Lakshana, aka: Lakṣaṇa, Laksana, Lakṣaṇā; 12 Definition(s)

Introduction

Lakshana 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.

The Sanskrit terms Lakṣaṇa and Lakṣaṇā can be transliterated into English as Laksana or Lakshana, using the IAST transliteration scheme (?).

In Hinduism

Natyashastra (theatrics and dramaturgy)

[Lakshana in Natyashastra glossaries]

Lakṣaṇa (लक्षण) refers to “characteristic feature”. According to the Nāṭyaśāstra chapter 17, there are thirty-six lakṣaṇas (‘characteristic features’) that make a perfect poetic composition (kāvyabandha). The term is used throughout nāṭyaśāstra literature.

There are thirty-seven lakṣaṇas:

  1. bhūṣaṇa (the ornamental quality),
  2. akṣarasaṃghāta (due word combinations),
  3. śobhā (beauty),
  4. udāharaṇa (example),
  5. hetu (motivation),
  6. saṃśaya (hesitation),
  7. dṛṣṭānta (graphic illustration),
  8. prāpti (attainment),
  9. abhiprāya (confidence),
  10. nidarśana (counter-argument),
  11. nirukta (etymology),
  12. siddhi (success),
  13. viśeṣana (recognition),
  14. guṇātipāta (contrast of virtues),
  15. guṇātiśaya (special virtues),
  16. tulyatarka (persuasion through comparison),
  17. padoccaya (lengthy statement),
  18. diṣṭa (description),
  19. upadiṣṭa (apt statement),
  20. vicāra (progress),
  21. viparyaya (transposition),
  22. bhraṃśa (slip of the tongue),
  23. anunaya (mediation),
  24. mālā (garland),
  25. dākṣiṇya (reasonable conduct),
  26. garhaṇa (hypocrisy),
  27. arthāpatti (admission),
  28. prasiddhi (progress to success),
  29. pṛcchā (query),
  30. sārūpya (identity),
  31. manoratha (hint at a desire),
  32. leśa (wit),
  33. saṃkṣobha (affliction),
  34. guṇakīrtana (extolling virtues),
  35. anuktasiddhi (vague success),
  36. priyokti (pleasant speech),
(Source): Wisdom Library: Nāṭya-śāstra
Natyashastra book cover
context information

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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Purana

[Lakshana in Purana glossaries]

1) Lakṣaṇā (लक्षणा).—Daughter of Duryodhana. Wife of Sāmba. (See for details under Sāmba).

2) Lakṣaṇā (लक्षणा).—A celestial maiden. This maiden took part in the birth day celebrations of Arjuna. (Śloka 62, Chapter 122, Ādi Parva, Mahābhārata).

3) Lakṣaṇā (लक्षणा).—(LAKṢMAṆĀ) III. One of the eight queens of Śrī Kṛṣṇa. Lakṣaṇā was the daughter of Bṛhatsena, King of Madra. (Sṛṣṭi Khaṇḍa, Padma Purāṇa). Śrī Kṛṣṇa got ten sons of her some of whom are Praghoṣa, Gātravān, Siṃha and Bala. (10th Skandha, Bhāgavata).

(Source): archive.org: Puranic Encyclopaedia

1) Lakṣaṇa (लक्षण).—An elephant, son of Añjanā.*

  • * Brahmāṇḍa-purāṇa III. 7. 339.

2) Lakṣaṇā (लक्षणा).—An Apsaras.*

  • * Vāyu-purāṇa 69. 6.
(Source): Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: The Purana Index
Purana book cover
context information

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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Vaisheshika (school of philosophy)

[Lakshana in Vaisheshika glossaries]

Lakṣaṇa (लक्षण) means the “definition” of a topic, and refers to one of the three methods of expositions laid down in the Nyāyabhāṣya (verse 1.1.2) by Vātsyāyana.

(Source): Wisdom Library: Vaiśeṣika

Definition, (lakṣaṇa) sets forth a peculiar property, constituting the essential character of a thing.

