).

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In Jainism

General definition (in Jainism)

[«previous (A) next»] — Anantakaya in Jainism glossary
Source: archive.org: Jaina Yoga

Anantakāya (अनन्तकाय) refers to “plants inhabited by infinite living organisms” and represents an article of food classified as abhakṣya (forbidden to eat) according to both  Nemicandra (in his Pravacana-sāroddhāra v245-246) and Hemacandra (in his Yogaśāstra 3.6-7). Amongst the substances which a Jaina is forbidden to consume either as food or as medicine are included the ananta-kāyas or sādhāraṇas, plants which are inhabited, not like the majority of the vegetable kingdom by individual jīvas, but by an infinite number of living organisms. Where in the elementary bodies—earth, water, fire, wind—the individual jīva wraps itself up only in a tiny part of the material, in the plant bodies additional jīvas may attach themselves to the original individual and adhere to it until its development process is complete.

Those plants which are classified as ananta-kāyas seem to be chosen because of certain morphological peculiarities such as the possession of bulbs or rhizomes orthe habit of periodically shedding their leaves; and in general theyare characterized by possibilities of vegetative reproduction.

General definition book cover
context information

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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See also (Relevant definitions)

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