Chaya, aka: Chāyā; 17 Definition(s)


Chaya 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 Chhaya.

Ambiguity: Although Chaya has separate glossary definitions below, it also represents an alternative spelling of the Sanskrit word Caya.

In Hinduism

Shaivism (Shaiva philosophy)

Chāyā (छाया, “Shadow”):—First of the eight Mātṛs born from the body of Śaśinī, according to the Kubjikāmata-tantra. These eight sub-manifestations (mātṛ), including Chāyā, symbolize a connection to the moon. They are presided over by the Bhairava Krodha and his consort Vaiṣṇavī. Śaśinī is the third of the Eight Mahāmātṛs, residing within the Mātṛcakra (third of the five cakras) and represents the moon.

Source: Wisdom Library: Kubjikāmata-tantra
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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)

Chāyā (छाया, “shade”):—One of the four wifes of Sūrya (the personification of the Sun), according to the Pāñcarātra literature. The Sun is the direct manifestation of Brahman (the absolute) and is worshipped by all Hindus.

Source: Wisdom Library: Pāñcarātra
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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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Purana and Itihasa (epic history)

Chāyā (छाया).—A substitute of Saṃjñā, daughter of Viśvakarmā. Saṃjñā got from Sūrya three children, Manu, Yama and Yamī. The heat of Sūrya, her husband, became unbearable to her and so she created a substitute in her exact form and leaving her to look after Sūrya, her husband, she left the place and went to her father. Sūrya did not know of this replacement and taking her to be Saṃjñā he produced three children by her, Śani, Sāvarṇamanu and Tapatī. Chāyā loved her sons more and this made Yama angry and he raised his legs to strike her when Chāyā cursed that Yama’s legs would fall off from his body. Yama complained to his father and he amended the curse and said that only some flesh from his limbs would fall to the ground and that flesh would serve as food to the germs in the earth. Yama would escape from further injury. After consoling his son he turned towards Chāyā. The anger of Sūrya frightened her and she told him everything. Sūrya then divorced her and brought back Saṃjñā. For details see Saṃjñā. (Chapter 9 of Harivaṃśa; Chapter 2, Aṃśa 3, Viṣṇupurāṇa).

Source: Puranic Encyclopaedia

1a) Chāyā (छाया).—A daughter of Viśvakarman,1 a servantmaid of Samjñā engaged by the latter for her husband. Hence wife of the sun God without his knowledge and mother of Śanaiścara and Tapatī during the absence of Samjñā as a horse. Her sons were Śrutaśrava and Śrutakarma or Sāvarṇi Manu and Saturn respectively; illtreated Samjñā's children. Yama protested and was cursed to lose his legs. He reported to his father who said that they would be restored after some time. Then he asked Chāyā why she showed difference between her sons and she spoke the truth. The sun God flew into a rage and demanded Tvaṣtā to give up his daughter. He showed the place where Sarvajñā was and Tvaṣtā reduced his tejas. On seeing her, Śukra came through his nostrils from which were born the Aśvins or Nāsatya and Dasra.2

  • 1) Bhāgavata-purāṇa VIII. 13. 8 and 10. Matsya-purāṇa 11. 5-9; 248. 73; Vāyu-purāṇa 84. 39-77.
  • 2) Brahmāṇḍa-purāṇa III. 59. 32-77; IV. 35. 47; Bhāgavata-purāṇa VI. 6. 41.

1b) The mind-born wife of Sṛṣṭi and mother of five sons.*

  • * Bhāgavata-purāṇa II. 36. 97-98.

1c) The wife of Puṣṭi and mother of five sons, Prācīnagarbha, Vṛṣaka, Vṛka, Vṛkala and Dhṛti.*

  • * Vāyu-purāṇa 62. 83.
Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: The Purana Index
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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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Vyakarana (Sanskrit grammar)

Chāyā (छाया).—A learned commentary on Nagesa's Mahabhasyapradipoddyota written by his pupil बाळंभट्ट (bāḷaṃbhaṭṭa) (possibly the same as, or the son of, वैद्यनाथ पायगुण्डे (vaidyanātha pāyaguṇḍe)) who lived in the eighteenth century.

