Bhavana, aka: Bhāvanā, Bhāvana, Bha-vana; 26 Definition(s)


Bhavana means something in Buddhism, Pali, 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 Hinduism

Ayurveda (science of life)

Bhāvanā (भावना) is a Sanskrit technical term, referring to “levigation”. The term is used throughout Āyurvedic literature such as the Suśruta-saṃhitā and the Caraka-saṃhitā.

(Source): Wisdom Library: Āyurveda and botany

Bhāvanā is a specific procedure in which a powdered drug of herbal or mineral origin is thoroughly mixed with the liquid media (expressed juice, decoction etc.) and staged intermittent trituration followed by drying (preferably in sunlight). The process is carried out till the attainment of subhāvita features (confirmatory test for completion of levigation) and complete absorption of liquid into the powder and drying of the mixture.

(Source): PMC: Nootropic (medhya) effect of Bhāvita Śaṇkhapuṣpī tablets

Bhāvana (भावन, “infusing”).—One of the processes for manufacturing cosmetics and perfumes mentioned by Gaṅgādhara;—Bhāvana means infusing or saturating powders with fluid. It is followed by pācana (decoction of materials).

(Source): Studies in India Cultural History: Indian Science of Cosmetics and Perfumery
Ayurveda book cover
context information

Āyurveda (आयुर्वेद, ayurveda) is a branch of Indian science dealing with medicine, herbalism, taxology, anatomy, surgery, alchemy and related topics. Traditional practice of Āyurveda in ancient India dates back to at least the first millenium BC. Literature is commonly written in Sanskrit using various poetic metres.

Rasashastra (chemistry and alchemy)

Bhavana.—A thing is said to be subjected to bhavana with a liquid substance, if it is saturated with the latter and dried, by being exposed to the sun during day time and to open air during night. (see Bhudeb Mookerji and his Rasajalanidhi)

(Source): Rasa-Jala-Nidhi: Or Ocean of indian chemistry and alchemy

Bhāvana is a process in which the drugs are mixed with liquid substance grounded to soft mass and allowed to dry.

(Source): Ayurveda and Pharmaceutics (rasashastra)

Bhāvanā is the process by which powders of drugs are levigated to a soft mass with specified liquids and allowed to dry. (see the Rasataraṅgiṇī 2.49, which is a 16th century alchemical century treatise on Rasaśāstra by Bhānudatta).

(Source): CCRAS: Ayurvedic pharmacopoeia of India, Appendix I
Rasashastra book cover
context information

Rasashastra (रसशास्त्र, rasaśāstra) is an important branch of Ayurveda, specialising in chemical interactions with herbs, metals and minerals. Some texts combine yogic and tantric practices with various alchemical operations. The ultimate goal of Rasashastra is not only to preserve and prolong life, but also to bestow wealth upon humankind.

Vastushastra (architecture)

1) Bhavana (भवन) refers to a “temple”, and in a broader sense represents “devotional place” or “residence of God”. It is one of commonly used names for a temple, as found in Vāstuśāstra literature such the Mayamata and the Mānasāra.

2) Bhavana (भवन) is a Sanskrit technical term denoting a “residence” in general, according to the lists of synonyms given in the Mayamata XIX.10-12, the Mānasāra XIX.108-12 and the Samarāṅgaṇa-sūtradhāra XVIII.8-9, all populair treatises on Vāstuśāstra literature.

(Source): Wisdom Library: Vāstu-śāstra
Vastushastra book cover
context information

Vastushastra (वास्तुशास्त्र, vāstuśāstra) refers to the ancient Indian science (shastra) of architecture (vastu), dealing with topics such architecture, sculpture, town-building, fort building and various other constructions. Vastu also deals with the philosophy of the architectural relation with the cosmic universe.


Bhavana (भवन) is the name for a “building” that once existed in ancient Kashmir (Kaśmīra) as mentioned in the Nīlamatapurāṇa.—The terms—bhavana, gṛha, niveśana, ālaya, veśma, āyatana, aṭṭālaka etc. have been used in the Nīlamata for buildings but it is not possible to distinguish between the significance of one term and the other. No example of the period of the Nīlamata has been preserved. The Nīlamata says nothing about the building-materials. All that is known about the houses mentioned in the Nīlamata is that those had doors and ventilators and were whitewashed. The decoration of houses with fruits, leaves and garlands of rice-plants is also referred to.

