Kanya, aka: Kanyā; 10 Definition(s)

Introduction

Kanya means something in Hinduism, Sanskrit, 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

Rasashastra (chemistry and alchemy)

1) Kanyā (कन्या):—One of the sixty-eight Siddhauṣadhi, as per Rasaśāstra texts (rasa literature). These drugs give siddhi (success) in mercurial operations. Even so, they are more powerful than rasa (mercury) itself. These may perform all the kāryas (‘effects’) and grant dehasiddhi (‘perfection of body’) and lohasiddhi (‘transmutation of base metals’) both.

2) Kanyā (कन्या).—The name of a plant, possibly identified with Aloe indica. It is used in various alchemical processess related to mercury (rasa or liṅga), according to the Rasārṇavakalpa (11th-century work dealing with Rasaśāstra).

Source: Wisdom Library: Rasa-śāstra
Rasashastra book cover
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Rasashastra (रसशास्त्र, rasaśāstra) is an important branch of Ayurveda, specialising in chemical interactions with herbs, metals and minerals. Some texts combine yogic and tantric practices with various alchemical operations. The ultimate goal of Rasashastra is not only to preserve and prolong life, but also to bestow wealth upon humankind.

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Shaktism (Shakta philosophy)

Kanyā (कन्या, “the virgin”).—One of the names of the Goddess, Devī, who is regarded as the female principle of the divine; the embodiement of the energies of the Gods.

Source: Wisdom Library: Śāktism
Shaktism book cover
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Shakta (शाक्त, śākta) or Shaktism (śāktism) represents a tradition of Hinduism where the Goddess (Devi) is revered and worshipped. Shakta literature includes a range of scriptures, including various Agamas and Tantras, although its roots may be traced back to the Vedas.

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Purana and Itihasa (epic history)

Kanyā (कन्या) is the name of a sacred river as mentioned in the Śivapurāṇa 1.12, “somehow men must strive to find a residence in a holy centre. On the shores of the ocean in the confluence of hundreds of rivers there are many such holy centres (puṇyakṣetra or tīrtha) and temples. [...] By residing on the banks of the auspicious rivers Sarasvatī, Pampā, Kanyā and Śvetanadī one shall attain Indraloka”.

Note: The country situated on the bank of this river is sacred to Śiva. Cf Skanda-purāṇa i.iii u 2. 7-19.

Source: archive.org: Siva Purana - English Translation

1a) Kanyā (कन्या).—rāśi and month puraṭṭāśi.*

  • * Vāyu-purāṇa 105. 47.

1b) Daughter of Kardama and wife of Priyavrata; mother of two daughters and ten sons.*

  • * Viṣṇu-purāṇa II. 1. 5.

1c) Shrine of, south of Malaya {??}ills, visited by Balarāma.*

  • * Bhāgavata-purāṇa X. 79. 17.
Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: The Purana Index
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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Vastushastra (architecture)

Kanyā (कन्या) corresponds with the Virgo zodiac sign and refers to the sixth of twelve rāśi (zodiacal sign), according to the Mānasāra. Rāśi is one of the three alternative principles, besides the six āyādiṣaḍvarga, used to constitute the “horoscope” of an architectural or iconographic object. Their application is intended to “verify” the measurements of the architectural and iconographic object against the dictates of astrology that lay out the conditions of auspiciousness.

The particular rāśi (eg., kanyā) of all architectural and iconographic objects (settlement, building, image) must be calculated and ascertained. This process is based on the principle of the remainder. An arithmetical formula to be used in each case is stipulated, which engages one of the basic dimensions of the object (breadth, length, or perimeter/circumference). All twelve rāśis, except the eighth (vṛścika) are auspicious.

Source: Wisdom Library: Vāstu-śāstra
Vastushastra book cover
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Vastushastra (वास्तुशास्त्र, vāstuśāstra) refers to the ancient Indian science (shastra) of architecture (vastu), dealing with topics such architecture, sculpture, town-building, fort building and various other constructions. Vastu also deals with the philosophy of the architectural relation with the cosmic universe.

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Chandas (prosody, study of Sanskrit metres)

Kanyā (कन्या) refers to one of the 135 metres (chandas) mentioned by Nañjuṇḍa (1794-1868 C.E.) in his Vṛttaratnāvalī. Nañjuṇḍa was a poet of both Kannada and Sanskrit literature flourished in the court of the famous Kṛṣṇarāja Woḍeyar of Mysore. He introduces the names of these metres (eg., Kanyā) in 20 verses.

