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Anga, aka: Aṅga; 11 Definition(s)


Anga means something in Buddhism, Pali, Hinduism, Sanskrit, 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 Hinduism


1a) Aṅga (अङ्ग).—The father of Vena; knew the power of Kṛṣṇa's yoga.1 A son of Ulmuka (Kuru and Āgneyī— Viṣṇu-purāṇa). His wife was Sunīthā, the cruel-faced daughter of Mṛtyu. Finding the son's conduct cruel and unbecoming, he departed from the city.2 Once he performed the aśvamedha but the gods did not partake of the offerings. When he consulted the learned assembly, was advised by it that he could get a son by worshipping Hari. But the son born, Vena, was so mischievous that the king abandoned the kingdom in distress. Though messengers were deputed in search of him, his whereabouts remained untraced.3 Devoted to Hari, sought refuge with Him.4 According to the brahmāṇḍa, matsya and vāyu purāṇas he was the son of Ūru and Āgneyī.5 A Prajāpati of the family of Svāyambhuva Manu (of the Atri line.)6

  • 1) Bhāgavata-purāṇa II. 7. 43; Viṣṇu-purāṇa I. 13. 6.
  • 2) Bhāgavata-purāṇa IV. 13, 17-18.
  • 3) Ib. IV. 13. 24-49.
  • 4) Ib. IV. 21. 28; X. 60. 41.
  • 5) Brahmāṇḍa-purāṇa II. 36. 108 & 126; Vāyu-purāṇa 62. 92-3; Matsya-purāṇa 4. 44.
  • 6) Matsya-purāṇa 10. 3-4; Vāyu-purāṇa 62. 107.

1b) A kṣetraja son of Bali: born of Dīrghatamas. Father of Khanapāna (Anapāna).1 After him was the Aṅgadeśa.2 Father of Dadhivāhana, born without apāna (anus).3 The last king of his line was Vṛṣasena.4

  • 1) Bhāgavata-purāṇa IX. 23. 5 & 6; Matsya-purāṇa 48. 25 & 9; Vāyu-purāṇa 99. 28, 85; Brahmāṇḍa-purāṇa III. 74. 27, 87.
  • 2) Viṣṇu-purāṇa IV. 18. 13-14.
  • 3) Brahmāṇḍa-purāṇa III. 74. 102; Vāyu-purāṇa 99. 100.
  • 4) Viṣṇu-purāṇa IV. 18. 29.

1c) —(c)—An eastern kingdom. Its king got war elephants from Devas.*

  • * Brahmāṇḍa-purāṇa II. 16. 51; 18. 51; III. 7. 349; 74. 213; Matsya-purāṇa 114. 44; 121. 50; Vāyu-purāṇa 47. 48; 99. 402.

1d) A son of Havirdhāna.*

  • * Matsya-purāṇa 4. 45.

1e) The son of Viśvajit Janamejaya and father of Karṇa.*

  • * Matsya-purāṇa 48. 102; Vāyu-purāṇa 99. 112.
Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: The Purana IndexPurāṇa 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.

Nāṭyaśāstra (theatrics and dramaturgy)

1a) Aṅga (अङ्ग) refers to “the six major limbs” with which are perfromed the various āṅgika, or, “gestures” (physical representations), according to the Nāṭyaśāstra chapter 8.

The following are regarded as the six major limbs (aṅga):

  1. śiras (head),
  2. hasta (hands),
  3. uras (breast),
  4. sides (pārśva),
  5. waist (kaṭi),
  6. pāda (feet).

1b) Aṅga (अङ्ग) is the name of a country pertaining to the Oḍramāgadhī local usage (pravṛtti) according to the Nāṭyaśāstra chapter 14. These pravṛttis provide information regarding costumes, languages, and manners in different countries of the world. It is mentioned that this local usage (adopted by these countries) depends on the verbal style (bhāratī) and the graceful style (kaiśikī).

1c) Aṅga (अङ्ग) refers to “elements of diction”, according to the Nāṭyaśāstra chapter 19. There are six kinds of elements of diction (aṅga) defined:

  1. viccheda (division during a pause),
  2. arpaṇa (recital proper),
  3. visarga (conclusion),
  4. anubandha (coherence),
  5. dīpana (colourfulness),
  6. praśamana (abatement)

2) Aṅga (अङ्ग) is the name of a tribe, usually to be represented by a dark or deep blue (śyāma) color when painting the limbs (aṅgaracanā), according to Nāṭyaśāstra chapter 23. The painting is a component of nepathya (costumes and make-up) and is to be done in accordance with the science of āhāryābhinaya (extraneous representation).