(Source): Nilamata Purana: a cultural and literary study

1) Bhavana (भवन).—House; the time for the building of houses; Vaiśākha, Āṣāḍha, Śrāvaṇa, Kārttika, Mārgaśīrṣa, Phālguṇa are recommended; Citra, Jyeṣṭha, Bhādrapada, Āśvayuja, Pauṣa, and Māgha are not recommended; the nakṣatras Aśvini, Rohiṇi, Mūlam, the three Uttaras, Svāti, Hasta and Anūrādha are commended; excepting Sundays and Wednesdays all days are good; the respective position of Sūrya and Candra must be considered; this also applies to the making of wells and tanks; the examination of the ground is differently mentioned for different castes; Sāmāhika vāstu is to be installed; details as regards the kind of wood, the position and other technique are also given in the chapter; the following chapter (254) gives a description of catusśāla, triśāla, dviśāla and ekaśāla. That of the king (palace): consists of five prākāras; of Yuvarāja, etc., of the four castes and then of performers of penance.*

  • * Matsya-purāṇa Chh. 252-4.

2a) Bhāvana (भावन).—A son of Bhṛgu, and a Deva.*

  • * Brahmāṇḍa-purāṇa III. 1. 89; Vāyu-purāṇa 65. 87.

2b) The Devas of the Auttama epoch.*

  • * Matsya-purāṇa 9. 13.
(Source): Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: The Purana Index
Purana book cover
context information

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.

Shaivism (Shaiva philosophy)

Bhāvanā (भावना) refers to “creative contemplation”.

(Source): Wisdom Library: Śaivism
Shaivism book cover
context information

Shaiva (शैव, śaiva) or Shaivism (śaivism) represents a tradition of Hinduism worshiping Shiva as the supreme being. Closely related to Shaktism, Shaiva literature includes a range of scriptures, including Tantras, while the root of this tradition may be traced back to the ancient Vedas.

Vyakarana (Sanskrit grammar)

Bhāvanā (भावना).—The term bhāvanā has several meaning. The grammarians hold it on a par with action (vyāpāra) denoted by a verbal root. The Naiyāyikas list it under saṃskāra which having been produced by experience gives rise to memory. The Mīmāṃsakas define it as the particular activity of an agent conducive to the production of that which is to come into being. This may be explained by the following example.

Viṣṇumitra o rders Devadatta to bring a cow. The former intends to generate an inclination in the latter’s mind so that he may be prompted to bring the cow. The intention or effort on the part of Viṣṇumitra and Devadatta’s inclination are both called bhāvanā which, according to the Mīmāṃsakas is denoted by the affix added to the verbal root to form the optative or the imperative.

(Source): Shodhganga: Vaiyākaraṇabhūṣaṇasāra: a critical study

Bhāvanā (भावना).—Effort, activity.

(Source): Wikisource: A dictionary of Sanskrit grammar
context information

Vyakarana (व्याकरण, vyākaraṇa) refers to Sanskrit grammar and represents one of the six additional sciences (vedanga) to be studied along with the Vedas. Vyakarana concerns itself with the rules of Sanskrit grammar and linguistic analysis in order to establish the correct context of words and sentences.

Natyashastra (theatrics and dramaturgy)

Bhavana (भवन) is the name of a sage who was in the company of Bharata when he recited the Nāṭyaveda them, according to the Nāṭyaśāstra chapter 35. Accordingly, they asked the following questions, “O the best Brahmin (lit. the bull of the twice-born), tell us about the character of the god who appears in the Preliminaries (pūrvaraṅga). Why is the sound [of musical instruments] applied there? What purpose does it serve when applied? What god is pleased with this, and what does he do on being pleased? Why does the Director being himself clean, perform ablution again on the stage? How, O sir, the drama has come (lit. dropped) down to the earth from heaven? Why have your descendants come to be known as Śūdras?”.

(Source): Wisdom Library: Nāṭya-śāstra
Natyashastra book cover
context information

Natyashastra (नाट्यशास्त्र, nāṭyaśāstra) refers to both the ancient Indian tradition (śāstra) of performing arts, (nāṭya, e.g., theatrics, drama, dance, music), as well as the name of a Sanskrit work dealing with these subjects. It also teaches the rules for composing dramatic plays (nataka) and poetic works (kavya).

General definition (in Hinduism)

Bhāvana is the urge, inspiration to perform yajña. This is caused by the desire for its result. Thus from the perspective of yajña, desire is seen as an inspiration to performing karma. Need and desire are the two inspirations for beings to perform karma that run the activity of phenomenal world.

Bhāvana has three aspects:

  1. what is desired
  2. what is the means
  3. what is the method.

From the injunctions of Śruti, these are learned. For instance, from injunctions such as “one who desires cattle should perform Citra”.

(Source): Hindupedia: The Hindu Encyclopedia

In Buddhism

Theravada (major branch of Buddhism)

Mental cultivation or development; meditation. The third of the three grounds for meritorious action.(Source): Access to Insight: A Glossary of Pali and Buddhist Terms

F (Progression, development of the concentration). Training lying in developing the concentration.

