Ashcarya, Āścarya: 19 definitions


Ashcarya means something in Buddhism, Pali, Hinduism, Sanskrit, Jainism, Prakrit, Marathi, Hindi. 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.

The Sanskrit term Āścarya can be transliterated into English as Ascarya or Ashcarya, using the IAST transliteration scheme (?).

Alternative spellings of this word include Ashcharya.

In Hinduism

Purana and Itihasa (epic history)

[«previous next»] — Ashcarya in Purana glossary
Source: Shiva Purana - English Translation

Āścarya (आश्चर्य) refers to the “performer of miracles” and is used to describe Śiva, in the Śivapurāṇa 2.2.15. Accordingly as Brahmā narrated to Nārada:—“[...] On arrival there, after paying respects to the lord [Śiva] with great excitement we lauded Him with various hymns with palms joined in reverence. The Devas said: [...] Obeisance to Thee who art the great Īśa and the performer of miracles (āścarya-karman). Obeisance to Brahman, the great soul who is far removed from words”.

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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Shaktism (Shakta philosophy)

Source: Google Books: Manthanabhairavatantram

Āścarya (आश्चर्य) refers to a “wonder” (e.g., “an unparalleled wonder”), according to the second recension of the Yogakhaṇḍa of the Manthānabhairavatantra, a vast sprawling work that belongs to a corpus of Tantric texts concerned with the worship of the goddess Kubjikā.—Accordingly, as Bhadrakālī said to Śrīkaṇṭha: “[...] O Śambhu! Supreme Lord! Destroyer of the universe [i.e., jagatsaṃhāra-kāraka]! Why are you pained, O Lord? (There is no need for it), the Lord’s accomplishment is complete. There is no other (truly) knowledgeable being apart from you amongst the wise in the triple world. Why do you worship me, delighting (as it were) in the darkness of ignorance? That is an unparalleled wonder [āścaryaāścaryam etad atulaṃ]. Get up and have mercy on me!”.

Shaktism book cover
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Shakta (शाक्त, śākta) or Shaktism (śāktism) represents a tradition of Hinduism where the Goddess (Devi) is revered and worshipped. Shakta literature includes a range of scriptures, including various Agamas and Tantras, although its roots may be traced back to the Vedas.

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Kavya (poetry)

[«previous next»] — Ashcarya in Kavya glossary
Source: Brill: Śaivism and the Tantric Traditions (kavya)

Āścarya (आश्चर्य) refers to “marvels”, according to Bāṇa’s Kādambarī (p. 226).—There are apparently several Tantric rites that Bāṇa pejoratively associates with the priest: [...] “his collection of practices for mastering mantras for invisibility had grown”; “he was acquainted with a hundred tales about the marvels (āścarya) of the Śrīparvata mountain”; “his ear-cavities were punched by those possessed by Piśāca-demons, who had run to him when struck by white mustard seed he had empowered with mantras more than once”.

Kavya book cover
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Kavya (काव्य, kavya) refers to Sanskrit poetry, a popular ancient Indian tradition of literature. There have been many Sanskrit poets over the ages, hailing from ancient India and beyond. This topic includes mahakavya, or ‘epic poetry’ and natya, or ‘dramatic poetry’.

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Yoga (school of philosophy)

[«previous next»] — Ashcarya in Yoga glossary
Source: ORA: Amanaska (king of all yogas): A Critical Edition and Annotated Translation by Jason Birch

Āścarya (आश्चर्य) or Mahāścarya refers to the “wondrous (yoga)”, according to the Śivayogadīpikā by Sadāśivayogīśvara: a text dealing with Śaivism and Haṭhayoga in two hundred and eighty-nine verses.—Accordingly, while describing the worship of Śiva: “Therefore, reverentially practise this auxiliary of worshipping Śiva which is the wondrous (mahā-āścarya) yoga with eight auxiliaries”.

Yoga book cover
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Yoga is originally considered a branch of Hindu philosophy (astika), but both ancient and modern Yoga combine the physical, mental and spiritual. Yoga teaches various physical techniques also known as āsanas (postures), used for various purposes (eg., meditation, contemplation, relaxation).

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In Buddhism

Mahayana (major branch of Buddhism)

Source: Wisdom Library: Maha Prajnaparamita Sastra

Āścarya (आश्चर्य) refers to “wondrous (things)”, according to  the 2nd century Mahāprajñāpāramitāśāstra chapter 46.—Accordingly, “Patience is the strength of all monks: it humbles the wicked and manifests wondrous things (āścarya-vastu) in the assemblies. Patience is the guardian that watches that generosity and morality are not broken. Patience is a great armor that soldiers cannot pierce. Patience is the good medicine that eliminates bad poisons. Patience is a great victory that assures safety and peace over the dangerous paths of saṃsāra. [...]”.

Source: A Study and Translation of the Gaganagañjaparipṛcchā

1) Āścarya (आश्चर्य) or Āścaryādbhuta refers to “amazing phenomena”, according to the Gaganagañjaparipṛcchā: the eighth chapter of the Mahāsaṃnipāta (a collection of Mahāyāna Buddhist Sūtras).—Accordingly, “By the light of the lion’s throne on which the Lord was seated, the great three-thousand thousands of worlds were illumined with a grand luster. The great three-thousand of worlds, the sun, the moon, the stars, Indras, Brahmas, and the protectors of the world, all of them were eclipsed. When that whole assembly of Bodhisattvas saw these miracles, wonders, and amazing phenomena (āścarya-adbhuta), they said to one another: ‘It would not be easy for us to see such an exceptional grandeur as the splendor of these pavilions even if our lifetime would fill an aeon. Thus the virtues of these pavilions are immeasurable’.”.