3) Aṅga (अङ्ग) refers to one of the twenty aspects of tāla (time-measure), according to the Nāṭyaśāstrahapter chapter 28. In musical performance, tāla refers to any rhythmic beat or strike that measures musical time. It is an important concept in ancient Indian musical theory (gāndharvaśāstra) traceable to the Vedic era.

Source: Wisdom Library: Nāṭya-śāstra

The six elements (aṅga) of diction were:

  1. the so-called division (viccheda) during a pause (virāma);
  2. recital proper (arpaṇa), which was of a representative nature and filled the auditorium with a beautifully modulated voice;
  3. the conclusion (visarga) marking the end of a sentence;
  4. coherence (anubandha), which prevented pauses between words linked by meaning, up to the prohibition to inhale during the utterance;
  5. colourfulness (dīpana), responsible for the gradual increase of vocal power as the sounds of the three basic pitches were pronounced;
  6. and abatement (praśamana), which allowed lowering of the pitch without accompanying dissonant sounds
Source: Academia.edu: The Nāṭyaśāstra: the Origin of the Ancient Indian Poetics

Aṅga (अङ्ग).—Aṅga are the six limbs of a song (gāna) such as svara (the notes or melody), viruda (a passage extolling the song and usually including the author’s signature), pada (a passage of meaningful text), tenaka (the meaningless words), pāṭha (a passage of onomatopoetic sounds such as dang-dang-di-dang, etc.), and tāla (section governed by rhythm or beat). Songs that are comprised of these parts are called nibaddha-saṅgīta.

Source: Vrindavan Today: Govinda-lilamrita: Rasa-lila musicologyNāṭyaśāstra book cover
context information

Nāṭyaśāstra (नाट्यशास्त्र, natya-shastra) refers to both the ancient Indian tradition of performing arts, (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 (nāṭya) and poetic works (kāvya).

General definition (in Hinduism)

Anga (अंग): Mlechchha kings, a Kaurava supporter.

Source: WikiPedia: Hinduism

Aṅga (अङ्ग):—Aṅgas are the major limbs of the body which include the head, chest, sides, waist, hands and feet.

Source: Academia.edu: Some Pearls from the Fourth Chapter of Abhinavabhāratī Table of Contents

In Buddhism

Theravada (major branch of Buddhism)

1. Anga. (See also Anga) - One of the stock list of the sixteen Powers or Great Countries (Mahajanapada), mentioned in the Pitakas. E.g., A.i.213; iv.252, 256, 260.

The countries mentioned are Anga, Magadha, Kasi, Kosala, Vajji, Malla, Ceti, Vamsa, Kuru, Pancala, Maccha, Surasena, Assaka, Avanti, Gandhara, and Kamboja. Other similar lists occur elsewhere, e.g. D.ii.200 (where ten countries are mentioned); see also Mtu.i.34 and i.198; and Lal.24(22).

It was to the east of Magadha, from which it was separated by the River Campa, and had as its capital city Campa, near the modern Bhagalpur (Cunningham, pp. 546-7). Other cities mentioned are Bhaddiya (DA.i.279; DhA.i.384) and Assapura (M.i.271).

The country is generally referred to by the name of its people, the Anga, though occasionally (E.g., DhA.i.384) the name Angarattha is used. In the Buddhas time it was subject to Magadha, (ThagA.i.548) whose king Bimbisara was, we are told, held in esteem also by the people of Anga (MA.i.394), and the people of the two countries evidently used to pay frequent visits to each other (J.ii.211). We never hear of its having regained its former independence, and traditions of war between the two countries are mentioned (E.g., J.iv.454; J.v.316; J.vi.271).

In the Buddhas time the Angaraja was just a wealthy nobleman, and he is mentioned merely as having granted a pension to a Brahmin (M.ii.163). The people of Anga and Magadha are generally mentioned together, so we may gather that by the Buddhas time they had become one people. They provide Uruvela Kassapa with offerings for his great sacrifice (Vin.i.27). It was their custom to offer an annual sacrifice to Maha Brahma in the hope of gaining reward a hundred thousand fold. On one occasion Sakka appears in person and goes with them to the Buddha so that they may not waste their energies in futile sacrifices (SA.i.269-70).

Several discourses were preached in the Anga country, among them being the Sonadanda Sutta and the two Assapura Suttas (Maha- and Cula-). The Mahagovinda Sutta seems to indicate that once, in the past, Dhatarattha was king of Anga. But this, perhaps, refers to another country (Dial.ii.270 n.; see also The Ramayana i.8, 9, 17, 25).

