Gunja, Guñjā: 18 definitions

Introduction

Introduction:

Gunja means something in Hinduism, Sanskrit, Buddhism, Pali, 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

Ayurveda (science of life)

Source: WorldCat: Rāj nighaṇṭu

Guñjā (गुञ्जा) is the Sanskrit name for a medicinal plant identified with Abrus precatorius (Indian licorice or rosary pea) from the Fabaceae or “legume family” of flowering plants, according to verse 3.113-116 of the 13th-century Raj Nighantu or Rājanighaṇṭu. Guñjā is commonly known in Hindi and Marathi as Guñjā, Rattī and Ghuṅghacī; in Bengali as Kunch; in Gujurati as Canothī; in Tamil as Gundamanī; and in Telugu as Gurugīniā.

Aśvakṣurā is mentioned as having two varieties (viz., Raktaguñjā and Śvetaguñjā) and a total of twenty-two synonyms.

Properties and characteristics: “both red (rakta) and white (śveta) Guñjā (India licorice root) have bitter taste (rasa). Its seeds are hot in nature and roots are emetic. Its leaves are  pain killer, but poisonous. The leaves of Śveta Guñjā are said to be capable of subduing a person (if worn by one)”.

Source: Ancient Science of Life: Śodhana: An Ayurvedic process for detoxification

Guñjā (गुञ्जा) refers to the medicinal plant known as Abrus precatorius Linn.—Guñjā roots, seeds, and leaves have been used traditionally for their purgative, emetic, tonic, aphrodisiac, and hair growth promoting properties after being processed through Śodhana. Since ancient times, it has been used as fish poison, arrow poison and also for criminal purposes of poisoning both humans and cattle.

In Śodhana (detoxification) of Guñjā seeds, they are subjected to the svedana in dolā-yantra with Godugdha or Kāñji for 3–6 h. The Śodhita material is then subjected to washing with hot water and drying under shade. During the Śodhana process, color of the media changes due to the removal of colored materials from the endosperm of the seeds and subsequently there is loss in weight.

(cf. Āyurvedaprakāśa, Yogaratnākara, Rasataraṅgiṇī and Bhaiṣajyaratnāvalī)

Source: Shodhganga: Edition translation and critical study of yogasarasamgraha

1) Guñjā (गुञ्जा) or Ratti refers to a unit of measurement of weight (1 guñjā equals 125mg; 8 rattis = 1 māṣa = 1g), as defined in the 15th-century Yogasārasaṅgraha (Yogasara-saṅgraha) by Vāsudeva: an unpublished Keralite work representing an Ayurvedic compendium of medicinal recipes. The Yogasārasaṃgraha [mentioning guñjā] deals with entire recipes in the route of administration, and thus deals with the knowledge of pharmacy (bhaiṣajya-kalpanā) which is a branch of pharmacology (dravyaguṇa).

A relative overview of weight-units is found below, guñjā indicated in bold. In case of liquids, the metric equivalents would be the corresponding litre and milliliters.

1 Ratti or Guñjā = 125mg,
8 Rattis - 1 Māṣa = 1g
,
4 Māṣa - 1 Kaḻañc = 4g,
12 Māṣas - 1 Karṣa = 12g,
1 Karṣa /Akṣa - 1 Niṣka = 12g,
2 Karṣas - 1 Śukti = 24g,
2 Śukti - 1 Pala = 48g,
2 Palas - 1 Prasṛti = 96g,
2 Prasṛtis - 1 Kuḍava = 192g,
2 Kuḍava - 1 Mānikā = 384g,
2 Mānikās - 1 Prastha (Seru) = 768g,
4 Prasthas - 1 Āḍhaka (Kaṃsa) = 3.072kg,
4 Āḍhakas or Kalaśas - 1 Droṇa = 12.288kg,
2 Droṇas - 1 Surpa = 24.576kg,
2 Surpas - 1 Droṇī (Vahi) = 49.152kg,
4 Droṇīs - 1 Khari = 196.608kg,
1 Pala = 48g,
100 Palas - 1 Tulā = 4.8kg,
20 Tulās - 1 Bhāra = 96kg.

