Anityata, Anityatā: 9 definitions


Anityata means something in Buddhism, Pali, Jainism, Prakrit, 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)

Source: Wisdom Library: Maha Prajnaparamita Sastra

Anityatā (अनित्यता) refers to “impermanence (of birth and death)”, according to Mahāprajñāpāramitāśāstra (chapter 18).—Accordingly, “[...] The person who keeps the precepts (śīla) is reborn among the gods; trance, knowledge, purity of mind assure nirvāṇa. The merit inherent in generosity is the equipment for the Path of nirvāṇa: indeed, by thinking of the gifts [which one has made], one rejoices; by rejoicing, one settles one’s mind; by settling the mind, one contemplates impermanence (anityatā) of birth and death; by contemplating the impermanence of birth and death, one obtains the Path”.

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.

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General definition (in Buddhism)

Source: Wisdom Library: Dharma-samgraha

Anityatā (अनित्यता, “impermanence”) refers to one of the thirteen “conditions” (saṃskāra) that are “unassociated with mind” (citta-viprayukta) as defined in the Dharma-saṃgraha (section 30). The Dharma-samgraha (Dharmasangraha) is an extensive glossary of Buddhist technical terms in Sanskrit (e.g., anityatā). The work is attributed to Nagarjuna who lived around the 2nd century A.D.

Anityatā also refers to “relating to impermanence” and represents one of the four “aspects in the truth of suffering” (duḥkhasatya) as defined in the Dharma-saṃgraha (section 97).

In Jainism

General definition (in Jainism)

Source: The University of Sydney: A study of the Twelve Reflections

1) Anityatā (अनित्यता) refers to “impermanence” and represents one of the twelve themes of contemplation (bhāvanā), according to the Jain Yogaśāstra (vol. 2, p. 839).—Accordingly, “Equanimity is attained through the state of non-attachment. In order to attain that [state of non-attachment], one should cultivate the twelve themes of contemplation: on impermanence (anityatā), helplessness, the cycle of transmigration, solitude, the distinction [of the Self and the body], the impurity [of the body], the influx of karmic matter, the stopping [of karmic influx], the elimination of karmic matter, the correctly expounded law, the universe, and the [difficulty of attaining] enlightenment”.

2) Anityatā (अनित्यता) or “transience” refers to one of the “(twelve) reflections” (bhāvanā), according to the 11th century Jñānārṇava, a treatise on Jain Yoga in roughly 2200 Sanskrit verses composed by Śubhacandra.—The transient pleasures of the senses lead to the destruction of the cosmos. The source of human misery is the connections arising from existence which ultimately give no pleasure. Disease conquers the body, old age conquers youth, decay subdues vitality and death subdues life. Beautiful objects are seen but they quickly disappear and pain, which is infinite, outweighs pleasure. The folly that is the inability to appreciate the transience (anityatā) of all objects is incurable but there is no time to lose in trying to improve oneself.

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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Languages of India and abroad

Sanskrit dictionary

Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: Shabda-Sagara Sanskrit-English Dictionary

Anityatā (अनित्यता).—f.

(-tā) Transient or limited existence: also anityatva E. or tva added to the last.

Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: Benfey Sanskrit-English Dictionary

Anityatā (अनित्यता).—f. perishableness, [Bhartṛhari, (ed. Bohlen.)] 3, 80.

Anityatā is a Sanskrit compound consisting of the terms a and nityatā (नित्यता).

Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: Monier-Williams Sanskrit-English Dictionary

Anityatā (अनित्यता):—[=a-nitya-tā] [from a-nitya] f. transient or limited existence.

Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: Goldstücker Sanskrit-English Dictionary

Anityatā (अनित्यता):—f.

(-tā) or anityatva n.

(-tvam) 1) Impermanence, transient existence.

2) The being occasional, not peremptory.

3) The being not necessary.

4) Unstableness, inconstance.

5) Unusual occurrence. See the meanings of anitya. E. anitya. taddh. aff. tal or tva.

[Sanskrit to German]

Anityata in German

context information

Sanskrit, also spelled संस्कृतम् (saṃskṛtam), is an ancient language of India commonly seen as the grandmother of the Indo-European language family (even English!). 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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