Wisdom Library Logo

Dhyana, aka: Dhyāna; 6 Definition(s)


Dhyana means something in Hinduism, Sanskrit, Jainism, Prakrit. 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


Dhyāna (ध्यान).—A dharma of the yoga, kills unrighteous qualities;1 described by Kṛṣṇa to Uddhava.2

  • 1) Vāyu-purāṇa 10. 76 and 93; 104. 25.
  • 2) Bhāgavata-purāṇa XI. 14. 32-46.
Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: The Purana IndexPurāṇa book cover
context information

The Purāṇas (पुराण, purana) refers to Sanskrit literature preserving ancient India’s vast cultural history, including historical legends, religious ceremonies, various arts and sciences. The eighteen mahāpurāṇas total over 400,000 ślokas (metrical couplets) and date to at least several centuries BCE.

Yoga (school of philosophy)

Dhyāna (ध्यान, “meditation”) is a Sanskrit word referring to one of the eight brances of yoga, also known as the eightfold-path (aṣṭānga). Also see the fifth section of the Varāha-upaniṣad.

Source: Wisdom Library: Yoga
context information

Yoga refers to the Ancient Indian school of philosophy combining the physical, mental and spiritual.

Vāstuśāstra (architecture)

Dhyāna (ध्यान).—Each aspect of construction has a “theological” (oscillating between mythical and metaphysical) dimension, which the sthapati accesses through a spiritual kind of “seeing” while conducting the operation or performing the ritual. This is dhyāna, meditation (as well as contemplation). Dhyāna derives from √dhyā, “to think, contemplate”, which, etymologically, is “a perfectly normal variant of the root from √dhī [‘to see, perceive’]” (see Jan Gonda, The Vision al the Vedic Poets, “dhyānam”).

The principle behind dhyāna in artistic and architectural making is that of identification. The sthapati pierces into the metaphysical essence of the form being created and identifies himself as one with it. This is achieved through a dialectic between the “technique” (in the yogic sense) of intense contemplation that the sages employed on the one hand, and the emotional rapture of devotional love ending in ecstatic vision that the saints experienced (the latter implied in the text by the term rāga, passion, and its connotations pertinent to artistic creativity) on the other. In each of these modes, the perceptual and cognitive faculties are absorbed into the spiritual experience of union with the divine.

Source: McGill: The architectural theory of the MānasāraVāstuśāstra book cover
context information

Vāstuśāstra (वास्तुशास्त्र, vastu-shastra) refers to the knowledge of architecture. It is a branch of ancient Indian science dealing with topics such architecture, construction, sculpture and their relation with the cosmic universe.

General definition (in Hinduism)

Dhyāna can refer to either meditation or meditative states. Equivalent terms are "Chán" in modern Chinese, "Zen" in Japanese, "Seon" in Korean, "Thien" in Vietnamese, and "Samten" in Tibetan.

As a meditative state, dhyāna is characterized by profound stillness and concentration. It is discussed in the Pāli canon (and the parallel agamas) and post-canonical Theravāda Buddhist literature, and in other literature. There has been little scientific study of the states so far.

Dhyāna in Sanskrit (Devanagari: ध्यान) or jhāna (झान) in Pāli;

Source: WikiPedia: Hinduism

In Jainism

General definition (in Jainism)

Dhyāna (ध्यान, “concentration of mind”).—In the Jaina tradition dhyāna generally means “concentrating the mind” on some object or mental image. According to them our thoughts, and their instrument, the mind, are restless, and their regulation and concentration is called dhyāna.

