Panca, aka: Pañca; 7 Definition(s)


Panca means something in Buddhism, Pali, 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.

Alternative spellings of this word include Pancha.

In Hinduism

Kathā (narrative stories)

Pañca (पञ्च) is the name of the fourteenth book of the Kathāsaritsāgara, written by Somadeva in the 11th-century.

The Kathāsaritsāgara (‘ocean of streams of story’), mentioning Pañca, is a famous Sanskrit epic story revolving around prince Naravāhanadatta and his quest to become the emperor of the vidyādharas (celestial beings). The work is said to have been an adaptation of Guṇāḍhya’s Bṛhatkathā consisting of 100,000 verses, which in turn is part of a larger work containing 700,000 verses.

(Source): Wisdom Library: Kathāsaritsāgara
Kathā book cover
context information

Kathās (कथा) are special kind of Sanskrit literature: they are a kind of a mix between Itihāsa (historical legends) and Mahākāvya (epic poetry). Some Kathās reflect socio-political instructions for the King while others remind the reader of the historical deeds of the Gods, sages and heroes.

In Buddhism


Panca means five.

(Source): Journey to Nibbana: Patthana Dhama

In Pali, panca means five.

(Source): Buddhist Information: A Survey of Paramattha Dhammas
Abhidhamma book cover
context information

Abhidhamma (अभिधम्म) usually refers to the last section (piṭaka) of the Pali canon and includes schematic classifications of scholastic literature dealing with Theravāda Buddhism. Primary topics include psychology, philosophy, methodology and metaphysics which are rendered into exhaustive enumerations and commentaries.


pañca : (adj.) five.

(Source): BuddhaSasana: Concise Pali-English Dictionary

Pañca, (adj. -num.) (Ved. pañca, Idg. *penqǔe; cp. Gr. pέnte, Lat. quīnque, Goth. fimf, Lith. penki, Oir. coic) number 5.—Cases: Gen. Dat. pañcannaṃ, Instr. Abl. pañcahi, Loc. pañcasu; often used in compositional form pañca° (cp. Ved. pañcāra with 5 spokes I. 16413; Gr. pempw/bolos, Lat. quinqu-ennis etc.).—

1. Characteristics of No. 5 in its use, with ref, to lit. & fig. application. “Five” is the number of “comprehensive and yet simple” unity or a set; it is applied in all cases of a natural and handy comprehension of several items into a group, after the 5 fingers of the hand, which latter lies at the bottom of all primitive expressions of No. 5 (see also below pañc’ aṅgulika. The word for 5 itself in its original form is identical with the word for hand *pr∂q, cp. Lat. com°, decem, centum etc.) -

A. No. 5, appld (a) with ref. to time: catupañcāhaṃ 4 or 5 days J. II, 114 (cp. quinque diebus Horace Sat I. 316); maraṇaṃ tuyhaṃ oraṃ māsehi pañcahi after 5 months Vv 6310, p. māse vasitvā DA. I, 319 (cp. qu. menses Hor. Sat. II. 3289).—(b) of space: °yojanaṭṭhāna J. III, 504; °yojan-ubbedho gajavaro VvA. 33; °bhūmako pāsādo J. I, 58 (cp. the house of Death as 5 stories high in Grimm, Mārchen No. 42 ed. Reclam).—(c) of a group, set, company, etc. (cp. 5 peoples RV III, 379; VI, 114; VIII, 92 etc.; gods X. 553; priests II. 3414; III, 77; leaders of the Greek ships Hom. Iliad 16, 171; ambassadors Genesis 472; quinque viri Hor. Sat. II. 555; Epist. II. 124): p. janā J. V, 230; p. amaccā J. V, 231; p. hatthino DhA. I, 164; pañca nāriyo agamiṃsu Vv 322; p. puttāni khādāmi Pv. I, 63.—Note. No. 5 in this appln is not so frequent in Pāli as in older literature (Vedas e.g. ); instead of the simple 5 we find more freq. the higher decimals 50 and 500. See also below §§ 3, 4.

