Cetana, Cetanā: 28 definitions


Cetana 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.

Alternative spellings of this word include Chetana.

In Hinduism

Purana and Itihasa (epic history)

Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: The Purana Index

1) Cetana (चेतन).—Is Cyavana.*

  • * Vāyu-purāṇa 65. 88.

2) Cetanā (चेतना).—Released by Indra in the sacrifice.*

  • * Vāyu-purāṇa 65. 81.
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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Samkhya (school of philosophy)

Source: Shodhganga: Prakrti and purusa in Samkhyakarika an analytical review

Cetana (चेतन, “conscious”).—According to Sāṃkhyakārikā 11, both vyakta and avyakta are unconscious (acetana). As the puruṣa is opposite of vyakta and avyakta (“tad viparita”), so he is conscious (cetana). To comment on Sāṃkhyakārikā 5, Vācaspati says, all material elements (jada) transform themselves in every moment except the consciousness (citiśakteḥ), i.e. puruṣa. Again, in Sāṃkhyakārikā 19, puruṣa is described as a mere spectator, i.e draṣṭā (seer). To comment on this, Vācaspati says, only consciousness can be a seer (draṣṭā), no unconscious element can be a seer (draṣṭā). As puruṣa is a seer, so it is conscious i.e cetana and as puruṣa is conscious (cetana) and non-object (aviṣaya), so it is witness (sākṣī) and seer (draṣṭā).

Samkhya book cover
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Samkhya (सांख्य, Sāṃkhya) is a dualistic school of Hindu philosophy (astika) and is closeley related to the Yoga school. Samkhya philosophy accepts three pramanas (‘proofs’) only as valid means of gaining knowledge. Another important concept is their theory of evolution, revolving around prakriti (matter) and purusha (consciousness).

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Ayurveda (science of life)

Source: gurumukhi.ru: Ayurveda glossary of terms

1) Cetanā (चेतना):—Conscious element: Universal soul or spirit.

2) Cetana (चेतन):—[cetanaḥ] Conscious

Ayurveda book cover
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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.

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Shaivism (Shaiva philosophy)

Source: academia.edu: Religious Inclusivism in the Writings of an Early Modern Sanskrit Intellectual (Shaivism)

Cetana (चेतन) refers to “consciousness”, according to the Pauṣkarāgama, which is said to be a subsidiary (upabheda) of the Pārameśvara, itself one of the 28 tantras or āgamas recognized as authoritative by Śaivas.—One of the key passages examined by Appaya (ad Brahmamīmāṃsābhāṣya 2.2.38) is from the Pauṣkarāgama Vidyāpāda 4-5: “Just like Śiva, [His] śakti is not a material cause for it has the nature of consciousness. Transformation is taught [to be possible] for what is insentient; it is not possible for what has the nature of consciousness [i.e., cetana]”.—(Cf. Kiraṇatantra 2.26)

Source: Brill: Śaivism and the Tantric Traditions (philosophy)

Cetanā (चेतना) refers to “consciousness”, according to the Īśvarapratyabhijñāvivṛtivimarśinī 2.131:—“[...] For the former [i.e., Ṣaḍdhātusamīkṣā] acknowledge that ordinary human practice is accounted for if this much [is admitted]: the five elements and consciousness (cetanā), because such other [things as] the sense organs are included in these; whereas the latter admit that the ordinary human practice [consisting in the relationship between] an apprehending [subject] and an apprehended [object] is accounted for if a particular transformation called ‘consciousness’ arises in the four elements from [some of their] various combinations, and if this transformation does not arise [from other combinations of the four elements]”.

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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In Buddhism

Tibetan Buddhism (Vajrayana or tantric Buddhism)

Source: Wisdom Library: Tibetan Buddhism

Cetanā (चेतना) is the name of Vidyārājñī (i.e., “wisdom queen”) mentioned as attending the teachings in the 6th century Mañjuśrīmūlakalpa: one of the largest Kriyā Tantras devoted to Mañjuśrī (the Bodhisattva of wisdom) representing an encyclopedia of knowledge primarily concerned with ritualistic elements in Buddhism. The teachings in this text originate from Mañjuśrī and were taught to and by Buddha Śākyamuni in the presence of a large audience (including Cetanā).

