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Maraṇa, aka: Māraṇa, Marana; 11 Definition(s)


Maraṇa means something in Buddhism, Pali, Hinduism, Sanskrit. 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

Rasaśāstra (chemistry and alchemy)

1) Maraṇa (मरण) is a Sanskrit technical term that refers to the “death” (due to the onset of diseases), as per rasaśāstra literature (Medicinal Alchemy)

2) Māraṇa (मारण) refers to the process of “incineration” of metatals. It is used throughout Rasaśāstra literature, such as the Rasaprakāśasudhākara.

Source: Wisdom Library: Rasa-śāstra

Māraṇa, the “killing” of mercury (or any metal) reduces it to a fine ash or oxide (bhasma), such that the human body is able to absorb it when it is taken in medical preparations. Metals other than mercury are genrally killed, in preparation for internal use, by heating them together with iron pyrites and mercuric sulfide. When mercury is killed, it loses its fluidity, density, luster, and brilliance. Tantric alchemy attributes fantastic powers of transmutation to said mercury, which it identifies as “killed ash” (mṛtabhasma) or “killed mercury” (mṛtasūtaka).

Source: Google Books: The Alchemical BodyRasaśāstra book cover
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Rasaśāstra (रसशास्त्र, rasa-shastra) is an important branch of Āyurveda, specialising in chemical interactions with herbs, metals and minerals. Some texts combine yogic and tantric practices with various alchemical operations. The ultimate goal of Rasaśāstra is not only to preserve and prolong life, but also to bestow wealth upon humankind.

Śaivism (Śaiva philosophy)

Māraṇa (मारण) refers to “killing others”. It is a siddhi (‘supernatural power’) described in chapter one of the Kakṣapuṭatantra (a manual of Tantric practice from the tenth century).

Source: Wisdom Library: Kakṣapuṭa-tantraŚaivism book cover
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Śaiva (शैव, shaiva) or Śaivism (shaivism) represents a tradition of Hinduism worshipping Śiva as the supreme being. Closeley related to Śāktism, Śaiva literature includes a range of scriptures, including tantras, while the root of this tradition may be traced back to the ancient Vedas.

Nāṭyaśāstra (theatrics and dramaturgy)

1) Maraṇa (मरण, “death”).—One of the thirty-three vyabhicāribhāva (transitory states), according to the Nāṭyaśāstra chapter 7. These ‘transitory states’ accompany the ‘permanent state’ in co-operation. The term is used throughout nāṭyaśāstra literature. (Also see the Daśarūpa 4.8-9)

2) Maraṇa (मरण, “death”) refers to the tenth of the ten stages of love (kāma) arising in a woman (strī) and men (puṃs) alike, according to the Nāṭyaśāstra chapter 24.

3) Maraṇa (मरण, “death”) represents the eighth stage of the action of poison (viṣa) after drinking it, according to the Nāṭyaśāstra chapter 26. In a dramatic play, the representation of death from drinking poison is displayed by throwing out of hands and feet and other limbs. The power of the poison will lead to the quivering action of the different parts of the body.

Maraṇa according to the Nāṭyaśāstra: “death (maraṇa) whether it is due to a growth of disease or to snake-bite should be represented, according to the dramatic convention (nāṭyadharma) by a closure of the eyes. ”.

Source: Wisdom Library: Nāṭya-śāstra

1) Maraṇa (मरण, “death”) comes through disease as well as accidental injury. Of these two kinds of death, that from sickness is caused by determinants (vibhāva) such as a malady of the intestine and the liver, colic pain, disturbance of humours, tumours, boils, fever, cholera, and the like. And that due to accidental injury is caused by weapons, snake bite, taking poison, [attack of] ferocious animals, injury due to falling down from elephant, horse, chariot and other vehicles.

Death due to disease is to be represented on the stage by one mark viz. loose body and inactive sense-organs. But death due to accidental injury is to be represented on the stage in different ways: e.g., [death due to] wound by weapons is to be represented by consequents (anubhāva) such as suddenly falling down on the ground and the like. In case of snake-bite or taking poison [there is a gradual] development of its symptoms which are eight in number, viz. thinness (of the body), tremor, burning sensation, hiccup, foam at the mouth, breaking of the neck, paralysis and death.

2) Maraṇa (मरण).—One of the ten stages of love (kāma);—If even after adopting all the means available for the purpose the Union with the beloved does not take place, then burnt in the fire of love one’s Death (maraṇa) takes place. Thus in case of her not meeting (lit. getting) the beloved, one should represent, according to the Science of Erotics, for the Heroine all the stages of love except the last one

3) Maraṇa (मरण).—Representation of death (maraṇa) which may arise from different conditions will be of different nature. For example, sometimes it is indicated by throwing out all the hands and feet, and sometimes by a paralysis of movement of all the limbs.

Source: archive.org: Natya ShastraNāṭyaśāstra book cover
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Nāṭyaśāstra (नाट्यशास्त्र, natya-shastra) refers to both the ancient Indian tradition of performing arts, (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 (nāṭya) and poetic works (kāvya).

