Animitta, aka: Ānimitta; 4 Definition(s)


Animitta means something in Buddhism, Pali, Hinduism, Sanskrit. 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

Mahayana (major branch of Buddhism)

Ānimitta (आनिमित्त, “signlessness”) or Ānimittasamādhi refers to a type of Samādhi, representing a set of “three concentrations” acquired by the Bodhisattvas, according to the Mahāprajñāpāramitāśāstra chapter X.

a) Some say: Ānimitta has for its object the Dharma free of the following ten marks: a) the five dusts (rajas, namely, color, sound, smell, taste and touch); b) male and female; c) arising (utpāda), continuance (sthiti), cessation (bhaṅga).

b) Others say: All dharmas are free of marks (animitta). Not accepting them, not adhering to them is ānimitta-samādhi.

c) Furthermore: ānimitta-samādhi is suppressing all the marks of the Dharmas (sarvadharma-nimitta) and not paying attention to them (amanasikāra).

(Source): Wisdom Library: Maha Prajnaparamita Sastra
Mahayana book cover
context information

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.

General definition (in Buddhism)

Animitta (अनिमित्त, “signless”) or refers to one of the “three liberations” (vimokṣa) as defined in the Dharma-saṃgraha (section 73). The Dharma-samgraha (Dharmasangraha) is an extensive glossary of Buddhist technical terms in Sanskrit (eg., animitta). The work is attributed to Nagarjuna who lived around the 2nd century A.D.

(Source): Wisdom Library: Dharma-samgraha

Languages of India and abroad

Sanskrit-English dictionary

Animitta (अनिमित्त).—a

1) , Causeless, groundless; casual, incidental; आलक्ष्यदन्तमुकुलाननिमित्तहासैः (ālakṣyadantamukulānanimittahāsaiḥ) Ś.7.17; °त्तं मित्रम् (ttaṃ mitram) disinterested, Dk.25; °उत्कण्ठा (utkaṇṭhā) M.3.9.

-ttam Absence of an adequate cause or occasion, causelessness, groundlessness.

2) A bad omen, ill-omen; चारुदत्तस्यैव दर्शनमनिमित्तं प्रमार्जयिष्यति (cārudattasyaiva darśanamanimittaṃ pramārjayiṣyati) Mk.6; ममानिमित्तानि हि खेदयन्ति (mamānimittāni hi khedayanti) 9.1; शमनार्थम् अनिमित्तस्य (śamanārtham animittasya) Ve.2.3.

3) Not a valid means of knowledge अनिमित्तं विद्यमानोपलम्भनात् (animittaṃ vidyamānopalambhanāt) MS.1.1.4. -adv.,

-°taḥ Groundlessly, causelessly, without any adequate cause; अनिमित्तमिन्दु- वदने किमत्रभवतः पराङ्मुखीभवसि (animittamindu- vadane kimatrabhavataḥ parāṅmukhībhavasi) M.1.18; अनातुरः स्वानि रवानि न स्पृशेदनिमित्ततः (anāturaḥ svāni ravāni na spṛśedanimittataḥ) Ms.4.144.

(Source): DDSA: The practical Sanskrit-English dictionary
context information

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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