While describing the metre kanyā, Hariśaṅkara (of Gauḍavaṃśa) in his Vṛttamuktāvalī defines the characteristics of the metre as: “where four ra’s (ra-gaṇas) are found in each pāda of a verse, that metre is called as kanyā.

Source: Shodhganga: a concise history of Sanskrit Chanda literature
Chandas book cover
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Chandas (छन्दस्) refers to Sanskrit prosody and represents one of the six Vedangas (auxiliary disciplines belonging to the study of the Vedas). The science of prosody (chandas-shastra) focusses on the study of the poetic meters such as the commonly known twenty-six metres mentioned by Pingalas.

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Languages of India and abroad

Marathi-English dictionary

kanyā (कन्या).—f (S) An unmarried girl about eight years of age; a girl gen. 2 The sign Virgo.

Source: DDSA: The Molesworth Marathi and English Dictionary

kanyā (कन्या).—f A girl. kanyā f The small. zodiacal sign Virgo.

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

Kanyā (कन्या).—[Uṇ.4.111]

1) An unmarried girl or daughter; R.1.51.2.1,3.33; Ms.1.8.

2) A girl ten years old.

3) A virgin, maiden; Ms.8.367,3.33.

4) A woman in general.

5) The sixth sign of the zodiac, i. e. Virgo.

6) Name of Durgā; Mb.3.

7) Large cardamoms.

Source: DDSA: The practical Sanskrit-English dictionary

Kanyā (कन्या).—f.

(-nyā) 1. A girl nine years old, a virgin. 2. A name of Durga. 3. The sign of the zodiac, Virgo. 4. The socotrine aloe (Aloes perfoliata.) 6. Large cardamoms. 7. A species of metre of four lines, with four syllables in each. 3. A parasite plant. E. kan to shine, Unadi affix yak, fem. ṭāp.

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

Search found 173 related definition(s) that might help you understand this better. Below you will find the 15 most relevant articles:

Kanyadana
Kanyādāna (कन्यादान) refers to the “gift of a virgin”, as defined in the Śivapurāṇa 1.15. Accor...
Kanyakubja
Kanyākubja (कन्याकुब्ज) is the name of an ancient city, according to the Kathāsaritsāgara, chap...
Kanyakumari
Kanyākumārī (कन्याकुमारी).—(KANYAKŪPA; KANYĀTĪRTHA) General information. Mahābhārata makes refe...
Kanyadosha
Kanyādoṣa (कन्यादोष).—m. (-ṣaḥ) A blemish in a virgin, disease, bad repute, &c. E. kanyā, a...
Kanyaharana
Kanyāharaṇa (कन्याहरण).—n. (-ṇaṃ) Carrying off girl, rape, ravishment. E. kanyā, and haraṇa tak...
Kanyaputra
Kanyāputra (कन्यापुत्र).—m. (-traḥ) The offspring of an unmarried daughter. E. kanyā, and putra...
Kanyaratna
Kanyāratna (कन्यारत्न).—a very fine girl; कन्यारत्नमयोनिजन्म भवतामास्ते (kanyāratnamayonijanma ...
Kanyashulka
Kanyāśulka (कन्याशुल्क).—money given to the bride's father as her price, purchase-money of a gi...
Nagakanya
Nāgakanyā (नागकन्या).—a serpent-virgin. Nāgakanyā is a Sanskrit compound consisting of the term...
Kanyagata
Kanyāgata (कन्यागत).—the position of a planet in the sign Virgo. Derivable forms: kanyāgatam (क...
Kalindakanya
Kalindakanyā (कलिन्दकन्या).—f. (-nyā) The Yamuna. E. kalinda the sun or a mountain, kanyā daugh...
Kanyadushaka
Kanyādūṣaka (कन्यादूषक).—m. (-kaḥ) 1. A violator or defiler of a virgin. 2. A calumniator of a ...
Kanyapala
Kanyāpāla (कन्यापाल).—m. (-laḥ) 1. A dealer in slave girls. 2. The father of a daughter. E. kan...
Kanyavedin
Kanyāvedin (कन्यावेदिन्).—m. (-dī) A son-in-law. E. kanyā, and vedin who knows.
Samakanya
Samakanyā (समकन्या).—f. (-nyā) A girl fit to be married. E. sama complete, kanyā a virgin.

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