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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Theravada (major branch of Buddhism)

Source: Journey to Nibbana: Patthana Dhama

One of the Sabbacittasadharana cetasikas. Cetana is volition. It urges citta and other co arising cetasikas to do their jobs. Cetana is the chief commiter of all actions bodily actions, verbal actions and mental actions.

While it arises together with committing citta, it becomes a potential like a seed that would grow to its full resultant effects whenever conditions favour. This potential or kamma always follow along with each arising citta as if our shades follow ourselves all the time and this will be ongoing until cuti citta or arahats.

Source: Dhamma Study: Cetasikas

1. Cetana, volition, is a cetasika which arises with every citta, as we have seen. Seeing, hearing or thinking which arise now are accompanied by cetana. Every type of cetana perform the function of coordinating the different tasks of the accompanying dhammas, no matter whether the citta is kusala citta, akusala citta, vipaka citta or kiriya citta.

2. The characteristic of cetana is coordinating. It coordinates the citta and the other cetasikas it accompanies on the object.

One of the Seven Universals.

Source: Pali Kanon: Manual of Buddhist Terms and Doctrines

'volition', will, is one of the seven mental factors (cetasika, q.v.) inseparably bound up with all consciousness, namely sensorial or mental impression (phassa), feeling (vedanā), perception (saññā), volition (cetanā), concentration (samādhi), vitality (jīvita), advertence (manasikāra). Cf. Tab. II, III.

With regard to karmical volition (i.e. wholesome or unwholesome karma) it is said in A. VI, 13: "Volition is action (karma), thus I say, o monks; for as soon as volition arises, one does the action, be it by body, speech or mind." For details, s. paticca-samuppāda (10), karma.

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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).

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Mahayana (major branch of Buddhism)

Source: archive.org: Bulletin of the French School of the Far East (volume 5)

Cetana (चेतन) [?] (in Chinese: Tch'ö-ta-na) is the name of an ancient kingdom associated with Punarvasu or Punarvasunakṣatra, as mentioned in chapter 18 of the Candragarbha: the 55th section of the Mahāsaṃnipāta-sūtra, a large compilation of Sūtras (texts) in Mahāyāna Buddhism partly available in Sanskrit, Tibetan and Chinese.—Chapter 18 deals with geographical astrology and, in conversation with Brahmarāja and others, Buddha explains how he entrusts the Nakṣatras [e.g., Punarvasu] with a group of kingdoms [e.g., Cetana] for the sake of protection and prosperity.

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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General definition (in Buddhism)

Source: Wisdom Library: Dharma-samgraha

Cetanā (चेतना, “intentions”) refers to one of the fourty “conditions” (saṃskāra) that are “associated with mind” (citta-samprayukta) as defined in the Dharma-saṃgraha (section 30). The Dharma-samgraha (Dharmasangraha) is an extensive glossary of Buddhist technical terms in Sanskrit (e.g., cetanā). The work is attributed to Nagarjuna who lived around the 2nd century A.D.

Source: Buddhist Door: Glossary

or mental formation, or action, or conduct, or deed, usually done through the body, mouth or mind. The Sanskrit word is Samskara.

In Jainism

General definition (in Jainism)

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

Cetana (चेतन) refers to “sentient”, according to the 11th century Jñānārṇava, a treatise on Jain Yoga in roughly 2200 Sanskrit verses composed by Śubhacandra.—Accordingly, “Whatever objects, sentient and non-sentient (cetana-itarapadārthāś cetanetarāḥ) [com.—sentient and others (cetanāś ca itarāś ca)], there are in the three worlds, they all are described by mendicants as continually transitory. The meeting of beloved women is like a city in the sky. Youth or wealth is like a mass of clouds. Relations, children and bodies, etc. are perishable as lightning. You must understand that the whole action of the cycle of rebirth is thus momentary”.

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

Pali-English dictionary

Source: BuddhaSasana: Concise Pali-English Dictionary

cetanā : (f.) intention.

