Dharani, aka: Dharaṇī, Dhāraṇī, Dharanī, Dharaṇi; 17 Definition(s)


Dharani means something in Buddhism, Pali, Hinduism, Sanskrit, 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.

In Hinduism

Natyashastra (theatrics and dramaturgy)

Dhāraṇī (धारणी) is a Sanskrit word referring to “rows” of good seats, to be build upon the stage (raṅgaśīrṣa) within the playhouse (nāṭyamaṇḍapa), according to the Nāṭyaśāstra 2.75-80.

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).

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Purana and Itihasa (epic history)

Dharani in Purana glossary... « previous · [D] · next »

Dharaṇī (धरणी).—Earth as the wife of Dhruva and the mother of celestials;1 visits Meru and complains to gods of her tribulations from the asuras.2

  • 1) Bhāgavata-purāṇa VI. 6. 12.
  • 2) Viṣṇu-purāṇa V. 1. 12-28; 29. 30.
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.

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Shilpashastra (iconography)

Dhāraṇī (धारणी) is a synonym for adhiṣṭhāna (‘platform’), according to the Kāśyapaśilpa 6.1-2. The word adhiṣṭhāna is Sanskrit technical term referring to the “base” or “platform” on which a structure is built.

Source: Wisdom Library: Śilpa-śāstra
Shilpashastra book cover
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Shilpashastra (शिल्पशास्त्र, śilpaśāstra) represents the ancient Indian science (shastra) of creative arts (shilpa) such as sculpture, iconography and painting. Closely related to Vastushastra (architecture), they often share the same literature.

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Ayurveda (science of life)

Dharaṇi (धरणि) or Dharaṇī refers to “earth” as defined in the second chapter (dharaṇyādi-varga) of the 13th-century Raj Nighantu or Rājanighaṇṭu (an Ayurvedic encyclopedia).  The Dharaṇyādi-varga covers the lands, soil [viz., Dharaṇi], mountains, jungles and vegetation’s relations between trees and plants and substances, with their various kinds.

There following synonyms for earth (dharaṇi) are mentioned:

  1. Dharitrī,
  2. Bhūtadhātrī,
  3. Dharā,
  4. Bhū,
  5. Kṣiti,
  6. Rasā,
  7. Mahi or Mahī,
  8. Iḍā,
  9. Kṣmā,
  10. Avanī or Avani,
  11. Medinī,
  12. Jyā,
  13. Udadhivastrā,
  14. Gau,
  15. Kṣamā,
  16. Kṣauṇi or Kṣauṇī,
  17. Urvī,
  18. Kurapi,
  19. Vasumati,
  20. Irā,
  21. Kāśyapī,
  22. Ratnagarbhā,
  23. Ādimā,
  24. Bhūmi or Bhūmī,
  25. Ilā,
  26. Vasundharā,
  27. Varā,
  28. Dhātrī,
  29. Vasundhā,
  30. Acalā,
  31. Urvarā,
  32. Viśvambharā,
  33. Ādyā,
  34. Jagatī,
  35. Pṛthvī,
  36. Gotrā,
  37. Pṛthivī,
  38. Pṛthu,
  39. Sarvasahā,
  40. Anantā,
  41. Bhūtamātā,
  42. Niścalā,
  43. Vījaprasu,
  44. Śyāmā,
  45. Kroḍakāntā.
Source: Wisdom Library: Raj Nighantu
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.

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In Buddhism

Mahayana (major branch of Buddhism)

Dhāraṇī (धारणी) refers to a set of five hundred qualities acquired by the Bodhisattvas accompanying the Buddha at Rājagṛha on the Gṛdhrakūṭaparvata, according to the 2nd century Mahāprajñāpāramitāśāstra chapter X. In the Tsin language, dhāraṇī means ‘capable of holding’ (dhāraṇa) or ‘capable of preventing’ (vidhāraṇa). Dhāraṇa refers to “joining all sorts of good Dharmas (kuśaladharma)”: dharāṇī ‘holds’ them so that they are not dispersed or lost. Vidhāraṇa refers to “detesting the roots of evil (akuśalamūla)”: dhāraṇī prevents them from arising. It prevents the committing of evil by those who would want to commit it.