(Source): Dhamma Dana: Pali English Glossary

'mental development' (lit. 'calling into existence, producing') is what in English is generally but rather vaguely called 'meditation'. One has to distinguish 2 kinds:

  • development of tranquillity (samatha-bhāvanā), i.e. concentration (samādhi), and
  • development of insight (vipassanā-bhāvanā), i.e. wisdom (paññā).

These two important terms, tranquillity and insight (s. samatha-vipassanā), are very often met with and explained in the Sutta, as well as in the Abhidhamma.

Tranquillity (samatha) is the concentrated, unshaken, peaceful, and therefore undefiled state of mind, whilst insight (vipassanā) is the intuitive insight into the impermanence, misery and impersonality (anicca, dukkha, anattā; s. tilakkhana) of all bodily and mental phenomena of existence, included in the 5 groups of existence, namely, corporeality, feeling, perception, mental formations and consciousness; s. khandha.

Tranquillity, or concentration of mind, according to Sankhepavannana (Commentary to Abhidhammattha-sangaha), bestows a threefold blessing: favourable rebirth, present happy life, and purity of mind which is the condition of insight. Concentration (samādhi) is the indispensable foundation and precondition of insight by purifying the mind from the 5 mental defilements or hindrances (nīvarana), whilst insight (vipassanā) produces the 4 supra mundane stages of holiness and deliverance of mind. The Buddha therefore says: "May you develop mental concentration, o monks; for who is mentally concentrated, sees things according to reality" (S.XXII.5). And in Mil. it is said: "Just as when a lighted lamp is brought into a dark chamber, the lamp-light will destroy the darkness and produce and spread the light, just so will insight, once arisen, destroy the darkness of ignorance and produce the light of knowledge."

Vis.M. III-XI gives full directions how to attain full concentration and the absorptions (jhāna) by means of the following 40 meditation subjects (kammatthāna):

  • 10 kasina-exercises (s. kasina). These produce the 4 absorptions

  • 10 loathsome subjects (asubha). These produce the 1st absorption.

  • 10 recollections (anussati):

    • of the Buddha (buddhānussati),
    • the Doctrine (dhammānussati),
    • the Brotherhood of the Noble Ones (sanghānussati),
    • morality,
    • liberality,
    • the heavenly beings,
    • death (maranasati),
    • the body (kāyagatāsati),
    • in-and-out breathing (ānāpāna-sati)
    • peace (upasamānussati).

    Among these, the recollection (or mindfulness) of in-and-out breathing may produce all the 4 absorptions, that of the body the 1st absorption, the rest only neighbourhood-concentration (upacāra-samādhi, s. samādhi).

  • 4 sublime abodes (brahma-vihāra):

    • loving-kindness (mettā)
    • compassion (karunā)
    • altruistic joy (muditā)
    • equanimity (upekkhā).

    Of these, the first 3 exercises may produce 3 absorptions, the last one the 4th absorption only.

  • 4 immaterial spheres (arūpāyatana, s. jhāna):

    • of unbounded space,
    • unbounded consciousness,
    • nothingness,
    • neither-perception-nor-non-perception.

    These are based upon the 4th absorption.

  • 1 perception of the loathsomeness of food (āhāre patikkūla-saññā), which may produce neighbourhood-concentration

  • 1 analysis of the 4 elements (catudhātu-vavatthāna, s. dhātu-vavatthāna), which may produce neighbourhood-concentration.

Mental development forms one of the 3 kinds of meritorious action (puñña-kiriya-vatthu).

'Delight in meditation' (bhāvanā-rāmatā) is one of the noble usages (ariya-vamsa) .

(Source): Pali Kanon: Manual of Buddhist Terms and Doctrines

(mental) development: bhāvanā. - Effort to develop, s. padhāna. - Wisdom based on d. s. paññā. - Gradual d. of the Eightfold Path in the 'progress of the disciple'.

(Source): Pali Kanon: Manual of Buddhist Terms and Doctrines

mental development ;

(Source): Dhamma Study: Cetasikas
context information

Theravāda is a major branch of Buddhism having the the Pali canon (tipitaka) as their canonical literature, which includes the vinaya-pitaka (monastic rules), the sutta-pitaka (Buddhist sermons) and the abhidhamma-pitaka (philosophy and psychology).

General definition (in Buddhism)

Bhavana has been generally translated as "development" or "producing." More specfically, it denotes "developing by means of thought or meditation, cultivation by mind" and, in Buddhist contexts, "reflection, contemplation." The word is found in Buddhist, Hindu and Jain texts.