Source: Sutta: The Pali Text Society's Pali-English Dictionary

Cetanā, (f. abstr. fr. cet, see cinteti) state of ceto in action, thinking as active thought, intention, purpose, will. Defined as action (kamma: A iii. 415; cp. KV. VIII, 9, § 38 untraced quotation; cp. A. V, 292). Often combined w. patthanā & paṇidhi (wish & aspiration), e.g. S. II, 99, 154; A. I, 32, 224; V 212; Nd2 112 (in def. of asucimanussā, people of ignoble action: asuciyā cetanāya, patthanāya, paṇidhinā samannāgatā). Also classed with these in a larger group in KV. , e.g. 343, 380.—combined w. vedanā saññā c. citta phassa manasikāra in def. of nāmakāya (opp. rūpakāya) S. II, 3 (without citta), Ps. I, 183 (do.); Nett 77, 78.—enumerated under the four blessings of vatthu, paccaya, c. , guṇātireka (-sampadā) & def. as “cetanāya somanassa-sahagatañāṇa-sampayutta-bhāvo” at DhA. III, 94.—C. is opposed to cetasika (i.e. ceto) in its determination of the 7 items of good conduct (see sīla) which refers to actions of the body (or are wilful, called cetanākamma Nett 43, 96; otherwise distinguished as kāya- & vacīkammantā A. V, 292 sq.), whereas the 3 last items (sīla 8—10) refer to the behaviour of the mind (cetasikakamma Nett. , mano-kammanta A), viz. the shrinking back from covetousness, malice, & wrong views. ‹-› Vin. III, 112; S. III, 60; A. II, 232 (kaṇhassa kammassa pahānāya cetanā: intention to give up wrong-doing); VvA. 72 (vadhaka-cetanā wilful murder); maraṇacetanā intention of death DhA. I, 20; āhār’āsā cetanā intention consisting in deśire for food Vism. 537. ‹-› PvA. 8, 30 (pariccāga° intention to give); Pug. 12; Miln. 94; Sdhp. 52, 72.—In scholastic lgg. often explained as cetanā sañcetanā sañcetayitatta (viz. state or behaviour of volition) Dhs. 5; Vbh. 285.—Cp. Dhs. 58 (+citta); Vbh. 401 (id.); Vbh. 40, 403; Vism. 463 (cetayatī ti cetanā; abhisandahatī ti attho). (Page 271)

Pali book cover
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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.

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Marathi-English dictionary

Source: DDSA: The Molesworth Marathi and English Dictionary

cētana (चेतन).—a (S) Endued with life (animal or vegetable). 2 Sentient, percipient, conscious.

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cētanā (चेतना).—f (S) Life or vitality. 2 Generative or procreative power, virility. 3 S Understanding, intelligence, mind.

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

cētana (चेतन).—a Endued with life. Conscious, sentient.

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cētanā (चेतना).—f Life. Virility. Intelligence.

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

Cetana (चेतन).—a. (- f.) [चित् -ल्यु (cit -lyu)]

1) Animate, alive, living, sentient, feeling; चेतनाचेतनेषु (cetanācetaneṣu) Meghadūta 5 animate and inanimate.

2) Visible, conspicuous, distinguished.

-naḥ 1 A sentient being, a man.

2) Soul, mind.

3) The supreme soul.

4) An animal in general.

-nā 1 Sense, consciousness; चुलुकयति मदीयां चेतनां चञ्चरीकः (culukayati madīyāṃ cetanāṃ cañcarīkaḥ) R. G.; Uttararāmacarita 3.31; Mālatīmādhava (Bombay) 9.12; R.12.74; चेतनां प्रतिपद्यते (cetanāṃ pratipadyate) regains one's consciousness.

2) Understanding, intelligence; पश्चिमाद्यामिनीयामात्प्रसादमिव चेतना (paścimādyāminīyāmātprasādamiva cetanā) R.17.1; ... शास्ताखानोऽल्प- चेतनः (śāstākhāno'lpa- cetanaḥ) Śiva. B.29.9.

3) Life, vitality, animation; Bhagavadgītā (Bombay) 13.6.

4) Wisdom, reflection.

-nam Appearance.

2) The thinking principle, the mind; अच्युतचेतनः (acyutacetanaḥ) Bhāgavata 9.15.41.

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

Cetana (चेतन).—mfn.

(-naḥ-nā-naṃ) Alive, living, feeling. m.

(-naḥ) 1. Soul, self. 2. A man. 3. A living and sentient being. f.