(Source): Google Books: Transactions of the Royal Asiatic Society of Great Britain and Ireland, Volume 1
Vaisheshika book cover
context information

Vaisheshika (वैशेषिक, vaiśeṣika) refers to a school of orthodox Hindu philosophy (astika), drawing its subject-matter from the Upanishads. Vaisheshika deals with subjects such as logic, epistemology, philosophy and expounds concepts similar to Buddhism in nature

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Vyakarana (Sanskrit grammar)

[Lakshana in Vyakarana glossaries]

Lakṣaṇā (लक्षणा).—Faculty of indication or implication residing in a word. It subordinates or abandons the real meaning of a word and helps comprehend a different but related meaning.

(Source): Shodhganga: Vaiyākaraṇabhūṣaṇasāra: a critical study

1) Lakṣaṇa (लक्षण).—A rule or a sūtra composed by the ancient Sūtrakāras; the word is very frequently used in this sense by the Bhāşyakāra and later commentators; cf. लक्ष्यलक्षणे व्याकरणम् (lakṣyalakṣaṇe vyākaraṇam); cf. also लक्षणं हि नाम ध्वनति, भ्रमति मुहूर्तमपि नावतिष्ठते (lakṣaṇaṃ hi nāma dhvanati, bhramati muhūrtamapi nāvatiṣṭhate) M.Bh. on P.I.1.3 Vārt 10;

2) Lakṣaṇa.—Characteristic or sign; cf. लक्षणेनाभिप्रती आभिमुख्ये (lakṣaṇenābhipratī ābhimukhye) P. II. 1. 14; cf. also P.I.4.90 and III. 2.12;

3) Lakṣaṇa.—Indirect way of expression; cf. लक्षणप्रतिपदोक्तयोः प्रतिपदोक्तत्यैव ग्रहणम् (lakṣaṇapratipadoktayoḥ pratipadoktatyaiva grahaṇam) Par. Śek. Pari. 105.

--- OR ---

Lakṣaṇā (लक्षणा).—Implication; potentiality of implication; this potentiality of words viz. लक्षणा (lakṣaṇā) is not recognised by grammarians as a potentiality different from the अभिधाशक्ति (abhidhāśakti) or the power of denotation. Later grammarians, however, like the Ālamkārikas, have used the word in the sense of potentiality of implication as different from that of denotation; cf. अन्त्यशब्दे लक्षणा न च (antyaśabde lakṣaṇā na ca) Paribhāşenduśekhara.

(Source): Wikisource: A dictionary of Sanskrit grammar
context information

Vyakarana (व्याकरण, vyākaraṇa) refers to Sanskrit grammar and represents one of the six additional sciences (vedanga) to be studied along with the Vedas. Vyakarana concerns itself with the rules of Sanskrit grammar and linguistic analysis in order to establish the correct context of words and sentences.

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In Buddhism

General definition (in Buddhism)

[Lakshana in Buddhism glossaries]

1) Lakṣaṇa (लक्षण, “mark”) or lakṣaṇaśūnyatā refers to “marked emptiness” one of the “twenty emptinesses” (śūnyatā) as defined in the Dharma-saṃgraha (section 41). The Dharma-samgraha (Dharmasangraha) is an extensive glossary of Buddhist technical terms in Sanskrit (eg., lakṣaṇa). The work is attributed to Nagarjuna who lived around the 2nd century A.D.

2) Lakṣaṇa (लक्षण) refers to the “thirty-two marks of a great man” as defined in the Dharma-saṃgraha (section 83):