There are many types, eg.,

  1. śrutadhara-dhāraṇī (never forgetting the words and the teachings),
  2. vibhajyajñāna-dhāraṇī (knowing in detail the qualities of beings),
  3. ghoṣapraveṣa-dhāraṇī (neither rejoiced nor irritated by sounds).

In all, there are five hundred dhāraṇīs.

Source: Wisdom Library: Maha Prajnaparamita Sastra
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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Theravada (major branch of Buddhism)

A lake in Kuveras city. D.iii.201.

Source: Pali Kanon: Pali Proper Names
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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General definition (in Buddhism)

Dhāraṇī (धारणी) refers to the “four retentions” as defined in the Dharma-saṃgraha (section 52):

  1. ātma-dhāraṇī (the rentention of oneself),
  2. grantha-dhāraṇī (the rentention of a book),
  3. dharma-dhāraṇī (the rentention of the dharma),
  4. mantra-dhāraṇī (the rentention of a spell).

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

Source: Wisdom Library: Dharma-samgrahaA mystic form of praying, mantra or spells of Tantric order, ofter in Sanskrit, usually transliterated and not translated. It is believed that Dharani is able to lay hold of the good so that it cannot be lost, and those of evil so that it cannot arise.Source: Buddhist Door: Glossary

A dharani is a type of ritual speech similar to a mantra. The terms dharani and satheesh may even be seen as synonyms, although they are normally used in distinct contexts.

The Japanese Buddhist philosopher Kukai drew a distinction between dharani and mantra and used it as the basis of his theory of language. Mantra is restricted to esoteric Buddhist practice whereas dharani is found in both esoteric and exoteric ritual. Dharanis for instance are found in the Pali Canon. Kukai coined the term shingon (lit. "true word") as a Japanese translation of mantra.

According to Red Pine, mantra and dharani were originally interchangeable, but at some point dharani came to be used for meaningful, intelligible phrases, and mantra for syllabic formulae which are not meant to be understood.[2] Jan Nattier writes that, whereas mantra has ancient Hindu usage back to the Vedas, dharani does not predate Buddhism.

Source: WikiPedia: Buddhism

Dhāraṇī (धारणी, “mystical incantation”).—The verbal meaning of the word dhāraṇī is that which holds. It is a magical formula in the form of a mantra in Sanskrit. The mystic mantra has a potential to hold the Buddha's teachings in the heart of him who recites. It is recited in order to attain mindfulness (smṛti), power (bala) and wisdom (prajñā). Its recitation brings in good luck such as a long life, victory, protection from snakes and removes evils such as disease. Pañcarakṣā, that is, the “collection of the five dhāraṇīs” is popular in Nepal.

Source: DLMBS: Buddhānusmṛti

Languages of India and abroad

Pali-English dictionary

Dharani in Pali glossary... « previous · [D] · next »

dharaṇī : (f.) the earth.

Source: BuddhaSasana: Concise 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.

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Marathi-English dictionary

Dharani in Marathi glossary... « previous · [D] · next »

dharaṇī (धरणी).—f (dharaṇēṃ) Style, fashion, manner, tenor preserved, character maintained (of speech, conduct, composition &c.)

--- OR ---

dharaṇī (धरणी).—f (S) The earth or the ground. Ex. dē māya dha0 ṭhāva O mother Earth, receive me into thy bosom. 2 The terraqueous globe. dha0 vara paḍaṇēṃ To be about to die. (Dying persons are removed from their cot to the ground.)

--- OR ---

dharaṇī (धरणी).—f (dharaṇēṃ) A party (of constables &c.) despatched to apprehend; a posse comitatus.