Sona Kolivisa, before he entered the Order, was a squire (paddhagu) of Anga. Thag.v.632.

2. Anga. King - Chief lay supporter of Sumana Buddha (BuA.130); the Buddhavamsa mentions Varuna and Sarana as Sumanas aggupatthaka and Udena as upatthaka. Bu.v.28.

3. Anga - A king of Benares on whose feet hair grew. He inquired of the brahmins the way to heaven, and was told to retire to the forest and tend the sacred fire. He went to Himava with many cows and women and did as he was counselled. The milk and ghee left over from his sacrifices were thrown away,

Source: Pali Kanon: Pali Proper Names
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).


aṅga : (nt.) 1. a constituent part; 2. a limb; 3. quality.

Source: BuddhaSasana: Concise Pali-English Dictionary

Aṅga, (nt.) (Vedic aṅga, anc cp. Lat. angulus = angle, corner etc., ungulus finger-ring = Sk. aṅgulīya. See also aṅka, aṅguṭṭha & aṅgula) (1) (lit.) a constituent part of the body, a limb, member; also of objects: part, member (see cpd. °sambhāra); uttam°aṅga the reproductive organ J.V, 197; also as “head” at ThA.209. Usually in cpds. (see below, esp. °paccaṅga), as sabbaṅga-kalyāṇī perfect in all limbs Pv.III, 35 (= sobhaṇa-sabbaṅga-paccaṅgī PvA.189) and in redupln. aṅga-m-aṅgāni limb by limb, with all limbs (see also below aṅga + paccaṅga) Vin.III, 119; Vv 382 (°ehi naccamāna); Pv.II, 1210, 13, 18 (sunakho te khādati). — (2) (fig.) a constituent part of a whole or system or collection, e. g. uposath° the vows of the fast J.I, 50; bhavaṅga the constituents or the condition of becoming (see bhava & cp. Cpd. 265 sq.); bojjhaṅga (q. v.). Esp. with numerals: cattāri aṅgāni 4 constituents A.II, 79 (viz. sīla, samādhi, paññā. vimutti and rūpa, vedanā, saññā, bhava), aṭṭhaṅgika (q. v.) magga the Path with its eight constituents or the eightfold Path (KhA 85: aṭṭh’aṅgāni assā ti) navaṅga Buddha-sāsana see nava. — (3) a constituent part as characteristic, prominent or distinguishing, a mark, attribute, sign, quality D.I, 113 sq., 117 (iminā p° aṅgena by this quality, or: in this respect, cp. below 4; DA.I, 281 expls tena kāra‹-› ṇena). In a special sense striking (abnormal) sign or mark on the body D.I, 9, from which a prophesy is made (: hattha-pādādisu yena kenaci evarūpena aṅgena samannāgato dīghāyu . . hotī ti . . aṅgasatthan = chiromantics DA.I, 92). Thus in combn. with samannāgata & sampanna always meaning endowed with “good”, superior, remarkable “qualities”, e. g. J.I, 3 (sabbaṅga-sampanna nagaraṃ a city possessing all marks of perfection); II, 207. ‹-› In enumn. with var. numerals: tīhi aṅgehi s. A.I, 115; cattāri sotapannassa a- D.III, 227 = A.IV, 405 sq.; pañcaṅga-vippahīno (i. e. giving up the 5 hindrances, see nīvaraṇa) and pañcaṅga-samannāgato (i. e. endowed with the 5 good qualities, viz. the sīla-kkhandha, see kkhandha II.A d) S.I, 99 = A.I, 161; V, 15, 29. Similarly the 5 attributes of a brahmin (viz. sujāta of pure birth, ajjhāyaka a student of the Vedas, abhirūpa handsome, sīlava of good conduct, paṇḍita clever) D.I, 119, 120. Eight qualities of a king D.I, 137. Ten qualities of an Arahant (cp. dasa1 B 2) S.III, 83; Kh IV.10 = KhA 88; cp. M.I, 446 (dasah’aṅgehi samannāgato rañño assājāniyo). — (4) (modally) part, share, interest, concern; ajjhattikaṃ aṅgaṃ my own part or interest (opp. bāhiraṃ the interest in the outside world). A.I, 16 sq. = S.V, 101 sq.; It.9. rañño aṅgaṃ an asset or profit for the king M.I, 446. Thus adv. tadaṅga (see also ta° I.a) as a matter of fact, in this respect, for sure, certainly and tadaṅgena by these means, through this, therefore M.I, 492; A.IV, 411; Sdhp.455, 456; iminā p° aṅgena for that reason M.II, 168. — In compn. with verbs aṅgi° (aṅgī°): angigata having limbs or ports, divided DA.I, 313; cp. samaṅgi (-bhūta).

