Carya, aka: Caryā, Cāryā; 12 Definition(s)


Carya means something in Buddhism, Pali, Hinduism, Sanskrit, Jainism, Prakrit, the history of ancient India, 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.

Alternative spellings of this word include Charya.

In Hinduism

Purana and Itihasa (epic history)

Carya (चर्य).—A Yoganātha.*

  • * Brahmāṇḍa-purāṇa IV. 37. 29.
Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: The Purana Index
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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Shaivism (Shaiva philosophy)

Carya (चर्य, “conduct”) or caryapada refers to the first division of the āgamas.—The four classes of devotees (bhakta) or the states of spiritual life somewhat correspond to the four divisions of the Āgamas and the four modes of sādhana, spiritual practice, they entail. Thus, sālokya corresponds to carya, ritual and moral conduct, sāmīpya to kriyā, architectural and iconographic making, sārūpya to yoga, meditation, and sāyūjya ta jñāna, theology and gnosis.

Source: McGill: The architectural theory of the Mānasāra (shaivism)
Shaivism book cover
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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.

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Pancaratra (worship of Nārāyaṇa)

Caryā (चर्या) or Caryāpāda refers to the third of four sections (pāda) of the Pāñcarātra system of thought.—Caryā is the detailed description of the ritual of daily pūjā ceremony as well as of periodical festivals. The best description of all these four aspects of Pāñcarātra (eg., jñāna) is found in the Padma-saṃhitā, a simplified elaboration of the Jayākhya-saṃhitā.

Source: Isvara Samhita Vol 1
Pancaratra book cover
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Pancaratra (पाञ्चरात्र, pāñcarātra) represents a tradition of Hinduism where Narayana is revered and worshipped. Closeley related to Vaishnavism, the Pancaratra literature includes various Agamas and tantras incorporating many Vaishnava philosophies.

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In Buddhism

Mahayana (major branch of Buddhism)

Caryā (चर्या) refers to the “four practices of the Bodhisattva”, according to the 2nd century Mahāprajñāpāramitāśāstra chapter 52.

The four practices (caryā) of the Bodhisattva are:

  1. prakṛticaryā, the natural qualities and virtues of the Bodhisattva.
  2. praṇidhānacaryā, the production of the mind of bodhi.
  3. anulomacaryā, conduct in conformity with vow.
  4. anivartanacaryā, assured and non-regressing conduct up to bodhi.

Notes:These four bodhisasattvacaryās are proposed by the Mahāvastu, a work derived from the branch of the Mahāsāṃghikas called the Lokottaravādins of Madhyadeśa. This classification is different from and independent of the preceding one but, like it, is modeled on the scheme of the śrāvaka’s career, the adept of the Lesser Vehicle who, after being instructed by the Buddha and after a long period of effort, enters into the path of nirvāṇa, successively conquers the fruits of Srotaāpanna, Sakṛdāgāmin and anāgāmin and finally accedes to Arhathood. There is, thus, a parallelism between the career of the śrāvaka and that of the Bodhisattva, with the essential difference that the former pursues his own benefit (svārtha) above all, whereas the latter assures both his own benefit and that of others (parārtha).

Source: Wisdom Library: Maha Prajnaparamita Sastra

Carya means ’practice’, ’conduct’, or ’action’.

Source: Kunpal: Shantideva's Bodhisattva-charyavatara
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)

Caryā (चर्या, “wandering”) refers to one of the  hardships (parīṣaha), or “series of trials hard to endure” according to the Triṣaṣṭiśalākāpuruṣacaritra 10.1 (Incarnation as Nandana). While practicing penance for a lac of years, Muni Nandana also endured a series of trials hard to endure (eg., caryā). Nandana is the name of a king as well as one of Mahāvīra’s previous births.

Source: Trisastisalakapurusacaritra Vol-i
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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

caryā (चर्या).—f (S) Deportment, manner, way, usual course or conduct. 2 Air, look, mien, cast of the countenance: also character of the complexion or look (as to healthiness or sickness). 3 S Constant or regular observance of prescribed rites or established customs. Ex. vratācī hē caryā || tvarita phaḷa dēīla sabaḷā ||. caryā pālaṭaṇēṃ or badalaṇēṃ g. of s. To recover healthiness and freshness of look (after sickness).

Source: DDSA: The Molesworth Marathi and English Dictionary

caryā (चर्या).—f Deportment, manner. Air, look, mien. caryā pālaṭaṇēṃ or badalaṇēṃ To recover healthiness and freshness of look (after sickness).

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

Carya (चर्य).—a. [car-karmaṇi yat] To be gone; to be practised &c.

-ryā 1 Going about, moving, walking about; driving or going in a carriage; रथ° (ratha°) U.5.

2) Course, motion; as in सहचर्या (sahacaryā).

3) Behaviour, conduct, deportment.

4) Practice, performance, observance; Ms.1.111; व्रतचर्या, तपश्चर्या (vratacaryā, tapaścaryā).

5) Regular performance of all rites or customs.

6) Eating.

7) A custom, usage; Ms.6.32.

8) Pervading; visiting.

-ryam 1 Going about.

2) Behaviour, conduct.

--- OR ---

Caryā (चर्या).—See under चर् (car).

--- OR ---

Cāryā (चार्या).—f.

1) A path, A road which is eight cubits broad दण्डान्तरा द्विदण्डान्तरा वा चार्याः कारयेत् (daṇḍāntarā dvidaṇḍāntarā vā cāryāḥ kārayet) Kau. A.1.3.

Source: DDSA: The practical Sanskrit-English dictionary

Caryā (चर्या).—(Sanskrit) = cari, q.v., used like that form (regu-larly in prose, but also in verses) esp. of the course of conduct of Bodhisattvas, which has four aspects or stages: catvārīmāni bodhisattvānāṃ bodhisattvacaryāṇi Mv i.1.2, listed in 3 as prakṛti-caryā, praṇidhāna-c°, anuloma-c°, anivartana-c° (compare Senart i p. xxi); same list, called cata- sraḥ…bodhisattvacaryāḥ i.46.6; they are discussed in the following 46.8 ff. (prakṛti-c° 46.8—47.11; praṇidhi-c° 47.12—63.10; anuloma- and avivarta-c°, very briefly, 63.11—14); they seem to be aspects, or possibly successive stages, of the Bodhisattva's long course of development; prakṛti- refers to his original, basic andowment; praṇi- dhāna- (°dhi-) to his vows to attain enlightenment; anuloma- (also ānulomikī, see s.v. ānulomika) alludes to his progressive approach to the goal, and anivartana- (avivarta-) refers to the point at which it becomes im- possible for him to backslide. We also find bodhicaryā(ṇi, with nt. ending, as above) Mv i.252.4, °ryāṃ ii.341.1 (both of these verses), and duṣkara-caryāṃ ii.241.4 (prose), parallel to bodhi-cari and duṣkara-cari.See further artha- caryā, dharma-caryā.

Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: Edgerton Buddhist Hybrid Sanskrit 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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Relevant definitions

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