In Buddhist teachings, bhavana is often found in compound forms indicating a type of intra personal development involving personal, intentional effort over time.

In Hindu texts such as the Mahabharata bhavana can mean "causing to be, effecting, producing, displaying, manifesting" and "promoting or effecting any ones ... welfare," as well as "forming in the mind," "apprehension" and "meditation.

(Source): WikiPedia: Buddhism

Bhāvanā Skt., Pali; meditation, mind devel­opment, all those practices usually designated as meditation. Two types of bhāvanā are distin­guished: the development of tranquillity (shamatha) and clear seeing (vipashyanā). Tranquillity is the prerequisite for attaining clear seeing. According to the Visuddhi­magga there are forty different exercises leading to the development of tranquillity. They include absorption (dhyāna), contemplation (samāpati), and concentration (samādhi).

(Source): Shambala Publications: General

Languages of India and abroad

Pali-English dictionary

bhavana : (nt.) becoming; a dwelling place. || bhāvanā (f.) increase; development by means of thought; meditation.

(Source): BuddhaSasana: Concise Pali-English Dictionary

Bhāvanā, (f.) (fr. bhāveti, or fr. bhāva in meaning of bhāva 2, cp. Class. Sk. bhāvanā) producing, dwelling on something, putting one’s thoughts to, application, developing by means of thought or meditation, cultivation by mind, culture.—See on term Dhs. trsl 261 (=2 240); Expos. I. 217 (=DhsA. 163); Cpd. 207 n. 2. ‹-› Cp. pari°, vi°, sam°.—Vin. I, 294 (indriya°); D. III, 219 (three: kāya°, citta°, paññā°), 221, 225, 285, 291; S. I, 48; Dh. 73, 301; J. I, 196 (mettā°); III, 45 (id.); Nd1 143 (saññā°); Nett 91 (samatha-vipassanaṃ); Vbh. 12, 16 sq. , 199, 325; Vism. 130 (karaṇa, bhāvanā, rakkhaṇa; here bh. =bringing out, keeping in existence), 314 (karuṇā°), 317 (upekkhā°); Miln. 25 (°ṃ anuyuñjati); Sdhp. 15, 216, 233, 451.

—ânuyoga application to meditation Vbh. 244, 249. —ārāma joy of or pleasure in self culture A. II, 28. —bala power to increase the effect of meditation, power of self-culture A. I, 52; D. III, 213. —maya accomplished by culture practice; brought into existence by practice (of cultured thought), cp. Cpd. 207. D. III, 218, 219; Nett 8; with dānamaya & sīlamaya at It. 19, 51; Vbh. 135, 325. —vidhāna arrangement of process of culture DhsA. 168=Vism. 122. (Page 503)

— or —

Bhavana, (nt.) (fr. bhū) dwelling, sphere, world, realm S. I, 206, Sn. 810 (see expln Nd1 132: nerayikānaṃ nirayo bh. etc. & SnA 534: niray’ādi-bhede bhavane); Nd1 448 (Inda° the realm of Indra); J. III, 275 (nāga° the world of the Nāgas). (Page 500)

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

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.

Marathi-English dictionary

bhavana (भवन).—n S A house or dwelling place. 2 Being or existing. 3 The place of abiding or being.

--- OR ---

bhāvanā (भावना).—f (S) Forming in the mind; conceiving, imagining, supposing. Ex. īśvarāsa mūrtti āhē asī bhā0 kimapi karūṃ nayē; tō sādhu āhē asī bhā0 karuna tyālā vandā. 2 State of health; feeling of body as respects healthfulness. In this sense some popular compounds are rōgabhāvanā, maratī- bhāvanā, vāñcatībhāvanā, paḍatībhāvanā, caḍhatībhāvanā, raḍatībhāvanā Sickly state, dying state, convalescence &c. 3 Assurance; faith in or towards; conviction or confidence regarding. Pr. yādṛśī bhāvanā tādṛś phalaṃ As is faith so is the fruit. 4 A common term for the operations (of baking, sun-drying, boiling down &c.) in preparing medical compositions. 5 In algebra. A mode of multiplying; distinguished into antarbhāvanā, samāsabhāvanā, tulyabhāvanā. 6 Laxly. Natural constitution, nature. Ex. tyā āmbyācī bhāvanāca asī kīṃ kōīpāsīṃ ambaṭa asāvēṃ. 7 In medicine. A malady with its symptoms; the whole disease or disorder constituting the diagnosis.

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

bhavana (भवन).—n A house. Being or existing.

--- OR ---

bhāvanā (भावना).—f Imagining, fancy. Symptom, indications of a condition of health. Conviction or confidence regarding. Natural constitution.

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