B. No. 15 in two forms: pañcadasa (f. °ī the 15th day of the month Vv 156=A. I, 144; Sn. 402) VvA. 67 (°kahāpaṇa-sahassāni dāpesi), and paṇṇarasa (also as f. ī of the 15th or full-moon day Pv III, 31; DhA. I, 198; III, 92; IV, 202; VvA. 314; SnA 78) Sn. 153 (pannaraso uposatho); Vv 642 (paṇṇarase va cando; expld as paṇṇarasiyaṃ VvA. 276); DhA. I, 388 (of age, 15 or 16 years); DA. I, 17 (°bhedo Khuddaka-nikāyo); SnA 357 (pannarasahi bhikkhu-satehi=1500, instead of the usual 500); PvA. 154 (°yojana). The appln is much the same as 5 and 50 (see below), although more rare, e.g. as measure of space: °yojana DhA. I, 17 (next in sequence to paṇṇāsa-yojana); J. I, 315; PvA. 154 (cp. 15 furlongs from Jerusalem to Bethany John 11, 18; 15 cubits above the mountains rose the flood Gen. 7. 20).

C. No. 25 in two forms: pañcavīsati (the usual) e.g. DhsA. 185 sq.; Miln. 289 (citta-dubbalī-karaṇā dhammā); paṇṇa-vīsati, e.g. J. IV, 352 (nāriyo); Th. 2, 67, and paṇṇuvīsaṃ (only at J. III, 138). Similarly to 15 and 25 the number 45 (pañca-cattāḷīsa) is favoured in giving distances with °yojana, e.g. at J. I, 147, 348; DhA. I, 367. -Application: of 25: (1) time: years J. III, 138; DhA. I, 4; (2) space: miles high and wide DhA. II, 64 (ahipeto); VvA. 236 (yojanāni pharitvā pabhā).

2. Remarks on the use of 50 and 500 (5000). Both 50 and 500 are found in stereotyped and always recurring combinations (not in Buddhist literature alone, but all over the Ancient World), and applied to any situation indiscriminately. They have thus lost their original numerical significance and their value equals an expression like our “thousands, ” cp. the use of Lat. mille and 600, also similarly many other high numerals in Pāli literature, as mentioned under respective units (4, 6, 8 e.g. in 14, 16, 18, etc.). Psychologically 500 is to be expld as “a great hand, ” i.e. the 5 fingers magnified to the 2nd decade, and is equivalent to an expression like “a lot” (originally “only one, ” cp. casting the lot, then the one as a mass or collection), or like heaps, tons, a great many, etc.—Thus 50 (and 500) as the numbers of “comm-union” are especially freq. in recording a company of men, a host of servants, animals in a herd, etc., wherever the single constituents form a larger (mostly impressive, important) whole, as an army, the king’s retinue, etc.—A. No. 50 (paññāsa; the by-form paṇṇāsa only at DhA. III, 207), in foll. applns: (a) of time: does not occur, but see below under 55.—(b) of space (cp. 50 cubits the breadth of Noah’s ark Gen. 6. 15; the height of the gallows (Esther 5. 14; 7. 9) J. I, 359 (yojanāni); DhA. III, 207 (°hattho ubbedhena rukkho); Vism. 417 (paripuṇṇa °yojana suriyamaṇḍala); DhA. I, 17 (°yojana).—(c) of a company or group (cp. 50 horses RV II. 185; V, 185; wives VIII, 1936; men at the oars Hom. Il. 2. 719; 16. 170, servants Hom. Od. 7, 103, 22, 421) J. III, 220 (corā); V, 161 (pallaṅkā), 421 (dijakaññāyo); Sn. p. 87; SnA 57 (bhikkhū).—Note. 55 (pañcapaññāsa) is used instead of 50 in time expressions (years), e.g. at DhA. I, 125; II, 57; PvA. 99, 142; also in groups: DhA. I, 99 (janā).—B. No. 500 (pañcasata°, pañcasatā, pañcasatāni).—(a) of time: years (as Peta or Petī) Vv 8434; Pv. II, 15; PvA. 152 (with additional 50). (b) of space: miles high Pv IV. 328; J. I, 204 (°yojana-satikā); Vism. 72 (°dhanu-satika, 500 bows in distance).—(C) of groups of men, servants, or a herd, etc. (cp. 500 horses RV X. 9314; witnesses of the rising of Christ 1 Cor. 15—6; men armed Vergil Aen. 10. 204; men as representatives Hom. Od. 3. 7; 500 knights or warriors very frequently in Nibelungenlied, where it is only meant to denote a “goodly company, 500 or more”) Arahants KhA 98; Bhikkhus very frequent, e.g. D. I, 1; Vin. II, 199; J. I, 116, 227; DhA. II, 109, 153; III, 262, 295; IV, 184, 186; Sāvakas J. I, 95; Upāsakas J. II, 95; PvA. 151; Paccekabuddhas DhA. IV, 201; PvA. 76; Vighāsâdā J. II, 95; DhA. II, 154; Sons PvA. 75; Thieves DhA. II, 204; PvA. 54; Relatives PvA. 179; Women-servants (parivārikā itthiyo) Pv. II, 126; VvA. 69, 78, 187; PvA. 152; Oxen A. IV, 41; Monkeys J. III, 355; Horses Vin. III, 6.—Money etc. as present, reward or fine representing a “round-sum” (cp. Nibelungen 314: horses with gold, 317: mark; dollars as reward Grimm No. 7; drachms as pay Hor. Sat. II. 743) kahāpaṇas Sn. 980, 982; PvA. 273; blows with stick as fine Vin. I, 247.—Various: a caravan usually consists of 500 loaded wagons, e.g. J. I, 101; DhA. II, 79; PvA. 100, 112; chariots VvA. 78; ploughs Sn. p. 13. Cp. S. I, 148 (vyagghī-nisā); Vin. II, 285 (ūna-pañcasatāni); J. II, 93 (accharā); V, 75 (vāṇijā); DhA. I, 89 (suvaṇṇasivikā), 352 (rāja-satāni); IV, 182 (jāti°) KhA 176 (paritta-dīpā). Also BSk. pañ’opasthāyikā-śatāni Divy 529; pañca-mātrāṇi strī-śatāni Divy 533.—Note. When Gotama said that his “religion” would last 500 years he meant that it would last a very long time, practically for ever. The later change of 500 to 5, 000 is immaterial to the meaning of the expression, it only indicates a later period (cp. 5, 000 in Nibelungeniled for 500, also 5, 000 men in ambush Joshua 8. 12; converted by Peter Acts 4. 4; fed by Christ with 5 loaves Matthew 14. 21). Still more impressive than 500 is the expression 5 Koṭis (5 times 100, 000 or 10 million), which belongs to a comparatively later period, e.g. at DhA. I, 62 (ariya-sāvaka-koṭiyo), 256 (°mattā-ariyasāvakā); IV, 190 (p. koti-mattā ariya-sāvakā).