Source: Wikisource: A dictionary of Sanskrit grammar
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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.

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Jyotisha (astronomy and astrology)

Chāyā (छाया).—1. Shadow. 2. The R sine of the zenith distance. Note: Chāyā is a Sanskrit technical term used in ancient Indian sciences such as Astronomy, Mathematics and Geometry.

Source: Wikibooks (hi): Sanskrit Technical Terms
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Jyotisha (ज्योतिष, jyotiṣa or jyotish) refers to ‘astronomy’ or “Vedic astrology” and represents the fifth of the six Vedangas (additional sciences to be studied along with the Vedas). Jyotisha concerns itself with the study and prediction of the movements of celestial bodies, in order to calculate the auspicious time for rituals and ceremonies.

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In Buddhism

Mahayana (major branch of Buddhism)

Chāyā (छाया, “shadow”) refers to one of the ten comparisons (upamāna) according to the 2nd century Mahāprajñāpāramitāśāstra chapter 11. These upamānas represent a quality of the Bodhisattvas accompanying the Buddha at Rājagṛha on the Gṛdhrakūṭaparvata. They accepted that dharmas are like a shadow (chāyā). A shadow is visible but cannot be grasped. It is the same for dharmas: the organs (indriya) and the sense objects are seen (dṛṣṭa), heard (śruta), cognized (vijñāta) and felt (mata), but their reality is ungraspable.

Moreover, it is necessary that light be intercepted so that the shadow (chāyā) appears: without this interception, the shadow would be absent. In the same way, it is necessary that the fetters (saṃyojana) and the afflictions (kleśa) hide the light of correct seeing (saṃyagdṛṣṭi) so that the shadow of the ātman and of dharmas appear.

Source: Wisdom Library: Maha Prajnaparamita Sastra
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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)

Chāyā (छाया, “shadowy”) refers to one of the “twenty form objects” (rūpa) as defined in the Dharma-saṃgraha (section 34). The Dharma-samgraha (Dharmasangraha) is an extensive glossary of Buddhist technical terms in Sanskrit (eg., chāyā). The work is attributed to Nagarjuna who lived around the 2nd century A.D.

Source: Wisdom Library: Dharma-samgraha

In Jainism

General definition (in Jainism)

Chāyā (छाया, “shadow”) according to the 2nd-century Tattvārthasūtra 5.24.—“Sound (śabda), union (bandha), fineness (saukṣmya), grossness (sthaulya), shape (saṃsthāna), division (bheda), darkness (tamas or andhakāra), image (chāya or chāyā), warm light (sunshine) (ātapa) and cool light (moonlight) (udyota) also (are forms of matter)”.

What is the meaning of shadow (chāyā)? Image caused by obstruction of light is called shadow. How many types of shadow are there? It is of two kinds namely; the images exactly like of the object as seen in a mirror and second which is just a shadow as by standing in the sunlight.

Source: Encyclopedia of Jainism: Tattvartha Sutra 5: The category of the non-living
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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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India history and geogprahy

Chāyā.—(EI 1), an image. Note: chāyā is defined in the “Indian epigraphical glossary” as it can be found on ancient inscriptions commonly written in Sanskrit, Prakrit or Dravidian languages.

Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: Indian Epigraphical Glossary
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The history of India traces the identification of countries, villages, towns and other regions of India, as well as royal dynasties, rulers, tribes, local festivities and traditions and regional languages. Ancient India enjoyed religious freedom and encourages the path of Dharma, a concept common to Buddhism, Hinduism, and Jainism.

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Languages of India and abroad

Pali-English dictionary

chāyā : (f.) shade; shadow.

Source: BuddhaSasana: Concise Pali-English Dictionary

Chāyā, (f.) (Vedic chāyā, light & shade, *skei (cp. (s)qait in ketu), cp. Sk. śyāva; Gr. skiά & skoiόs; Goth. skeinan. See note on kāla, vol. II. p. 382) shade, shadow S.I, 72, 93; M.II, 235; III, 164; A.II, 114; Sn.1014; Dh.2; J.II, 302; IV, 304; V, 445; Miln.90, 298; DhA.I, 35; PvA.12, 32, 45, 81, etc.—Yakkhas have none; J.V, 34; VI, 337. chāyā is frequent in similes: see J.P.T.S. 1907, 87. (Page 276)

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

chāyā (छाया).—f (S) Shade. 2 Shadow, reflected image. 3 Shelter, skreen, cover, lit.: shelter, defence, protection, fig. 4 Indication, prognostic, mark, token, symptom (of a disease, an emotion &c.) Ex. ḍōḷē pivaḷē jhālē tasmāt paṇḍūcī chāyā disatī; mukhāvara krō- dhācī chāyā disatī. 5 A faint, indistinct appearance, a glimmering, a shadow: also an imperfect representation, an adumbration. Ex. hā śrlōka malā lāgata nāhīṃ parantu rājanītīcī chāyā disatī. 6 A slight likeness or resemblance. Ex. rāmājīpantācī chāyā hyājavara disatī tasmāt hā tyācā putra. 7 Look, countenance, general appearance. Ex. jhāḍāṃsa ēka mahinā pāṇī miḷatāñca tyāñcī chāyā pālaṭalī. 8 The explanatory Sanskrit words written over the gibberish of the demons or Pishach, when it is introduced into plays &c. 9 Virtuous reflection. See upādhi Sig. I. Ex. sphaṭikāvara jāsvanācī chāyā māra- tī mhaṇūna tāmbūsa disatō; hā labāḍāñcē chāyēnēṃ labāḍī karūṃ lāgalā. chāyā dharaṇēṃ-pāvasānēṃ-mēghānnīṃ-ābhāḷānēṃ &c. To overshadow or overspread (the heavens)--rain, clouds.

Source: DDSA: The Molesworth Marathi and English Dictionary

chāyā (छाया).—f Shade; reflected image; shelter. Fig. Mark; a faint, indistinct appear- ance; look.

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

Chāyā (छाया).—[cho-ṇa Uṇ.4.19]

1) Shade, shadow (changed at the end of Tat. comp. into chāyam when bāhulya or thickness of shade is meant; e. g. ikṣucchāyaniṣādinyaḥ R.4.2; so 7.4;12.5; Mu.4.21); छायामधः सानुगतां निषेव्य (chāyāmadhaḥ sānugatāṃ niṣevya) Ku.1.5;6.46; अनुभवति हि मूर्ध्ना पादपस्तीव्रमुष्णं शमयति परितापं छायया संश्रितानाम् (anubhavati hi mūrdhnā pādapastīvramuṣṇaṃ śamayati paritāpaṃ chāyayā saṃśritānām) Ś.5.7; R.1.75;2.6;3.7; Me.67.

2) A reflected image, a reflection; छाया न मूर्छति मलोपहतप्रसादे शुद्धे तु दर्पणतले सुलभावकाशा (chāyā na mūrchati malopahataprasāde śuddhe tu darpaṇatale sulabhāvakāśā) Ś.7.32.

3) Resemblance, likeness; क्षित्यादीनामिहार्थानां छाया न कतमापि हि (kṣityādīnāmihārthānāṃ chāyā na katamāpi hi) Bhāg.7.15.59.

4) A shadowy fancy, hallucination; असता छाययोक्ताय सदाभासाय ते नमः (asatā chāyayoktāya sadābhāsāya te namaḥ) Bhāg.8.3.14.

5) Blending of colours.

6) Lustre, light; भ्रष्टश्च स्वरयोगो मे छाया चापगता मन (bhraṣṭaśca svarayogo me chāyā cāpagatā mana) Rām.2.69.2. छायामण्डललक्ष्येण (chāyāmaṇḍalalakṣyeṇa) R.4.5; रत्न- च्छायाव्यतिकरः (ratna- cchāyāvyatikaraḥ) Me.15,35.

7) Colour; Māl.6.5.

8) Colour of the face, complexion; केवलं लावण्यमयी छाया त्वां न मुञ्चति (kevalaṃ lāvaṇyamayī chāyā tvāṃ na muñcati) Ś.3; मेघैरन्तरितः प्रिये तव मुखच्छायानुकारी शशी (meghairantaritaḥ priye tava mukhacchāyānukārī śaśī) S. D.; Pt.5.88.