  1. cakrāṅkitapāṇipādatala (wheels on his palms and soles),
  2. supratiṣṭhitapāṇipādatala (palms and soles well-placed),
  3. jālābaddhāṅgulipāṇipādatala (fingers, palms and soles bound with nets),
  4. mṛdutaruṇahastapādatala (hands and soles that are soft and tender),
  5. saptotsada (seven prominent marks),
  6. dīrghāṅguli (long fingers),
  7. āyatapārṣṇi (heels that are long and deep),
  8. ṛjugātra (upright limbs),
  9. utsaṅgapāda (high ankles),
  10. urdhvāgraroma (bristling hair),
  11. aiṇeyajaṅgha (antelope-like calves),
  12. pralambabāhu (arms that hang low),
  13. koṣagatavastiguhya (what is covered by a cloth is ensheathed),
  14. suvarṇavarṇa (golden in colour),
  15. śuklacchavi (fine skin),
  16. pradakṣiṇāvartaikaroma (each hair arises singly and turns to the right),
  17. ūrṇālaṅkṛtamukha (a circle of hair decorates his forehead),
  18. siṃhapūrvāntakāya (a torso like a lion’s),
  19. susaṃvṛttaskandha (upper back that is even all round),
  20. citāntarāṃsa (between the shoulders it is firm),
  21. rasarasāgra (his taste buds are supremely sensitive),
  22. nyagrodhaparimaṇḍala (his (body) is well-proportioned like a banyan tree),
  23. uṣṇīṣaśiraska (he has a protuberance on the head),
  24. prabhūtajivha (his tongue is large),
  25. siṃhahanu (his jaw is like a lion’s),
  26. śuklahanu (his jaw is fine),
  27. samadanta (his forty teeth are even),
  28. haṃsavikrāntagāmi (a gait like that of a goose),
  29. aviraladanta (the teeth are without gaps),
  30. samacatvāriṃśaddanta (the forty teeth are even),
  31. abhinīlanetra (the eyes are very dark),
  32. gopakṣanetra (and the eyes have eyelashes like a cow’s).

3) Lakṣaṇa also refers to the “sixteen marks of being receptive to knowledge” (regarding the four noble truths) as defined in the Dharma-saṃgraha (section 97):

  1. Being receptive to the dharma knowledge of suffering (duḥkhe dharma-jñāna-kṣānti),
  2. The dharma knowledge of suffering (duḥkhe dharma-jñāna),
  3. Being receptive to the conformity knowledge of suffering (duḥkhe ’nvaya-jñāna-kṣānti),
  4. The conformity knowledge of suffering (duḥkhe ’nvaya-jñāna);
  5. Being receptive to the dharma knowledge of arising (samudaye dharma-jñāna-kṣānti),
  6. The dharma knowledge of arising (samudaye dharma-jñāna),
  7. Being receptive to the conformity knowledge of arising (samudaye ’nvaya-jñāna-kṣānti),
  8. The conformity knowledge of arising (samudaye ’nvaya-jñāna);
  9. Being receptive to the dharma knowledge of cessation (nirodhe dharma-jñāna-kṣānti),
  10. The knowledge of cessation (nirodhe dharma-jñāna),
  11. Being receptive to the conformity knowledge of cessation (nirodhe ’nvaya-jñāna-kṣānti),
  12. The conformity knowledge of cessation (nirodhe ’nvaya-jñāna);
  13. Being receptive to the dharma knowledge of the path (mārge dharma-jñāna-kṣānti),
  14. The dharma knowledge of the path (mārge dharma-jñāna),
  15. Being receptive to the conformity knowledge of the path (mārge ’nvaya-jñāna-kṣānti),
  16. And the conformity knowledge of the path (mārge ’nvaya-jñāna).
(Source): Wisdom Library: Dharma-samgraha

Lakṣaṇa (लक्षण) refers to “thirty-two major marks of distinction” mentioned in the 17th century Sukhāvatī.—The lists of the thirty-two bodily marks of a mahāpuruṣa (skyes bu chen po) given in the Dīghanikāya (Mahāpadāna-sutta & Lakkhaṇa-suttanta), Lalitavistara, and Dharmasaṃgraha do not follow the same order and contain variations.