(-nā) Understanding, intelligence, wisdom, reflection. E. cit to reflect, affix lyuṭ .

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

Cetana (चेतन).—i. e. 1. cit + ana, I. m. A sentient being, [Meghadūta, (ed. Gildemeister.)] 5. Ii. f. . 1. Consciousness, [Bhāgavata-Purāṇa, (ed. Burnouf.)] 4, 21, 34. 2. Recollection, [Pañcatantra] 35, 11. (ºnāṃ labdhvā, After having recovered his senses). 3. Intellect, [Mānavadharmaśāstra] 9, 67. Comp. A-, adj., f. . 1. insensible, [Bhartṛhari, (ed. Bohlen.)] 2, 30. 2. unconscious of one’s self, [Nala] 13, 35. Nis-, adj. 1. unreasonable, [Rāmāyaṇa] 2, 41, 6. 2. unconscious of one’s self, [Pañcatantra] 146, 12. Vi-, adj. unconscious, senseless, lifeless. Sa-, adj. recovering one’s senses, [Pañcatantra] 43, 10.

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

Cetana (चेतन).—([feminine] cetanī) perceptible, visible, conspicuous, excellent; perceiving, conscious, intelligent. [masculine] a sentient being, a man; [feminine] cetanā consciousness, intelligence; [neuter] appearance, perception, soul, mind.

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

1) Cetana (चेतन):—[from cit] a mf(ī)n. visible, conspicuous, distinguished, excellent, [Ṛg-veda; Atharva-veda ix, 4, 21]

2) [v.s. ...] percipient, conscious, sentient, intelligent, [Kaṭha-upaniṣad v, 13; Śvetāśvatara-upaniṣad vi, 13; Harivaṃśa 3587; Kapila’s Sāṃkhya-pravacana; Tattvasamāsa] etc.

3) [v.s. ...] m. an intelligent being, man, [Sarvadarśana-saṃgraha ii, 221]

4) [v.s. ...] soul, mind, [cf. Lexicographers, esp. such as amarasiṃha, halāyudha, hemacandra, etc.]

5) [v.s. ...] n. conspicuousness, [Ṛg-veda i, 13, 11 and 170, 4; iii, 3, 8; iv, 7, 2]

6) [v.s. ...] soul, mind, [Rāmāyaṇa vii, 55, 17 and 20]

7) Cetanā (चेतना):—[from cetana > cit] f. consciousness, understanding, sense, intelligence, [Yājñavalkya iii, 175; Mahābhārata] etc. (often ifc. [f(ā). ] [Manu-smṛti ix, 67; Mahābhārata etc.]) (cf. a-, niś-, puru-cet, vi-, sa-, su-).

8) Cetana (चेतन):—[from cet] b etc. See, [ib.]

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

Cetana (चेतन):—(naṃ) 1. m. Soul. f. () Understanding, reflexion. a. Rational, sentient (being). Alive.

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

Cetana (चेतन) in the Sanskrit language is related to the Prakrit words: Ceyaṇa, Ceyaṇā.

[Sanskrit to German]

Cetana 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

1) Cetana (चेतन) [Also spelled chetan]:—(a) animate; conscious; (nm) the conscious (mind); the animate (world); ~[vāda] animatism.

2) Cetanā (चेतना) [Also spelled chetna]:—(nf) consciousness, awareness; animation; (v) to become conscious/animated; to become alert; to be provoked; -[pravāha] stream of consciousness.

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Kannada-English dictionary

Source: Alar: Kannada-English corpus

Cētana (ಚೇತನ):—

1) [adjective] having a feeling or knowledge (of one’s own sensations, feelings, etc. or of external things; conscious.

2) [adjective] having life; not dead; live.

3) [adjective] that can be seen, observed or felt.

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Cētana (ಚೇತನ):—

1) [noun] the state of being conscious; awareness of one’s own feelings, what is happening around one, etc. consciousness.

2) [noun] the totality of one’s thoughts, feelings, and impressions; conscious mind.

3) [noun] an entity which is regarded as being the immortal or spiritual part of the person and, though having no physical or material reality, is credited with the functions of thinking and willing.

4) [noun] the Supreme Being; the God.

5) [noun] any thing that is living, as an animal.

6) [noun] the quality that makes a person active, energetic, etc.

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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