9) Beauty क्षामच्छायं भवनम् (kṣāmacchāyaṃ bhavanam) Me.8,14.

1) Protection.

11) A row, line.

12) Darkness; (metaphorically) Avidyā; छायातपौ यत्र न गृध्रपक्षौ (chāyātapau yatra na gṛdhrapakṣau) Bhāg.8.5.27.

13) A bribe.

14) Name of Durgā.

15) The shadow of gnomon as indicating the sun's position.

16) The Sun.

17) Nightmare.

18) Name of a wife of the sun (she was but a shadow or likeness of saṃjñā, the wife of the sun; consequently when saṃjñā went to her father's house without the knowledge of her husband, she put chāyā in her own place. chāyā bore to the sun three children :-two sons Sāvarṇi and Śani, and one daughter Tapanī).

19) A Sanskrit version of a Prākṛt text.

2) The Ganges; L. D. B.

21) Method; L. D. B.

22) A servant's chit; L. D. B.

-yaḥ One who grants shade.

Source: DDSA: The practical Sanskrit-English dictionary

Chāya (छाय).—m., and chāyā (see also duśchāya, °yā, mahāchāyā), a kind of evil supernatural being, acc. to Tibetan on Mvy 4763 chāyā = grib gnon, harpy, a demon that defiles and poisons food; fem. also Mmk 17.8; Māy 219.10, etc.; masc., na chāyaḥ chāyasamatīye sthānaṃ Māy 226.24.

Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: Edgerton Buddhist Hybrid Sanskrit Dictionary

Chāyā (छाया).—f.

(-yā) 1. Shade. 2. Shadow, reflected image. 3. The wife of the sun. 4. Beauty, splendor, lustre. 5. Light. 6. Nourishing, cherishing. 7. A bribe. 8. A straight or continuous line. 9. A name of the goddess Durga. 10. Darkness, obscurity. 11. The shadow of a Gnomon, especially as indicative of the position of the sun. E. cho to cut, (to cut off the light, &c.) and ṇa Unadi aff.

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

Search found 132 related definition(s) that might help you understand this better. Below you will find the 15 most relevant articles:

Chāyāsuta (छायासुत).—m. (-taḥ) Saturn: see chāyātanaya.
Pratichāyā (प्रतिछाया).—1) a reflected image, reflection, shadow; रूपं प्रतिच्छायिक- योपनीतम् (...
Chāyātanaya (छायातनय).—m. (-yaḥ) A name of Saturn. E. chāyā the wife of Surya, and tanaya a son...
Chāyātmaja (छायात्मज).—m. (-jaḥ) Saturn: see chāyātanaya.
Chāyātaru (छायातरु).—m. (-ruḥ) A large tree, one that gives shade or shelter. E. chāyā, and tar...
Chāyākara (छायाकर).—mfn. (-raḥ-rī-raṃ) Shading, shadowing. m. (-raḥ) 1. A Ch'hattah or umbrella...
Chāyāmṛgadhara (छायामृगधर).—m. (-raḥ) The moon. E. chāyā an image, mṛga a deer, and dhara who p...
Chāyāpatha (छायापथ).—m. (-thaḥ) Æther, the Akas or firmament. E. chāyā light, and patha a road....
Chāyāmitra (छायामित्र).—n. (-traṃ) A Ch'hattah or parasol. E. chāyā shade, and mitra friendly. ...
Mahāchāyā (महाछाया).—Mmk 17.8, with chāyā, q.v.
Viṣamachāyā (विषमछाया).—the shadow of the gnomon at noon. Viṣamachāyā is a Sanskrit compound co...
Madhyacchāyā (मध्यच्छाया).—The midday shadow of the gnomon. Note: Madhyacchāyā is a Sanskrit te...
Gajachāyā (गजछाया).—a portion of time proper for a Śrāddha, time at the eclipse of the sun; [सै...
Chāyāgraha (छायाग्रह).—a mirror, or a sun-dial; प्रसन्नालापसंप्राप्तौ छायाग्रह इवापरः (prasannā...
Chāyā-stambha.—(EI 33, 35), memorial pillar bearing image of the deceased. Note: chāyā-stambha ...

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