2) Āścarya (आश्चर्य) refers to “(one having attained) astonishment”, according to the Gaganagañjaparipṛcchā.—Accordingly: “[...] Then, when the bodhisatva Samantāloka examined the world-spheres of ten directions by the divine sight, in immeasurable and incalculable Buddha-fields of the ten directions, just as the rain of all kinds of jewels poured down and all voices of the dharma resounded in this Sahā universe, just so in those Buddha-fields he saw that such phenomena occurred without increasing or decreasing, and without entering into any difference. Then the Bodhisattva Samantāloka, having been astonished (āścarya-prāpta), uttered a joyous utterance: ‘[...]’ ”

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)

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

Āścarya (आश्चर्य) or Āścaryakāra [=Āścaryakāraka?] refers to “astonishingly”, according to the 11th century Jñānārṇava, a treatise on Jain Yoga in roughly 2200 Sanskrit verses composed by Śubhacandra.—Accordingly, “[com.—Next he speaks about the nature of asceticism]—Astonishingly [com.āścarya-kāraāścaryakārakam] , external [and] internal asceticism is undergone by honourable mendicants who are wise [and] alarmed by the continuous series of births [in the cycle of rebirth]. In that regard, external asceticism is declared to be of six kinds beginning with fasting while internal [asceticism] is also of [six] kinds on account of the divisions beginning with atonement”.

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

Marathi-English dictionary

Source: DDSA: The Molesworth Marathi and English Dictionary

āścarya (आश्चर्य).—. Add:--ā0 pāvaṇēṃ To marvel.

context information

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

Āścarya (आश्चर्य).—a. [ā-car-ṇyat suṭ āścaryamānetye P.VI.1.147] Marvellous, wonderful, extraordinary, astonishing, strange, curious आश्चर्यो गवां दोहोऽगोपेन (āścaryo gavāṃ doho'gopena) Sk.; तदनु ववृषुः पुष्पमाश्चर्यमेघाः (tadanu vavṛṣuḥ puṣpamāścaryameghāḥ) R.16.87; °दर्शनो मनुष्यलोकः (darśano manuṣyalokaḥ) Ś.7.

-ryam 1 A wonder, miracle, marvel; किमाश्चर्यं क्षारदेशे प्राणदा यमदूतिका (kimāścaryaṃ kṣāradeśe prāṇadā yamadūtikā) Udb. कर्माश्चर्याणि (karmāścaryāṇi) Uttararāmacarita 1. wonderful deeds; K.65; Mv.1; Bhagavadgītā (Bombay) 11.6;2.29.

2) Surprise, wonder, astonishment; °मय (maya) Bhagavadgītā (Bombay) 11.11.

3) A strange appearance, prodigy.

4) (Used as an exclamation) A wonder, how strange or curious; आश्चर्यं परिपीडितोऽभिरमते यच्चातक- स्तृष्णया (āścaryaṃ paripīḍito'bhiramate yaccātaka- stṛṣṇayā) Chāt.2.4; usually with यच्च, यत्र (yacca, yatra) or यदि (yadi) with a following potential or future.

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

Āścarya (आश्चर्य) or Āścaryya.—mfn.

(-ryaḥ-ryā-ryaṃ) Astonishing, wonderful. m.

(-ryaḥ) Surprise, astonishment. E. āṅ before car to go, deriv. irregular.

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

Āścarya (आश्चर्य).—i. e. ā-car + ya I. adj., f. , Astonishing, wonderful, [Daśakumāracarita] in Chr. 179, 11. Ii. n. A surprising phenomenon, [Rāmāyaṇa] 5, 49, 27.

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

Āścarya (आश्चर्य).—[adjective] strange, miraculous; [neuter] wonder, prodigy.

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

1) Āścarya (आश्चर्य):—1. āścarya mfn. (said to be [from] √car with ā and a sibilant inserted, [Pāṇini 6-1, 147]), appearing rarely, curious, marvellous, astonishing, wonderful, extraordinary, [Kaṭha-upaniṣad; Prabodha-candrodaya; Śakuntalā; Raghuvaṃśa]

2) n. strange appearance

3) a wonder, miracle, marvel, prodigy

4) wonder, surprise, astonishment, [Rāmāyaṇa; Bhagavad-gītā; Śakuntalā etc.]

5) 2. āścarya [Nominal verb] [Parasmaipada] āścaryati, to be marvellous or strange, [cf. Lexicographers, esp. such as amarasiṃha, halāyudha, hemacandra, etc.]

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

Āścarya (आश्चर्य):—[ā-ścarya] (ryyaḥ) 1. m. Surprise. a. Astonishing, wonderful.

Source: DDSA: Paia-sadda-mahannavo; a comprehensive Prakrit Hindi dictionary (S)

Āścarya (आश्चर्य) in the Sanskrit language is related to the Prakrit words: Accara, Accaria, Accarīa, Acceara, Acchera, Accheraga, Accheraya.

[Sanskrit to German]

Ashcarya 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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Hindi dictionary

[«previous next»] — Ashcarya in Hindi glossary
Source: DDSA: A practical Hindi-English dictionary

Āścarya (आश्चर्य) [Also spelled ashchary]:—(nm) wonder, surprise; astonishment; ~[cakita] surprised; bewildered, flabbergasted; •[honā] to be struck dumb.

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Kannada-English dictionary

Source: Alar: Kannada-English corpus

Āścarya (ಆಶ್ಚರ್ಯ):—

1) [noun] that which is strange or interestingly unusual.

2) [noun] a miracle. esp. an event or action that apparently contradicts known scientific laws and is hence thought to be due to supernatural causes.

3) [noun] the state of mind, produced by something new, unexpected or extraordinary; wonder; surprise.

context information

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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