Anuttara; 8 Definition(s)

Introduction

Anuttara means something in Buddhism, Pali, Jainism, Prakrit, 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 Buddhism

Mahayana (major branch of Buddhism)

[Anuttara in Mahayana glossaries]

Anuttara (अनुत्तर) or “without superior”, is a synonym for the Buddha according to the 2nd century Mahāprajñāpāramitāśāstra (chapter IV).

Why is he called A neou to lo (Anuttara)?

1) Nirvāṇa is the highest dharma. The Buddha alone knows this nirvāṇa; he has not learned it from another. Besides, he guides beings and leads them to nirvāṇa. Just as nirvāṇa is without superior among all the dharmas, so the Buddha is without superior among beings.

2) Furthermore, no-one is his equal and, a fortiori, surpasses him in discipline (śīla), samādhi and wisdom (prajñā). This is why he is called Anuttara.

3) Furthermore, A indicates negation and uttara means refutation. All the systems of the heretics (tīrthika) can be refuted and destroyed because they are false (asatya) and impure (aviśudda). But the doctrine of the Buddha cannot be either refuted or destroyed because it escapes any discussion; it is true (satya) and pure (viśuddha). This is why he is called Anuttara.

According to the Visuddhimagga:—“There is no-one better endowed with qualities than him; no-one surpasses him”.

(Source): Wisdom Library: Maha Prajnaparamita Sastra
Mahayana book cover
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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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In Jainism

General definition (in Jainism)

[Anuttara in Jainism glossaries]

Anuttara (अनुत्तर).—One of the five heavens of the upper world (ūrdhvaloka);—The five Anuttaras (according to both Śvetāmbara and Digambara) are:

  1. Vijaya in the east,
  2. Vaijayanta in the south,
  3. Jayanta in the west,
  4. Aparājita in the north,
  5. Sarvarthasiddhi in the centre.
(Source): Google Books: Jaina Iconography

Anuttara (अनुत्तर) is one of the three subclasses of kalpātītas (born beyond heaven), itself a division of empyrean celestial beings (vaimānika) according to the 2nd-century Tattvārthasūtra 4.19. The living beings residing in the vimānas are called the empyrean gods (vaimānika) and represents one of the four classes of Devas.

There are five anuttaras, namely:

  1. Vijaya,
  2. Vaijayanta,
  3. Jayanta,
  4. Aparājita,
  5. Sarvārtha-siddhi

Which thought-colourations are there in Graivaiyaka, Anudiśa and Anuttara gods? They have pure white thought-colouration. What is the life span of deities in the five-Anuttara? The five anuttara heavens are layered heavens above Nava-anudiśā where deities reside. The life span in these heavens is thirty three sāgaropama.

(Source): Encyclopedia of Jainism: Tattvartha Sutra 4: The celestial beings (deva)
General definition book cover
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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

Pali-English dictionary

[Anuttara in Pali glossaries]

anuttara : (adj.) incomparable; unsurpassed.

(Source): BuddhaSasana: Concise Pali-English Dictionary

Anuttara, (adj.) (an + uttara) “nothing higher”, without a superior, incomparable, second to none, unsurpassed, excellent, preeminent Sn.234 (= adhikassa kassaci abhāvato KhA 193), 1003; Dh.23, 55 (= asadisa appaṭibhāga DhA.I, 423); Pv IV.35 2 (dhamma); Dhs.1294; DA.I, 129; PvA.1, 5, 6, 18, etc. (Page 36)

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

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Marathi-English dictionary

[Anuttara in Marathi glossaries]

anuttara (अनुत्तर).—a (S) Unable to answer. 2 S Chief, principal, best, excelled or surpassed by none, haud ulli secundus.

--- OR ---

anuttara (अनुत्तर).—n (S) Want or absence of an answer; or a defective, inapplicable, irrelevant answer. Pr. anuttaraṃ utaraṃ or pop. anuttaraṃ mēva uttaraṃ. 2 In law. Any answer not includible within the four kinds prescribed. See uttara. 3 Failure or non-performance of an engagement. Ex. sadarahu lihilyāpramāṇēṃ karīna hyāsa a0 karaṇāra nāhīṃ.

(Source): DDSA: The Molesworth Marathi and English Dictionary

anuttara (अनुत्तर).—a Unable to answer.

(Source): DDSA: The Aryabhusan school dictionary, Marathi-English
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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.

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Sanskrit-English dictionary

[Anuttara in Sanskrit glossaries]

Anuttara (अनुत्तर).—a. [nāsti uttaro yasmāt]

1) Principal, chief.

2) Best, excellent; अनुत्तराणि विलसितानि (anuttarāṇi vilasitāni) Dk.162 unsurpassed. शरीरसौख्यार्थमनुत्तरस्य निपेततुर्मूर्धनि तस्य सौम्ये (śarīrasaukhyārthamanuttarasya nipetaturmūrdhani tasya saumye) | Bu. ch.1.35.

3) [nāsti uttaraṃ yasya] Without a reply, silent, unable to answer; भवत्यवज्ञा च भवत्यनुत्तरात् (bhavatyavajñā ca bhavatyanuttarāt) Naiṣadha.

4) Fixed, firm (na uttarati calati). अर्थ्यं तथ्यं हितं वाक्यं लघुयुक्तमनुत्तरम् (arthyaṃ tathyaṃ hitaṃ vākyaṃ laghuyuktamanuttaram) Mb.2.2.5.

5) Low, inferior, base, mean.

6) Southern.

-ram [na. ta.] No reply, a reply which, being evasive, is considered to be no reply.

-rāḥ (pl.) A class of gods among Jainas (°upapātika).

-upapātikadaśāḥ f. Title of the ninth aṅga of the Jainas treating of those gods.

-rā The south. ...अनुत्तरः । नोदीच्यां नोपरि श्रेष्ठे (anuttaraḥ | nodīcyāṃ nopari śreṣṭhe)... ()| Nm.

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