The list given here follows the order, but not always the exact wording, of the Mahāvyutpatti (236-67):

  1. protuberance on the top of the head (uṣṇīṣaśiraska);
  2. the hair on the head curled towards the right (pradakṣiṇāvartakeśa);
  3. a prominent forehead (samalalāta);
  4. a hairy mole between the eye-brows (ūrṇākośa);
  5. deep blue eyes and eyelashes like a cow’s (abhinīlanetragopakṣma);
  6. forty teeth (catvāriṃśaddanta);
  7. even teeth (samadanta);
  8. well spaced teeth (aviraladanta);
  9. bright white teeth (suśukladanta);
  10. a perfect sense of taste (rasarasāgra);
  11. jaws like a lion’s (siṃhahanu);
  12. a long and slender tongue (prabhūtatanujihva);
  13. a voice like Brahmā’s (brahmasvara);
  14. an evenly rounded bust (susaṃvṛtaskandha);
  15. seven prominences [hands, feet, shoulders, back of the neck] (saptotsada);
  16. no indentation between the shoulders (citāntarāṃsa);
  17. delicate and gold-like complexion (sūkṣmasuvarṇachavi);
  18. hands reaching the knees while standing and without bending (sthitānavanatapralambabāhu);
  19. the front part of the body is like a lion’s (siṃhapūrvārdhakāya);
  20. (bodily) symmetry of the nyagrodha tree (nyagrodhaparimaṇḍala);
  21. one clockwise curling hair to each pore (ekaikaromapradakṣiṇāvarta);
  22. body-hairs growing upwards (ūrdhvagaroma);
  23. male organs concealed in a sheath (kośopagatavastiguhya);
  24. well rounded thighs (suvartitoru);
  25. concealed ankles [or Skt ?arched feet] (utsaṅgapāda);
  26. soft and tender palms and soles (mṛdutaruṇahastapādatala);
  27. webbed hands and feet (jālāvanaddhahastapāda);
  28. long fingers and toes (dīrghāṅguli);
  29. palms and soles marked with wheels (cakrāṅkitahastapāda);
  30. well positioned feet (supratiṣṭhitapāda);
  31. projecting heels (āyatapādapārṣṇi);
  32. legs like an antelope’s (aiṇeyajaṅgha).

The list of the eighty minor marks (anuvyañjana) also follows the order of the Mahāvyutpatti (269-348).

(Source): academia.edu: A Prayer for Rebirth in the Sukhāvatī

Languages of India and abroad

Marathi-English dictionary

[Lakshana in Marathi glossaries]

1) Lakṣaṇa (लक्षण).—n (S) A mark. 2 An indication or a sign; a characteristic; a token, evidence, symptom; a quality or property; anything by which a matter is designated or distinguished. Ex. dhūma pāhilā asatāṃ ēthēṃ agni āhē asēṃ jñāna hōtēṃ mhaṇūna dhūma hēṃ la0 agni hēṃ lakṣya; phaṭakana dusaṛyāsa śivī dētāsa hēṃ tujhē aṅgīṃ vāīṭa la0 āhē; Pr. nāṃva mōṭhēṃ āṇi la0 khōṭēṃ. 3 A definition; description of a thing through explication of its essence or enumeration of its properties. 4 In nidāna or pathology. The third of the five departments,--the Symptoms or concomitant derangements. 5 (Used for lavalakṣaṇa) Handsomeness, comeliness. 6 S Sight or seeing.

2) lakṣaṇā (लक्षणा).—f S (Looking at or viewing.) The looking, aspect, or bearing (of a word or phrase); the respecting, and thus the indicating, of some sense beyond that literally and rigidly conveyed by it; metaphorical or figurative import. Ex. cōrācē bhayānēṃ sārā gāṃva paḷālā ēthēṃ gāṃva hyā śabdācī la0 gāṃvāntīla lōkācā jō samudāya tyājavara hōtī.

(Source): DDSA: The Molesworth Marathi and English Dictionary

1) Lakṣaṇa (लक्षण).—n A mark; a sign; a token. A definition.

2) lakṣaṇā (लक्षणा).—f The aspect or bearing (of a phrase) metaphorical or figurative import.