General definition (in Hinduism)

The ‘Māraṇa’ (मारण) process which is aimed at killing of metal or mineral and destroying its metallic nature by subjecting it with ‘bhāvanā’ and ‘puṭapāka’ treatments for several times or till these arenot divided/converted into finest subdivisions and into suitable desired compound form.

Source: Indian National Science Academy: Hinduism

In Buddhism


maraṇa : (nt.) death. || māraṇa (nt.), killing.

Source: BuddhaSasana: Concise Pali-English Dictionary

Māraṇa, (nt.) (fr. Caus. māreti) killing, slaughter, death D. II, 128; Sdhp. 295, 569. (Page 530)

— or —

Maraṇa, (nt.) (fr. mṛ) death, as ending this (visible) existence, physical death, in a narrower meaning than kālakiriyā; dying, in cpds. death.—The customary stock definition of maraṇa runs; yaṃ tesaṃ tesaṃ sattānaṃ tamhā tamhā satta-nikāyā cuti cavanatā bhedo antaradhānaṃ, maccu maraṇaṃ kālakiriyā, khandhānaṃ bhedo, kaḷebarassa nikkhepo M. I, 49; Nd1 123, 124 (adds “jīvit’indriyass’upacchedo”). Cp. similar defns of birth and old age under jāti and jarā.—S. I, 121; D. III, 52, 111 sq. , 135 sq. , 146 sq. , 235, 258 sq.; Sn. 32, 318, 426 sq. , 575 sq. , 742, 806; Nd2 254 (=maccu); Pug. 60; Vbh. 99 sq.; VbhA. 100 (defn and exegesis in det. , cp. Vism. 502), 101 (var. kinds of, cp. Vism. 229), 156 (lahuka), 157; DhA. III, 434; PvA. 5, 18, 54, 64, 76, 96; Sdhp. 292, 293.—kāla° timely death (opp. akāla°); khaṇika° sudden death Vism. 229.

—anta having death as its end (of jīvita) Dh. 148 (cp. DhA. II, 366: maraṇa-saṅkhāto antako). —ânussati mindfulness of death Vism. 197, 230 sq. (under 8 aspects). —cetanā intention of death DhA. I, 20. —dhamma subject to death PvA. 41. —pariyosana ending in death (of jīvita, life) DhA. III, 111, 170. —pāra “the other side of death, ” Np. at Nd1 154 (vv. ll. BB purāpuraṃ; SS parammukhaṃ). —bhaya the fear of death J. I, 203; VI, 398; Vbh. 367. —bhojana food given before death, the last meal J. I, 197; II, 420. —mañca death-bed Vism. 47, 549; °ka J. IV, 132. —mukha the mouth of d. PvA. 97 (or should we read °dukkha?). —sati the thought (or mindfulness) of death, meditation on death SnA 54; DhA. III, 171; PvA. 61, 66. —samaya the time of death VbhA. 157—159 (in var. conditions as regards paṭisandhi). (Page 524)

Source: Sutta: The Pali Text Society's Pali-English DictionaryPali 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.

Theravada (major branch of Buddhism)

Marana (“death”). - Contemplation of °: maranānussati. - As divine messenger: deva-dūta.

Source: Pali Kanon: Manual of Buddhist Terms and Doctrines

'death', in ordinary usage, means the disappearance of the vital faculty confined to a single life-time, and therewith of the psycho-physical life-process conventionally called 'man, animal, personality, ego', etc. Strictly speaking, however, death is the continually repeated dissolution and vanishing of each momentary physical-mental combination, and thus it takes place every moment. About this momentaneity of existence, it is said in Vis.M. VIII:

"In the absolute sense, beings have only a very short moment to live, life lasting as long as a single moment of consciousness lasts. Just as a cart-wheel, whether rolling or whether at a standstill, at all times only rests on a single point of its periphery, even so the life of a living being lasts only for the duration of a single moment of consciousness. As soon as that moment ceases, the being also ceases. For it is said:

  • 'The being of the past moment of consciousness has lived, but does not live now, nor will it live in future.
  • The being of the future moment has not yet lived, nor does it live now, but it will live in the future.
  • The being of the present moment has not lived, it does live just now, but it will not live in the future.'"

In another sense, the coming to an end of the psycho-physical life-process of the Arahat, or perfectly Holy One, at the moment of his passing away may be called the final and ultimate death, as up to that moment the psycho-physical life-process was still going on from life to life.

Death, in the ordinary sense, combined with old age, forms the 12th link in the formula of dependent origination (paticca-samuppāda).

For death as a subject of meditation, s. maranānussati; as a function of consciousness, s. viññāna-kicca.

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

General definition (in Buddhism)

Death is the only absolutely certain thing in life, yet how many of us plan for it and prepare ourselves adequately in advance to face it calmly? All human beings must die. The body disintegrates, breaks apart, and turns to ashes and dust.

The only thing we own that remains with us beyond death is our kamma, our intentional deeds. Our deeds continue, bringing into being a new form of life until all craving is extinguished. We are born and evolve according to the quality of our kamma. Good deeds will produce a good rebirth, bad deeds a bad rebirth.

Source: Buddhist Information: A Simple Guide to Life

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