Caturdvipa, Caturdvīpa, Catur-dvipa: 3 definitions


Caturdvipa means something in Buddhism, Pali, Hinduism, Sanskrit. 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 Chaturdvipa.

In Buddhism

Mahayana (major branch of Buddhism)

[«previous next»] — Caturdvipa in Mahayana glossary
Source: Wisdom Library: Maha Prajnaparamita Sastra

Caturdvīpa (चतुर्द्वीप) (Cf. Caturdvīpaka) refers to the “four continents”, according Mahāprajñāpāramitāśāstra (chapter XV).—At dawn (sūryodaya), the Buddha, who knew Ānanda’s thoughts, entered into the Daybreak samādhi (sūryodayasamādhi); then he emitted rays (raśmi) from all the pores of his skin (romakūpa). Like the sun, he emitted rays the brilliance of which spread successively over Jambudvīpa, the four continents (caturdvīpaka), the Trisāhasramahāsāhasralokadhātu and finally over all the innumerable universes of the ten directions (daśadiglokadhātu).

Mahayana book cover
context information

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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General definition (in Buddhism)

[«previous next»] — Caturdvipa in Buddhism glossary
Source: Wisdom Library: Dharma-samgraha

Caturdvīpa (चतुर्द्वीप) or simply Dvīpa refers to the “four continents” as defined in the Dharma-saṃgraha (section 120):

  1. Pūrvavideha in the east,
  2. Jambudvīpa in the centre,
  3. Aparagodānī in the west,
  4. Uttarakurudvīpa in the north.

The Dharma-samgraha (Dharmasangraha) is an extensive glossary of Buddhist technical terms in Sanskrit (e.g., catur-dvīpa). The work is attributed to Nagarjuna who lived around the 2nd century A.D.

Languages of India and abroad

Sanskrit dictionary

[«previous next»] — Caturdvipa in Sanskrit glossary
Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: Edgerton Buddhist Hybrid Sanskrit Dictionary

Cāturdvīpa (चातुर्द्वीप).—also semi-MIndic cātudvīpa (1) adj. (= Pali cātuddīpa; from catur-dvīpa plus -a), (ruler) of the earth consisting of four continents, epithet of a cakravartin: Mahāvastu i.49.2; 52.8; 108.7; 114.13; 193.14; 220.2 = ii.22.3; ii.158.14; iii.102.15; epithet of rājya, rulership: Mahāvastu i.95.2, 4; (2) adj. and subst., consisting of the four continents, epithet of the earth: °pāṃ mahīṃ Mahāvastu i.208.4 (corrupt in mss.) = ii.12.13; as subst., gender uncertain (f. would be expected, recorded forms ambiguous): daśacātudvīpanayutānāṃ… madhyama cātudvīpa, the midmost world of ten nayutas of worlds, Gaṇḍavyūha 254.6—7 (verses; final short a perhaps m.c. for ā ?); cāturdvīpeśvaro, lord of the whole world, Daśabhūmikasūtra.g. 53(79).2 (as subst., without other noun; compare caturdvī°).

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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