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

[Lakshana in Sanskrit glossaries]

Lakṣaṇa (लक्षण).—[lakṣyate'nena lakṣ-karaṇe lyuṭ Uṇ.3.8.]

1) A mark, token, sign, indication, characteristic, distinctive mark; वधूदुकूलं कलहंसलक्षणम् (vadhūdukūlaṃ kalahaṃsalakṣaṇam) Ku.5.67; अनारम्भो हि कार्याणां प्रथमं बुद्धिलक्षणम् (anārambho hi kāryāṇāṃ prathamaṃ buddhilakṣaṇam) Subhāṣ; उपकारापकारौ हि लक्ष्यं लक्षण- मेतयोः (upakārāpakārau hi lakṣyaṃ lakṣaṇa- metayoḥ) H.4.15; अव्याक्षेपो भविष्यन्त्याः कार्यसिद्धेर्हि लक्षणम् (avyākṣepo bhaviṣyantyāḥ kāryasiddherhi lakṣaṇam) R.1.6;19.47; गर्भलक्षण (garbhalakṣaṇa) Ś.5; पुरुषलक्षणम् (puruṣalakṣaṇam) 'the sign or organ of virility'.

2) A symptom (of a disease).

3) An attribute, a quality.

4) A definition, accurate description; असाधारणधर्मो लक्षणम् (asādhāraṇadharmo lakṣaṇam); नामधेयेन पदार्थमात्रस्याभि- धानमुद्देशः, तत्रोद्दिष्टस्यातत्त्वव्यवच्छेदको धर्मो लक्षणम् (nāmadheyena padārthamātrasyābhi- dhānamuddeśaḥ, tatroddiṣṭasyātattvavyavacchedako dharmo lakṣaṇam) Vātsyāyana Bhāṣya 1.1.2.

5) A lucky or auspicious mark on the body (these are considered to be 32); द्वात्रिंशल्लक्षणोपेतः (dvātriṃśallakṣaṇopetaḥ); लक्षणसंपन्नान्नां गवामधः सस्नौ (lakṣaṇasaṃpannānnāṃ gavāmadhaḥ sasnau) K.64.

6) Any mark or features of the body (indicative of good or bad luck); क्व तद्विधस्त्वं क्व च पुण्यलक्षणा (kva tadvidhastvaṃ kva ca puṇyalakṣaṇā) Ku.5.73; क्लेशावहा भर्तुरलक्षणाहम् (kleśāvahā bharturalakṣaṇāham) R.14.5.

7) A name, designation, appellation (oft. at the end of comp.); विदिशालक्षणां राजधानीम् (vidiśālakṣaṇāṃ rājadhānīm) Me.24.

8) Excellence, merit, good quality; as in आहितलक्षण (āhitalakṣaṇa) R. 6.71 (where Malli. renders it by prakhyātaguṇa and quotes Ak.:-guṇaiḥ pratīte tu kṛtalakṣaṇāhitalakṣaṇau).

9) An aim, a scope, an object.

1) A fixed rate (as of duties); नदीतीरेषु तद्विद्यात् समुद्रे नास्ति लक्षणम् (nadītīreṣu tadvidyāt samudre nāsti lakṣaṇam) Ms.8.46.

11) Form, kind, nature.

12) Effect, operation.

13) Cause, occasion.

14) Head, topic, subject.

15) Pretence, disguise (= lakṣa); प्रसुप्तलक्षणः (prasuptalakṣaṇaḥ) Māl.7.

16) A line, spot.

17) Observation, seeing.

18) Indicatory characteristic; लक्ष्यते येन तल्लक्षणम्, धूमो लक्षणमग्नेरिति हि वदन्ति (lakṣyate yena tallakṣaṇam, dhūmo lakṣaṇamagneriti hi vadanti) ŚB. on MS.1.1.2.

19) A chapter; धर्मो द्वादशलक्षण्या व्युत्पाद्यः (dharmo dvādaśalakṣaṇyā vyutpādyaḥ).

2) A sexual organ; लक्षणं लक्षणेनैव वदनं वदनेन च (lakṣaṇaṃ lakṣaṇenaiva vadanaṃ vadanena ca) Mb.13.4.58.