—jāta “the distinguishing member”, i. e. sign of male or female (see above 3); membrum virile and muliebre Vin.I, 191 (of cows); III, 20, 37, 205; J.II, 359; Miln.124. —paccaṅga one limb or the other, limbs great and small M.I, 81; J VI—20, used (a) collectively: the condition of perfect limbs, or adj. with perfect limbs, having all limbs Pv.II, 1212 (= paripuṇṇa-sabbaṅga-paccaṅgavatī PvA.158); SnA 383; DhA.I, 390; ThA.288; Sdhp.83 fig. rathassa aṅgapaccaṅgan M.I, 395; sabbaṅga-paccaṅgāni all limbs Miln.148. — (b) distributively (cp. similar redupl. formations like chiddâvachidda, seṭṭhânu-seṭṭhi, khaṇḍākhaṇḍa, cuṇṇavicuṇṇa) limb after limb, one limb after the other (like aṅgamaṅgāni above 1), piecemeal M.I, 133 (°e daseyya), 366; J.I, 20; IV, 324 (chinditvā). —paccaṅgatā the condition or state of perfect limbs, i. e. a perfect body VvA.134 (suvisuddh°). —paccaṅgin having all limbs (perfect) D.I, 34 (sabbaṅga-peccaṅgī); PvA.189. —rāga painting or rouging the body Vin.II, 107 (+ mukha°). —laṭṭhi sprout, offshoot ThA.226. —vāta gout Vin.I, 205. —vijjā the art of prognosticating from marks on the body, chiromantics, palmistry etc. (cp. above 3) D.I, 9 (see expl. at DA.I, 93); J.I, 290 (°āya cheka clever in fortune-telling); °ânubhāva the power of knowing the art of signs on the body J.II, 200; V, 284; °pāṭhaka one who in versed in palmistry etc. J.II, 21, 250; V, 458. —vekalla bodily deformity DhA.II, 26. —sattha the science of prognosticating from certain bodily marks DA.I, 92. —sambhāra the combination of parts Miln.28 = S.I, 135; Miln.41. —hetuka a species of wild birds, living in forests J.VI, 538. (Page 6)

Source: Sutta: The Pali Text Society's Pali-English DictionaryPali 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.

Mahāyāna (major branch of Buddhism)

The earliest texts mention a classification of the scriptures into members or aṅgas. These aṅgas are not literary genres but simply composition types in respect to form (e.g., prose or verse) or content (e.g., sermons, predictions, stories, conversations, commentaries, etc).

The major drawback of this classification is that, far from being mutually exclusive, the aṅgas overlap one another. Thus a sūtra is also a geya if it contains verse, a gāthā if it is expressed in stanzas, an udāna if it includes exclamations, an ityuktaka if it begins or ends with certain stereotyped formulas, a jātaka if it tells about previous lifetimes, a vyākaraṇa if it contains explanations or predictions, etc.

Source: Wisdom Library: The Treatise on the Great Virtue of Wisdom, Volume V
context information

Mahāyāna (महायान, mahayana) 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.

In Jainism

General definition (in Jainism)

The 12 Āgamas compiled in the Dvādasāṅgi are known as Aṅga literature. The word Aṅga is common to both Sanskrit as well as Prakrit. In the Vedic literature the supplementary literature for study of Vedas is termed as Vedāṅga. They are 6 as follows:

  1. Sikṣā (the science of proper articulation and pronunciation).
  2. Kalpa (the systematic work that lays down the rituals and prescribes rules for ceremonial and sacrificial acts)
  3. Vyākarṇa (grammar)
  4. Nirukta (etymological meaning of verses)
  5. Chaṅda (the science of prosody)
  6. Jyotiṣa (the work of astronomy for determining auspicious time for yajñas)

Veda-Puruṣa is the personification of Vaidika literature.The six Aṅga, as above, have been termed as the limbs of the veda-puruṣa. The word Aṅga has also been used in Pālῑ literature — The preachings by Buddha have been called Navāṅga and Dvādasāṅga at different places.

As said earlier, the word Aṅga has been used in all the three main streams of Indian Philosophy. In the Vaidika and Bauddha literature, the main treatises are 'Veda' and 'Pitaka'. The word Aṅga is not associated with them. In the Jaina literature, the main works are catagorized as 'Gaṇipiṭaka' which has been associated with the Aṅga e.g. Gaṇipiṭaka has 12 Aṅgas (Dvādasāṅgi Gaṇipiṭaka).

Source: HereNow4U: Acharanga Bhasyam

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