Kasina, aka: Kasiṇa; 3 Definition(s)


Kasina 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.

In Buddhism

Theravada (major branch of Buddhism)

[Kasina in Theravada glossaries]

(perhaps related to Sanskrit krtsna, 'all, complete, whole'), is the name for a purely external device to produce and develop concentration of mind and attain the 4 absorptions (jhāna q.v.).

It consists in concentrating one's full and undivided attention on one visible object as preparatory image (parikamma-nimitta), e.g. a colored spot or disc, or a piece of earth, or a pond at some distance, etc., until at last one perceives, even with the eyes closed, a mental reflex, the acquired image (uggaha-nimitta). Now, while continuing to direct one's attention to this image, there may arise the spotless and immovable counter-image (patibhāga-nimitta), and together with it the neighbourhood-concentration (upacāra-samādhi) will have been reached. While still persevering in the concentration on the object, one finally will reach a state of mind where all sense-activity is suspended, where there is no more seeing and hearing, no more perception of bodily impression and feeling, i.e. the state of the 1st mental absorption (jhāna, q.v.).

The 10 kasinas mentioned in the Suttas are: earth-kasina, water, fire, wind, blue, yellow, red, white, space, and consciousness. "There are 10 kasina-spheres: someone sees the earth kasina, above, below, on all sides, undivided, unbounded .... someone see the water-kasina, above, below, etc." (M. 77; D. 33) Cf. abhibhāyatan, bhāvanā; further s. Fund. IV.

For space and consciousness-kasina we find in Vis.M. V the names limited space-kasina (paricchinnākāsa-kasina; . . . s. App. ) and light-kasina (āloka-kasina).

For full description see Vis.M. IV-V; also Atthasālini Tr. I, 248.

(Source): Pali Kanon: Manual of Buddhist Terms and Doctrines
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).

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Languages of India and abroad

Pali-English dictionary

[Kasina in Pali glossaries]

kasiṇa : (adj.) whole; entire. (nt.), an object for meditation.

(Source): BuddhaSasana: Concise Pali-English Dictionary

1) Kasiṇa, 2 (Deriv. uncertain) (nt.) one of the aids to kammaṭṭhāna the practice by means of which mystic meditation (bhāvanā, jhāna) may be attained. They are fully described at A. V, 46 sq. , 60; usually enumerated as ten (sāvakā dasa k° —āyatanāni bhāventi); paṭhavī°, āpo°, tejo°, vāyo°, nīla°, pīta°, lohita°, odāta°, ākāsa°, viññāṇa°-that is, earth, water, fire, air; blue, yellow, red, white; space, intellection (or perhaps consciousness) M. II, 14; D. III, 268, 290; Nett 89, 112; Dhs. 202; Ps. I, 6, 95; cp. Manual 49—52; Bdhd 4, 90 sq. , 95 sq.—For the last two (ākāsa° and viññāṇa°) we find in later sources āloka° and (paricchinn’) ākāsa° Vism. 110; cp. Dhs. trsl. 43 n. 4, 57 n. 2; Cpd. 54, 202.—Eight (the above omitting the last two) are given at Ps. I, 49, 143, 149.—See further J. I, 313; III, 519; DhsA. 186 sq. There are 14 manners of practising the kasiṇas (of which the first nine are: k°-ânulomaṃ; k°-paṭilomaṃ; k°-ânupaṭilomaṃ; jhānânulomaṃ; jh°paṭi°; jh°-ânupaṭi°; jh°-ukkantikaṃ; k° ukk°; jh°k°-ukk°) Vism. 374; cp. Bdhd 5, 101 sq. , 104, 152. ‹-› Nine qualities or properties of (paṭhavi-) kasiṇa are enumd at Vism. 117.—Each k. is fivefold, according to uddhaṃ, adho, tiriyaṃ, advayaṃ, appamāṇaṃ; M. II, 15, etc.—kasiṇaṃ oloketi to fix one’s gaze on the particular kasiṇa chosen J. V, 314; °ṃ samannāharati to concentrate one’s mind on the k. J. III, 519.

—āyatana the base or object of a kasiṇa exercise (see above as 10 such objects) D. III, 268; M. II, 14; Ps. I, 28, etc.;—ārammaṇa=°āyatana Vism. 427 (three, viz. tejo°, odāta°, āloka°).—kamma the k. practice J. I, 141; IV, 306; V, 162, 193.—jhāna the k. meditation DhsA. 413.—dosa fault of the k. object Vism. 117, 123 (the 4 faults of paṭhavī-kasiṇa being confusion of the 4 colours).—parikamma the preliminary, preparatory rites to the exercise of a kasiṇa meditation, such as preparing the frame, repeating the necessary formulas, etc. J. I, 8, 245; III, 13, 526; DhsA. 187;—°ṃ katheti to give instructions in these preparations J. III, 369; °ṃ karoti to perform the k-preparations J. IV, 117; V, 132, 427; VI, 68;—maṇḍala a board or stone or piece of ground divided by depressions to be used as a mechanical aid to jhāna exercise. In each division of the maṇḍala a sample of a kasiṇa was put. Several of these stone maṇḍalas have been found in the ruins at Anurādhapura. Cp. Cpd. 54 f. 202 f. J. III, 501; DhA. IV, 208.—samāpatti attainment in respect of the k. exercise Nd2 4668 (ten such). (Page 201)

2) Kasiṇa, 1 (Vedic kṛtsna) (adj.) entire, whole J. IV, 111, 112. (Page 201)

(Source): Sutta: The Pali Text Society's Pali-English Dictionary
Pali book cover
context information

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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Relevant definitions

Search found 53 related definition(s) that might help you understand this better. Below you will find the 15 most relevant articles:

Pita Kasina
'yellow-kasina', is one of the kasina-exercises; s. kasina.
Paricchinnakasa Kasina
'limited-space kasina' = space kasina; s. kasina. (App.).
Vayo Kasina
'wind-kasina', is one of the kasina exercises (kasina).
Nila Kasina
'blue-kasina exercise' s. kasina.
Odata Kasina
'white-kasina-exercise'; s. kasina.
Pathavi Kasina
'earth-kasina' (s. kasina).
Aloka Kasina
'light-kasina-exercise'; s. kasina.
Akasa Kasina
'space-kasina exercise'; s. kasina.
Tejo Kasina
'fire-kasina', is one of the 10 kasina exercises; s. kasina.
Lohita Kasina
'red-kasina', s. kasina.
Water Kasina
white-k., wind-k.: s. kasina.
Kasina Sutta
The ten spheres of kasina (kasinayatanani) - e.g., pathavi, apo, tejo, etc. (A.v.46)
Light Kasina
s. kasina.
Kasina Kammatthana
part of Samatha Kammatthana Bhavana See patibhaga nimitta
Red Kasina Exercise
s. kasina.

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