Hinashila, Hīnaśīla, Hina-shila: 1 definition



Hinashila means something in Buddhism, Pali. 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.

The Sanskrit term Hīnaśīla can be transliterated into English as Hinasila or Hinashila, using the IAST transliteration scheme (?).

In Buddhism

Mahayana (major branch of Buddhism)

[«previous (H) next»] — Hinashila in Mahayana glossary
Source: Wisdom Library: Maha Prajnaparamita Sastra

Hīnaśīla (हीनशील) refers to “lower morality” and represents one of the three kinds of morality (śīla) according to the 2nd century Mahāprajñāpāramitāśāstra (chapter XXI). Accordingly, “by means of lower morality (hīna-śīla), one is reborn among humans (manuṣya); by middling morality (madhya-śīla), one is reborn among the six classes of gods of the desire realm (kāmadhātu-deva); by superior (praṇīta-śīla) morality, one courses through the four dhyānas and the four absorptions of emptiness (śūnya-samāpatti) and one is reborn among the pure gods (śuddhāvāsa-deva) of the form realm (rūpa-dhātu) and the formless realm (ārūpya-dhātu).”

Note: “Lower” is the morality based on a mediocre enthusiasm (chanda), intention (citta), energy (viriya) or insight (vīmaṃsā); the morality that pursues a goal of fame (yasakāmatā); the morality that is aimed at exalting oneself and putting down someone else; the morality that results from the desire for profit or wealth (bhavabhoga). (also see Visuddhimagga, p. 13)

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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