Source: DDSA: The Molesworth Marathi and English Dictionary

dharaṇī (धरणी).—f Style, fashion. The earth. dharaṇī- vara paḍaṇēṃ To be about to die.

--- OR ---

dharaṇī (धरणी).—f n A party (of constables &c., des- patched to apprehend). The setting in restraint at the door of a debtor.

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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Sanskrit-English dictionary

Dharaṇi (धरणि) or Dharaṇī (धरणी).—f. [dhṛ-ani vā ṅīp]

1) The earth; लुठति धरणिशयने बहु विलपति तव नाम (luṭhati dharaṇiśayane bahu vilapati tava nāma) Gīt.5.

2) Ground, soil.

3) A beam for a roof.

4) A vein.

Derivable forms: dharaṇiḥ (धरणिः).

Source: DDSA: The practical Sanskrit-English dictionary

Dharaṇī (धरणी).—(1) acc. to Tibetan on Mvy 5578 = phyam, defined by Jä. support (of rafters), the resting point of a beam; by Das, ‘the resting beam of a staircase or ladder. Also: prop, bracket, mortice’: dharaṇīyo (v.l. °ya), n. pl., Mv iii.228.5 (prose), as parts of a city gate; (2) a small weight (compare Sanskrit dharaṇa, a considerably larger weight): in eka-suvarṇa-dharaṇī LV 63.19 (prose, no v.l.), acc. to Tibetan = phye ma zho gcig, one grain (a very small weight, which is clearly intended in the context of LV; Jä. defines zho as dram, a small weight = (1/10) ounce) of dust. There is no word for gold in Tibetan; it may be noted that suvarṇa is also used in Sanskrit as n. of a rather small weight (a karṣa) of gold, but acc. to BR, pw, not of other substances; did suvarṇa-dharaṇī mean a gold-grain in some such sense as a small weight commonly used in weighing gold? (3) n. of a rākṣasī: Māy 243.12.

--- OR ---

Dhāraṇī (धारणी).—(recorded nowhere except in BHS), magic formula: often consisting of meaningless combinations of syllables (which this Dict. does not record), as e.g. Suv 105.6—8; 106.8, 11, 15 ff.; 108.11 ff.; in Tibetan regularly gzuṅs, lit. hold, support, or (Mvy 4239) gzuṅs sṅags (= man- tra, incantation); names of 12 Bodhisattva-dhāraṇī, Mvy 746—758; names of 10 dhāraṇī-maṇḍala Gv 305.18 ff. (not listed in Dict.); a list of dhāraṇī-names (not listed here) Mmk 12.20 ff.; four kinds, ātma-, grantha-, dharma-, mantra-dh° Dharmas 52; another list of four, Bbh 272.13 ff., all defined, dharma-dh° (by which a Bodhisattva is able to remember a book on merely hearing it, without study), artha-dh° (same, except ‘its meaning’ is remembered), mantra-dh° (by which he acquires charms to allay all plagues, īti), bodhisattvakṣāntilābhāya dh°; °ṇī-prati- labdha, having obtained (being in possession of) a dh° SP 263.4; 270.8; Dbh 46.12; sarvabodhisattvadhāraṇīprati- bhānapratilabdhaiḥ LV 2.6; °ṇī-pratilambha, acquisition of dh°, SP 327.5; koṭīnayutaśatasahasraparivartāyā dhā- raṇyāḥ pratilambho 8, acquisition of the dh. which makes (very many) revolutions (an amulet-wheel?); °ṇī-mantra- padāni SP 396.3, talismanic charm-words, or words of dhāraṇīs and mantras; mantra-dhāraṇī-padāni 397.2—3; dhāraṇī-padāni 397.6 ff.; °ṇī-mudrā Mvy 4297; sarva- dharma-dhāraṇy-asaṃpramoṣitaḥ LV 275.6; others, Mvy 782; 4239; Divy 616.14; Kv 84.9; Suv 30.5; 103.1.

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

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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