Asarana, Asaraṇa, Asharana: 14 definitions


Asarana means something in Buddhism, Pali, Hinduism, Sanskrit, Jainism, Prakrit, 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.

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In Hinduism

Purana and Itihasa (epic history)

Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: The Purana Index

Āsāraṇa (आसारण).—The Yakṣa presiding over the month nabhasya.*

  • * Bhāgavata-purāṇa XII. 11. 38.
Purana book cover
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The Purana (पुराण, purāṇas) refers to Sanskrit literature preserving ancient India’s vast cultural history, including historical legends, religious ceremonies, various arts and sciences. The eighteen mahapuranas total over 400,000 shlokas (metrical couplets) and date to at least several centuries BCE.

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In Buddhism

Mahayana (major branch of Buddhism)

Source: De Gruyter: A Buddhist Ritual Manual on Agriculture

Aśaraṇa (अशरण) refers to “being deprived of a refuge”, according to the Vajratuṇḍasamayakalparāja, an ancient Buddhist ritual manual on agriculture from the 5th-century (or earlier), containing various instructions for the Sangha to provide agriculture-related services to laypeople including rain-making, weather control and crop protection.—Accordingly, [After Viṣṇudatta attempted to enchant a Nāga]: “[...] The Nāga in great pain threw a great fire rain shower upon the Brahmin’s body enveloping it. The Brahmin discontinued the fire oblation, became defenceless (atrāṇa), deprived of a refuge (aśaraṇa) and last resort (aparāyaṇa) and there was nobody to save him. He started to cry out seeking refuge, defence and a last resort at the Bhagavān. [...]”.

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

Jain philosophy

Source: Anekanta Jaya Pataka of Haribhadra Suri

Aśaraṇa (अशरण) refers to one of the twelve reflections (bhāvanā), as mentioned in the Anekāntajayapatākā-prakaraṇa, a Śvetāmbara Jain philosophical work written by Haribhadra Sūri.—[Cf. Vol. II, P. 223, ll. 22-25]—Aśaraṇa-bhāvanā refers to the reflection that—No external things—medicines, gems, armies, weapons etc. can rescue the soul from the clutches of death. It is thus helpless. Its only shelter is the self itself.

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General definition (in Jainism)

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

1a) Aśaraṇa (अशरण) (Cf. Aśaraṇatva) refers to “helpless” and represents one of the twelve pure reflections (bhāvanā), according to the Praśamaratiprakaraṇa 149-50 (p. 93-4).—Accordingly, “(A monk) should reflect, upon transcient [sic] nature of the world, helplessness (aśaraṇatva), loneliness, separateness of the self from non-self, impurity (of the body), cycle of births sand [sic] rebirths, inflow of Karmas and stoppage of inflow of Karmas; Shedding of stock of Karmas, constitution of the universe, nature of true religion, difficulty in obtaining enlightenment, which are (called) twelve pure Bhāvanās (reflections)”.

1b) Aśarana (अशरन) or “helplessness” also 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, helplessness (aśarana), 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”.

1c) Aśaraṇa (अशरण) or “helplessness” 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.—[...] Whether it be in any of the three worlds, in the middle of the ocean, in a forest, on top of a mountain, in a place made inaccessible by fire, forest, cold, darkness, thunderbolts and swords, etc., wherever an embodied being resides they have no choice but to die. All the inhabitants of the cosmos are stupefied by lust and they are not aware that death is imminent. It is not possible to escape death without knowledge of what is beyond the senses.

3) Aśaraṇa (असरण) (Prakrit: Asaraṇa) also refers to “(reflection on) helplessness” and represents one of the four types of “virtuous meditation” (dhammajhāṇa), a classification of the “meditation” (Jhāṇa), according to the Sthānāṅga Sūtra chapter 4.1.—The classification of meditation in the Sthānāṅga Sūtra comprises four kinds [e.g. “virtuous” (dhamma/dharma)]. [...] The four reflections that are prescribed for virtuous meditation are (dhammajhāṇa), [e.g., reflection on helplessness (asaraṇa-aṇuppehā/aśaraṇa-anuprekṣā), ...].—Cf Aupapātika Sūtra and Bhagavatī (Bhagavaī), also known as the Vyākhyāprajñapti (Viyāhapannatti).

Source: Tessitori Collection I

Aśaraṇa (अशरण) refers to “(reflection on the) helpless or absence of refuge” and represents one of the twelve Bhāvanās (topics for meditation), according to a manuscript [Bāra bhāvanā] (dealing with the Ethics section of Jain Canonical literature) included in the collection of manuscripts at the ‘Vincenzo Joppi’ library, collected by Luigi Pio Tessitori during his visit to Rajasthan between 1914 and 1919.—There are traditionally 12 bhāvanās or topics for meditation (also known as anuprekṣā, see Tattvārthasūtra 9.7 as locus classicus). In the present manuscript [Bāra bhāvanā], only the first six are dealt with, each in a few stanzas, followed by a section-title: [e.g.,] . 2. reflection on the helpless or absence of refuge (aśaraṇa, 3 stanzas, ends on 50r3). [...]

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

[«previous next»] — Asarana in Pali glossary
Source: BuddhaSasana: Concise Pali-English Dictionary

asaraṇa : (adj.) helpless.

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

Source: DDSA: The Aryabhusan school dictionary, Marathi-English

aśaraṇa (अशरण).—a Helpless, forlorn.

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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 dictionary

Source: DDSA: The practical Sanskrit-English dictionary

Aśaraṇa (अशरण).—a. Helpless, forlorn, destitute of refuge; बलवदशरणोऽस्मि (balavadaśaraṇo'smi) Ś.6; so अशरण्य (aśaraṇya).

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

Aśaraṇa (अशरण).—adj. without a refuge, helpless, [Uttara Rāmacarita, 2. ed. Calc., 1862.] 74, 10; [Hitopadeśa] 90, 1, M. M. Aśaraṇī-kṛta, made helples, [Pañcatantra] i. [distich] 241.

Aśaraṇa is a Sanskrit compound consisting of the terms a and śaraṇa (शरण).

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

Aśaraṇa (अशरण).—[adjective] unprotected; [neuter] want of protection, helplessness.

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

1) Aśaraṇa (अशरण):—[=a-śaraṇa] mf(ā)n. destitute of refuge, defenceless, [Rāmāyaṇa; Meghadūta; Śakuntalā etc.]

2) Asaraṇa (असरण):—[=a-saraṇa] n. not proceeding, not going, [Kātyāyana-śrauta-sūtra]

3) Āsāraṇa (आसारण):—[=ā-sāraṇa] [from ā-sṛ] m. Name of a Yakṣa, [Bhāgavata-purāṇa]

[Sanskrit to German]

Asarana 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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Kannada-English dictionary

Source: Alar: Kannada-English corpus

Aśaraṇa (ಅಶರಣ):—[adjective] destitute of refuge; unprotected; homeless; forlorn; wretched.

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Kannada is a Dravidian language (as opposed to the Indo-European language family) mainly spoken in the southwestern region of India.

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