Janu, Jāṇu, Jānu, Janū: 16 definitions

Introduction

Janu 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

Yoga (school of philosophy)

Source: Wisdom Library: Yoga

Jānu (जानु) is a Sanskrit word referring to the “knee”. It is used in Yoga.

Yoga book cover
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Yoga is originally considered a branch of Hindu philosophy (astika), but both ancient and modern Yoga combine the physical, mental and spiritual. Yoga teaches various physical techniques also known as āsanas (postures), used for various purposes (eg., meditation, contemplation, relaxation).

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Purana and Itihasa (epic history)

Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: The Purana Index

Janu (जनु).—One of the two Piśācas, who met Yakṣa, the son of Khaśā.*

  • * Vāyu-purāṇa 69. 113.
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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Ayurveda (science of life)

Source: Wisdom Library: Āyurveda and botany

Jānu (जानु) is the name of a specific marma (vital points) of the human body, according to the Aṣṭāṅgahṛdaya-saṃhitā. When affected severely, these marmas causes death. The commonly accepted number of marmas in the human body, as described in the Suśruta-saṃhita, is 107 divided into 5 categories: the muscular, vascular, ligament, bone and joints.

The Aṣṭāṅgahṛdaya-saṃhitā by Vāgbhaṭa is a classical Sanskrit treatise dealing with Āyurveda dating from the 6th-century. Together with the Suśruta-saṃhitā and the Caraka-saṃhita, it is considered one of the three main Indian medical classics

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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Shaivism (Shaiva philosophy)

Source: academia.edu: The Śaiva Yogas and Their Relation to Other Systems of Yoga

Jānu (जानु, “knee”) refers to one of the sixteen types of “locus” or “support” (ādhāra) according to the Netratantra. These ādhāras are called so because they “support” or “localise” the self and are commonly identified as places where breath may be retained. They are taught in two different setups: according to the tantraprakriyā and according to the kulaprakriyā. Jānu belongs to the latter system.

Shaivism book cover
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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.

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Natyashastra (theatrics and dramaturgy)

Source: Shodhganga: The significance of the mūla-beras (natya)

Jānu (जानु, “knees”) refers to one of the nine “minor limbs” (pratyaṅga), which represents a division of Āṅgikābhinaya (gesture language of the limbs) as used within the classical tradition of Indian dance and performance, also known as Bharatanatyam.—Āṅgika-abhinaya is the gesture language of the limbs. Dance is an art that expresses itself through the medium of body, and therefore, āṅgikābhinaya is essential for any dance and especially for any classical dance of India. Pratyaṅgas or the minor limbs consist of shoulders, shoulder blades, arms, back, thighs and calves; at times the wrists, knees [viz., Jānu] and elbows are also counted among minor limbs.

Natyashastra book cover
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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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In Buddhism

Mahayana (major branch of Buddhism)

Source: Wisdom Library: Maha Prajnaparamita Sastra

Jānu (जानु) refers to the “knees” of the Buddha, to which his rays (raśmi) might return after emission, according to Mahāprajñāpāramitāśāstra (chapter XIV). According to the Avadānaśataka and Divyāvadāna, it is a custom that, at the moment when the Buddha Bhagavats show their smile, blue, yellow, red and white rays flash out of the Bhagavat’s mouth, some of which go up and some of which go down. Those that go down penetrate into the hells (naraka); those that go up penetrate to the gods from the Cāturmahārājikas up to the Akaniṣṭas. Having travelled through the trisāhasramahāsāhasralokadhātu, the rays return to the Bhagavat from behind. According as to whether the Buddha wishes to show such-and-such a thing, the rays return to him by a different part of the body.

The returning of the rays into the knees (jānu) of the Buddha predicts a birth among men (manuṣyopapatti).

Mahayana book cover
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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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India history and geogprahy

Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: Indian Epigraphical Glossary

Jānu.—(IE 7-1-2), ‘two’. Note: jānu 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

jāṇu : (m.) the knee.

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

Jānu, (nt.) (Vedic jānu=Gr. gόnu, Lat. genu, Goth. , Ohg. , etc. kniu, E. knee) (also as jaṇṇu(ka), q. v.) the knee J. II, 311; IV 41Q VI, 471Q DA. I, 254.

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

jaṇū (जणू).—conj (jānē S or jāṇaṇēṃ) As if; as it were; seemingly; methinks, meseems. Ex. mukha disatēṃ jaṇū candra ugavalā; hā paṇḍita jaṇū kīṃ sūryaca.

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jāṇū (जाणू).—conj (Or jaṇū. From jāṇaṇēṃ) As if; as it were; seemingly; like as; methinks.

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jānu (जानु).—m S The knee.

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jānū (जानू).—n ( H) jānhavīṃ or jānhavēṃ n Commonly jānavēṃ.

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

jaṇū (जणू).—conj As if; it were; methinks.

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jāṇū (जाणू) [-ṇō, -णो].—conj As if, as it were, seemingly.

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jānu (जानु).—m The knee.

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

Source: DDSA: The practical Sanskrit-English dictionary

Janu (जनु) or Janū (जनू).—f. Birth, production.

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Jānu (जानु).—n. [jan-ñuṇ] The knee; जानुम्यामवनिं गत्वा (jānumyāmavaniṃ gatvā) kneeling (or falling on one's knees) on the ground.

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

Janu (जनु).—f.

(-nuḥ) Birth. E. jan to be born, u Unadi affix; also with ū affix janū f.

(-nūḥ)

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Jānu (जानु).—m.

(-nuḥ) The knee. E. jan to be produced, (walking, motion.) ñun Unadi aff.

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

Jānu (जानु).— (for original janvant), n. and m. The knee, [Suśruta] 1, 348, 16.

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

Jānu (जानु).—[neuter] ([masculine]) knee.

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

1) Janu (जनु):—[from janīya] f. = , [cf. Lexicographers, esp. such as amarasiṃha, halāyudha, hemacandra, etc.]

2) [v.s. ...] the soul, [Demetrius Galanos’s Lexiko: sanskritikes, anglikes, hellenikes]

3) [v.s. ...] cf. sa-.

4) Janū (जनू):—[from janīya] f. ([cf. Lexicographers, esp. such as amarasiṃha, halāyudha, hemacandra, etc.]) See nus.

5) Jānu (जानु):—n. (rarely m., [Mahābhārata iv, 1115; Rājataraṅgiṇī iii, 345]) the knee, [Ṛg-veda x, 15, 6; Atharva-veda ixf.; Vājasaneyi-saṃhitā] etc. (nubhyām avaniṃ-√gam ‘to fall to the ground on one’s knees’ [Mahābhārata, xiii, 935])

6) (as a measure of length) = 32 Aṅgulas, [Śulba-sūtra]

7) cf. γόνυ [Latin] genu; [Gothic] kniu; [German] Knie.

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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