2) Guñjā (गुञ्जा) refers to the medicinal plant known as “Abrus precatorius Linn.” and is dealt with in the 15th-century Yogasārasaṅgraha (Yogasara-saṅgraha) by Vāsudeva: an unpublished Keralite work representing an Ayurvedic compendium of medicinal recipes. The Yogasārasaṃgraha [mentioning guñjā] deals with entire recipes in the route of administration, and thus deals with the knowledge of pharmacy (bhaiṣajya-kalpanā) which is a branch of pharmacology (dravyaguṇa).

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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Purana and Itihasa (epic history)

Source: archive.org: Shiva Purana - English Translation

Guñjā (गुञ्जा) refers to the berry, according to the Śivapurāṇa 1.25, while explaining the greatness of Rudrākṣa:—“[...] That [Rudrākṣa] which is of the size of a Guñjā (the berry) is conducive to the achievement of the fruit of all desires”.

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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Vaishnavism (Vaishava dharma)

Source: Pure Bhakti: Bhajana-rahasya - 2nd Edition

Guñjā (गुञ्जा) refers to:—A small, bright red seed with a black patch on the top. This seed is said to represent Śrīmatī Rādhikā. (cf. Glossary page from Bhajana-Rahasya).

Vaishnavism book cover
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Vaishnava (वैष्णव, vaiṣṇava) or vaishnavism (vaiṣṇavism) represents a tradition of Hinduism worshipping Vishnu as the supreme Lord. Similar to the Shaktism and Shaivism traditions, Vaishnavism also developed as an individual movement, famous for its exposition of the dashavatara (‘ten avatars of Vishnu’).

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India history and geogprahy

Source: Shodhganga: Cultural history as g leaned from kathasaritsagara

Gunja is the name of a herb (oshadhi) mentioned in the Kathasaritsagara by Somadeva (10th century A.D). The red fruit of the Gunja plant, used by the Sabara ladies for making beautiful garlands, is also mentioned

Somadeva mentions many rich forests, gardens, various trees, creepers medicinal and flowering plants (e.g., Gunja) and fruit-bearing trees in the Kathasaritsagara. Gardens of herbs were specially maintained in big cities. Somadeva’s writing more or less reflects the life of the people of Northern India during the 11th century. His Kathasaritsagara (‘ocean of streams of story’), mentioning Gunja, is a famous Sanskrit epic story revolving around prince Naravahanadatta and his quest to become the emperor of the vidyadharas (celestial beings).

Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: Indian Epigraphical Glossary

Guñjā.—(IE 8-8; IA 26), same as raktikā or rati. (EI 12), a kettle-drum. Note: guñjā is defined in the “Indian epigraphical glossary” as it can be found on ancient inscriptions commonly written in Sanskrit, Prakrit or Dravidian languages.

--- OR ---

Guñjā.—same as rati or raktikā (1-83 or about 1(3/4) grains). Note: guñjā is defined in the “Indian epigraphical glossary” as it can be found on ancient inscriptions commonly written in Sanskrit, Prakrit or Dravidian languages.

India history book cover
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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

Source: BuddhaSasana: Concise Pali-English Dictionary

guñjā : (f.) the medicinal creeper Abrus Precatorius.

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

Guñjā, (f.) a plant (Abrus precatorius); the redness of its berries is referred to in similes; DhA.IV, 133 (°vaṇṇāni akkhīni). See also jiñjuka. (Page 252)

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

guñja (गुंज).—f ē (guñjā S) A small plant (Abrus precatorius) bearing a red and black berry. It forms the smallest of the jeweler's weights, and is considered as equal to three barleycorns. 2 The berry or seed. Pr. hattī jātō nāhīntara guñja māratāta A monstrous crime or error may pass unnoticed, or (perhaps) the minutest peccadillo may be heavily visited. ("A camel may be swallowed, or a gnat may be strained out." Matt. xxiii. 24.) 3 unc f n An excrescence, knot, or knob upon a tree.

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

guñja (गुंज).—f A small plant bearing a red and black berry. It forms the smallest of the jeweller's weights.

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

Guñja (गुञ्ज).—

1) Humming.

2) A cluster of blossoms, bunch of flowers, a nosegay; cf. गुच्छ (guccha).

Derivable forms: guñjaḥ (गुञ्जः).

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Guñjā (गुञ्जा).—[guñj-ac]

1) A small shrub of that name, bearing a red black berry; अन्तर्विषमया (antarviṣamayā) (for °yyaḥ) ह्येता बहिश्चैव मनोरमाः । गुञ्जाफलसमाकारा योषितः केन निर्मिताः (hyetā bahiścaiva manoramāḥ | guñjāphalasamākārā yoṣitaḥ kena nirmitāḥ) || Pt.1. 196; किं जातु गुञ्जाफलभूषणानां सुवर्णकारेण वनेचराणाम् (kiṃ jātu guñjāphalabhūṣaṇānāṃ suvarṇakāreṇa vanecarāṇām) Vikr.1.25.

2) A berry of this shrub used as a weight, measuring on an average 1 grains Troy, or an artificial weight called Gunja measuring about 2 grains.

3) Humming, a low murmuring sound.

4) a kettle-drum; ...गुञ्जा जुगुञ्जुः करघट्टिताः (guñjā juguñjuḥ karaghaṭṭitāḥ) Bk.14.2.

5) A tavern.

6) Reflection, meditation.

7) A kind of plant with a poisonous root.

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

Guñja (गुञ्ज).—m.

(-ñjaḥ) A cluster of blossoms, a nosegay. f.

(-ñjā) 1. A small shrub, (Abrus precatorius,) bearing a red and black berry, which forms the smallest of the jeweller’s weights. 2. The berry which averages about 15-16 grains troy, or the artificial weight called by this name, weighing about 23. 16 grains: see raktikā &c. 3. A kettle drum. 4. A low murmuring sound. 5. A tavern. 6. Reflection, meditation. E. guji to sound, affix ka where the bees buz.

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

Guñjā (गुञ्जा).—f. A small shrub, Abrus precatorius, Lin., bearing a berry which forms the smallest of the jeweller’s weights, [Pañcatantra] 93, 3.

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

Guñja (गुञ्ज).—[masculine] gunjita [neuter] buzzing, humming.

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Guñjā (गुञ्जा).—[feminine] the Guñja berry (used as a weight).

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

1) Guñja (गुञ्ज):—[from guñj] m. humming, [Śārṅgadhara-paddhati]

2) [v.s. ...] (= guccha) a bunch, bundle, cluster of blossoms, nosegay, [cf. Lexicographers, esp. such as amarasiṃha, halāyudha, hemacandra, etc.]

3) Guñjā (गुञ्जा):—[from guñja > guñj] f. humming, [cf. Lexicographers, esp. such as amarasiṃha, halāyudha, hemacandra, etc.]

4) [v.s. ...] a kettle-drum, [Bhaṭṭi-kāvya xiv, 2]

5) [v.s. ...] Abrus precatorius (bearing a red and black berry which forms the smallest of the jeweller’s weights), [Suśruta; Varāha-mihira’s Bṛhat-saṃhitā; Pañcatantra]

6) [v.s. ...] the berry of Abrus precatorius (averaging about 1 5/16 grains troy) or the artificial weight called after it (weighing about 2 3/16 grains, = 1/5 Ādya-māṣaka or Māṣaka, = 3 or 2 barley-corns, = 4 grains of rice, = 2 grains of wheat, [cf. Lexicographers, esp. such as amarasiṃha, halāyudha, hemacandra, etc.]; with physicians 7 Guñjās = 1 Mātha, with lawyers 7 1/2 Guñjās), [Yājñavalkya iii, 273; Cāṇakya; Varāha-mihira’s Bṛhat-saṃhitā]

7) [v.s. ...] a kind of plant with a poisonous root, [Suśruta v, 2, 3]

8) [v.s. ...] (= gañjā) a tavern, [cf. Lexicographers, esp. such as amarasiṃha, halāyudha, hemacandra, etc.]

9) [v.s. ...] reflection, meditation, [cf. Lexicographers, esp. such as amarasiṃha, halāyudha, hemacandra, etc.]

10) [v.s. ...] f. a drum, [Bhaṭṭi-kāvya]

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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