Jainism describes four kinds of dhyāna:

  1. ārta-dhyāna (the concentration of the mind on fulfilling worldly desires),
  2. raudra-dhyāna (the concentration of thoughts on violent activities),
  3. dharma-dhyāna (the concentration of the mind on auspicious thoughts, or on the well-being of one’s self as well as the well-being of others),
  4. śukla-dhyāna (here the mind gradually shortens it fields of concentration and at last becomes nirvikalpa, steady and motionless)

The author of the Jñānārṇava, in addition, elaborately expounds the process of dhyāna by classifying into:

  1. piṇḍastha (comprises the five forms of dhāraṇā, or ‘contemplation’),
  2. padastha (contemplation by means of certain mantric syllables),
  3. rūpastha (meditating on the divine qualities and extraordinary powers of the arahants),
  4. rūpātīta (meditation on the attributes of siddhātman.)
Source: Google Books: Yoga in Jainism

Dhyāna (ध्यान).—What is meant by ‘meditation’ (dhyāna)? Concentrating of thoughts on one object for a maximum of one Indian-hour by an ascetic with perfect body structure (uttama-sahanana-śarira) is called meditation. An ascetic with perfect body structure can meditate properly for a maximum period of an Indian-hour (48 minutes approx). An Indian-hour is equal to two ghadī. A ghadī equals 24 minutes.

The four types of meditation are:

  1. ārta-dhyāna (pan based or mournful),
  2. raudra-dhyāna (cruel),
  3. dharmya-dhyāna (virtuous),
  4. śukla-dhyāna (the pure).

What are the benefits of meditation (dhyāna)? It annihilates all karmas bonded with the soul. A correct meditation for an intra-Indian-hour (antaramuhūrta) can destroy all obscuring karmas and enable the practitioner to become an omniscient. What are the essential components for a proper meditation (dhyāna)? The four things, namely: the one who meditates, the process of meditation, the object of meditation and the period of meditation are the four components of the proper meditation.

Source: Encyclopedia of Jainism: Influx of karmas

Relevant definitions

Search found 66 related definition(s) that might help you understand this better. Below you will find the 15 most relevant articles:

Dhyānamudrā (ध्यानमुद्रा) is a Sanskrit word referring to “the gesture of meditation&r...
Raudradhyāna (रौद्रध्यान).—One of the four types of ‘meditation’ (dhyāna);—Raudra means ‘cruel ...
Śukladhyāna (शुक्लध्यान).—One of the four types of ‘meditation’ (dhyāna);—Śukla means ‘pure’ or...
Ārtadhyāna (आर्तध्यान).—One of the four types of ‘meditation’ (dhyāna);—The meaning of ārta is ...
Dharmyadhyāna (धर्म्यध्यान).—One of the four types of ‘meditation’ (dhyāna);—Concentration on t...
Mūrtidhyāna (मूर्तिध्यान).—The theme of meditation is even more persuasive in iconography. In t...
Kalpa (कल्प).—One of the four heavens of the upper world (ūrdhvaloka);—The kalpas are 16, accor...
1) Jhāna, 2 (nt.) (from jhāyati2) conflagration, fire D. III, 94; J. I, 347. (Page 286)2) Jhān...
Brahmā (ब्रह्मा).—The Vedas are considered to be the mother, and Brahmā is called the grandfath...
Rāga (राग).—The word rāga derives from √ranj, “ta glow”, and also “to be affected, excited”. In...
Pāramitā, (f.) (pāramī+tā)=pāramī Nett 87. (Page 454)
1) Yoga (योग).— The word yoga, the basic meaning of which is “yoking, uniting”, a1so derives fr...
Bhāvana (भावन, “infusing”).—One of the processes for manufacturing cosmetics and perfumes menti...
Cakra (चक्र, “discus”).—One of the fourteen gems (ratna) serving the Cakravartin;—The cakra is ...
Sārūpya (सारूप्य) refers to the third state of a devotee (bhakta).—These four states are explai...

Relevant text

Search found books containing Dhyana or Dhyāna. You can also click to the full overview containing English textual excerpts. Below are direct links for the most relevant articles:

- Was this explanation helpufll? Leave a comment:

Make this page a better place for research and define the term yourself in your own words.

You have to be a member in order to post comments. Click here to login or click here to become a member.