Impurity: 3 definitions


Impurity means something in Buddhism, Pali, 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

Shaivism (Shaiva philosophy)

Source: SOAS University of London: Protective Rites in the Netra Tantra

Purity and Impurity are key elements in Tantric ritual practice. Where the orthodox Brahmin performs the rituals in order to retain purity, the Tantric transgresses purity. The latter's participation in rituals that use substances deemed impure, such as meat, fish, human blood, or skulls, is an important characteristic of Tantric practice. [...] The Kaula's apparent non-Vedic, heterodox rituals redefined impurity as the state of bondage and ignorance. Here, impurity and purity become illusory categories that bar the individual from the recognition of the divine. Rather the focus on the pure-impure dichotomy, the practitioner is to abolish all distinctions between the two. Flood (2003, p. 215) explains the connection between the monarchy and the kāpālika-like practices.

Shaivism book cover
context information

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.

Discover the meaning of impurity in the context of Shaivism from relevant books on Exotic India

In Buddhism

Theravada (major branch of Buddhism)

Source: Pali Kanon: Manual of Buddhist Terms and Doctrines

Impurity (of the body).—contemplation of the: s. asubha, sīvathikā.

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).

Discover the meaning of impurity in the context of Theravada from relevant books on Exotic India

In Jainism

General definition (in Jainism)

Source: The University of Sydney: A study of the Twelve Reflections

Impurity (of the body) (in Sanskrit: aśucitva) refers to one of the “(twelve) reflections” (bhāvanā), according to Śubhacandra’s Jñānārṇava.—The human body is filthy, reprehensible, full of impurity, produced from semen and ovaries, and contemptible. How can it be praised when it is filled with blood, flesh and fat, has a skeleton of slender bones, is bound with tendons and has a bad odour? The body continually discharges putrid smells from its nine orifices, is innately perishable and dependent on other things (e.g. food and water, etc.). [...] How could the body be the source of pleasure when it has a skeleton of bones, is covered with a mass of skin, filled with the smells of a stinking corpse and subject to disease?

General definition book cover
context information

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.

Discover the meaning of impurity in the context of General definition from relevant books on Exotic India

See also (Relevant definitions)

Relevant text

Related products

Help me keep this site Ad-Free

For over a decade, this site has never bothered you with ads. I want to keep it that way. But I humbly request your help to keep doing what I do best: provide the world with unbiased truth, wisdom and knowledge.

Let's make the world a better place together!

Like what you read? Consider supporting this website: