Avacya, Avācya: 15 definitions


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

Alternative spellings of this word include Avachya.

In Hinduism

Yoga (school of philosophy)

Source: ORA: Amanaska (king of all yogas): A Critical Edition and Annotated Translation by Jason Birch

Avācya (अवाच्य) refers to “that which is inexpressible”, and is used to describe Samādhi and Paratattva (highest reality), according to the the Amanaska Yoga treatise which deals absorption, yogic powers and liberation.—The Amanaska referred to (or qualified) Samādhi with several terms, which are all negative; [e.g., it is inexpressible (avācya);] [...] The fact that such terminology is found in the Amanaska indicates that descriptions of Śiva and the void-like meditative states in Mantramargic Śaivism, were the basis of the descriptions of Samādhi and Paratattva (the highest reality) in this treatise. The Amanaska Yoga was consistent with the Pātañjala Yogaśāstra’s definition of Yoga, yet it described Samādhi in terms different to those of Pātañjalayoga; such as Acala—“that which is inexpressible (avācya)”.

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

Avācya (अवाच्य) refers to “inexpressible”, according to Mahāprajñāpāramitāśāstra (chapter 41).—Accordingly, “[Digression on a case brought against the Buddha; B. The defense].—[7. Silence on the Fourteen Difficult Questions].—The Buddha did not answer fourteen difficult questions.—The Buddha has four ways of answering (vyākaraṇa): [...] Furthermore, the Buddha spoke of three kinds of things: i) conditioned things (saṃskṛtadhrma), ii) unconditioned things (asaṃskṛtadharma) and iii) inexpressible things (avācya-dharma): in doing this, he has spoken of all dharmas. [...]”.

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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Tibetan Buddhism (Vajrayana or tantric Buddhism)

Source: ORA: Amanaska (king of all yogas): (Tibetan Buddhism)

Avācya (अवाच्य) refers to “(that which is) inexpressible (by words)”, according to the 33rd chapter of the Saṃvarodayatantra: a Buddhist explanatory Tantra of the Cakrasaṃvara cycle.—Accordingly, while describing the no-mind meditation: “[...] Free from meditation and concentration and beyond [both] Yoga and reasoning, he leads people to absorption in ‘suchness’, when the mind becomes steady in awareness. Its form is like the sky, the dwelling place of the ether and like a pure crystal and gem, [it is] without beginning or end, unelaborated, beyond the senses, unchanging, without appearance, completely void, free of ills, the light of the world, the destruction of the bonds of existence, inexpressible (avācya) by words and even beyond the sphere of the mind”.

Tibetan Buddhism book cover
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Tibetan Buddhism includes schools such as Nyingma, Kadampa, Kagyu and Gelug. Their primary canon of literature is divided in two broad categories: The Kangyur, which consists of Buddha’s words, and the Tengyur, which includes commentaries from various sources. Esotericism and tantra techniques (vajrayāna) are collected indepently.

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Languages of India and abroad

Marathi-English dictionary

Source: DDSA: The Molesworth Marathi and English Dictionary

avācya (अवाच्य).—a S Improper to be uttered or mentioned. 2 Insusceptible of description or enumeration. 3 That is not to be spoken against.

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

avācya (अवाच्य).—a Indescribable, unspeakable, obsence.

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

Avācya (अवाच्य).—a.

1) Not proper to be addressed; अवाच्यो दीक्षितो नाम्ना यवीयानपि यो भवेत् (avācyo dīkṣito nāmnā yavīyānapi yo bhavet) Manusmṛti 2.128.

2) Improper to be uttered; vile, bad; अवाच्यं वदतो जिह्वा कथं न पतिता तव (avācyaṃ vadato jihvā kathaṃ na patitā tava) Rām.; °वादांश्च बहून् वदिष्यन्ति तवाहिताः (vādāṃśca bahūn vadiṣyanti tavāhitāḥ) Bhagavadgītā (Bombay) 2. 36.

3) Not distinctly expressed, not expressible in words; °ता, °त्वम् (tā, °tvam) impropriety; reproach, calumny; दुर्लभा सत्स्ववाच्यता (durlabhā satsvavācyatā) Kirātārjunīya 11.53.

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Avācya (अवाच्य).—a. Southern, southernly. cf. Śiva. B.6.65.

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

Avācya (अवाच्य).—mfn.

(-cyaḥ-cyā-cyaṃ) 1. Vile, bad. 2. Improper to be uttered. 3. Southern, southerly. E. a neg. and vācya to be spoken, or avāc and yat added.

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

Avācya (अवाच्य).—[adjective] unspeakable, not to be spoken to.

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

1) Avācya (अवाच्य):—[=a-vācya] [from avākin] 1. a-vācya mfn. not to be addressed, [Manu-smṛti ii, 128], improper to be uttered, [Rāmāyaṇa; Kathāsaritsāgara]

2) [v.s. ...] (a vācyaṃ karma maithunam) [commentator or commentary] on [Śatapatha-brāhmaṇa]

3) [v.s. ...] not deserving censure, unblamable irreproachable, [Mṛcchakaṭikā]

4) [v.s. ...] ‘not distinctly expressed’, See -tva.

5) [from avāñc] 2. avācya mfn. southern, southerly, [cf. Lexicographers, esp. such as amarasiṃha, halāyudha, hemacandra, etc.]

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

Avācya (अवाच्य):—[a-vācya] (cyaṃ) n. Blameable discourse. a. Vile, improper to be said.

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

Avācya (अवाच्य) in the Sanskrit language is related to the Prakrit word: Avacca.

[Sanskrit to German]

Avacya 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

Source: DDSA: A practical Hindi-English dictionary

Avācya (अवाच्य) [Also spelled avachy]:—(a) unworthy of utterance; ~[] (nf).

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Kannada-English dictionary

Source: Alar: Kannada-English corpus

Avācya (ಅವಾಚ್ಯ):—[adjective] that is not to be uttered; unfit to be expressed in words.

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Avācya (ಅವಾಚ್ಯ):—[noun] an expression of blame or reproof; a sharp reprimand; reproach; rebuke.

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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