-ṇaḥ 1 Name of Lakṣmaṇa.

2) The crane.

-ṇā 1 An aim, object.

2) (In Rhet.) An indirect application or secondary signification of a word, one of the three powers of a word; it is thus defined:-मुख्यार्थबाधे तद्योगे रूढितोऽथ प्रयोजनात् । अन्योऽर्थो लक्ष्यते यत् सा लक्षणारोपिता क्रिया (mukhyārthabādhe tadyoge rūḍhito'tha prayojanāt | anyo'rtho lakṣyate yat sā lakṣaṇāropitā kriyā) K. P.2. लक्षणा शक्यसंबन्धस्तात्पर्यानुपपत्तितः (lakṣaṇā śakyasaṃbandhastātparyānupapattitaḥ) Bhāṣā P.; see S. D.13. also श्रुतिलक्षणाविषये च श्रुतिर्न्याय्या न लक्षणा (śrutilakṣaṇāviṣaye ca śrutirnyāyyā na lakṣaṇā) ŚB. on MS.6.2.2; A. Rām.7.5.26-27.

3) A goose.

4) Name of Duryodhana's daughter.

Derivable forms: lakṣaṇam (लक्षणम्).

(Source): DDSA: The practical 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

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Sulakṣaṇa (सुलक्षण).—A king. It was this king who ordered Māṇḍavya maharṣi to be pierced with a...
Dashalakshana
Daśalakṣaṇa (दशलक्षण).—a. relating to 1 objects; इदं भागवतं पुराणं दक्षलक्षणम् (idaṃ bhāgavataṃ...
Pancalakshana
Pañcalakṣaṇa (पञ्चलक्षण) occurring in the Amarakośa and in various Purāṇas enumerates creation ...
Jahallakshana
Jahallakṣaṇā (जहल्लक्षणा).—a kind of लक्षणा (lakṣaṇā) (also called lakṣaṇalakṣaṇā) in which a w...
Nirudhalakshana
Nirūḍhalakṣaṇā (निरूढलक्षणा).—a Lakṣaṇā or secondary use of a word which is based not on the Vi...
Rogalakshana
Rogalakṣaṇa (रोगलक्षण).—the symptoms of a disease; pathology. Derivable forms: rogalakṣaṇam (रो...
Kritalakshana
Kṛtalakṣaṇa (कृतलक्षण).—a. 1) stamped, marked. 2) branded; ज्ञातिसम्बन्धिभिस्त्वेतास्त्यक्तव्या...
Shabdalakshana
Śabdalakṣaṇa (शब्दलक्षण).—a. what is determined by the sacred word; इह शब्दलक्षणे कर्मणि यथाशब्...
Samanyalakshana
Sāmānyalakṣaṇa (सामान्यलक्षण).—a generic definition; इति द्रव्यसामान्यलक्षणानि (iti dravyasāmān...
Lakshanalakshana
Lakṣaṇalakṣaṇā (लक्षणलक्षणा).—[= jahallakṣaṇā] q. v. Lakṣaṇalakṣaṇā is a Sanskrit compound cons...
Svalakshana
Svalakṣaṇa (स्वलक्षण) or Svalakṣaṇāśuci refers to the “impurity of intrinsic characteristics” a...
Rajalakshana
Rājalakṣaṇa (राजलक्षण).—1) any mark on a man's body indicating future royalty. royal insignia, ...
Kulakshana
Kulakṣaṇa (कुलक्षण).—a. having fatal marks on the body. कुलक्षणेत्यहं राज्ञा त्यक्तेत्यात्तविमा...
Jnanalakshana
Jñānalakṣaṇa (ज्ञानलक्षण) or Jñānalakṣaṇā (ज्ञानलक्षणा).—1) indication, sign, a means of knowin...
Jatilakshana
Jātilakṣaṇa (जातिलक्षण).—generic distinction, a characteristic of a class. Derivable forms: jāt...

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