3. Typical sets of 5 in the Pali Canon. °aggaṃ first fruits of 5 (kinds), viz. khett°, rās°, koṭṭh°, kumbhi°, bhojan° i.e. of the standing crop, the threshing floor, the granary, the pottery, the larder SnA 270. °aṅgā 5 gentlemanly qualities (of king or brahmin): sujāta, ajjhāyaka, abhirūpa, sīlavā, paṇḍita (see aṅga; on another combn with aṅga see below). The phrase pañc’ aṅgasamannāgata & °vippahīna (S. I, 99; A. V, 16) refers to the 5 nīvaraṇāni: see expld at Vism. 146. °aṅgikaturiya 5 kinds of music: ātata, vitata, ātata-vitata, ghana, susira. °abhiññā 5 psychic powers (see Cpd. 209). °ānantarika-kammāni 5 acts that have immediate retribution (Miln. 25), either 5 of the 6 abhiṭhānas (q. v.) or (usually) murder, theft, impurity, lying, intemperance (the 5 sīlas) cp. Dhs. trsl. 267. °indriyāni 5 faculties, viz. saddhā, viriya, sati, samādhi, paññā (see indriya B. 15—19). °vidhaṃ (rāja-) kakudhabhaṇḍaṃ, insignia regis viz. vāḷavījanī, uṇhīsa, khagga, chatta, pādukā. °kalyāṇāni, beauty-marks: kesa°, maṃsa°, aṭṭhi°, chavi°, vaya°. °kāmaguṇā pleasures of the 5 senses (=taggocarāni pañc’āyatanāni gahitāni honti SnA 211). °gorasā 5 products of the cow: khīra, dadhi, takka, navanīta, sappi. °cakkhūni, sorts of vision (of a Buddha): maṃsa° dibba° paññā° buddha° samanta°. °taṇhā cravings, specified in 4 sets of 5 each: see Nd2 271v. °nikāyā 5 collections (of Suttantas) in the Buddh. Canon, viz. Dīgha° Majjhima° Saṃyutta°, Aṅguttara° Khuddaka°, e.g. Vin. II, 287. °nīvaraṇāni or obstacles: kāmacchanda, abhijjhā-vyāpāda, thīnamiddha, uddhacca-kukkucca, vicikicchā. °patiṭṭhitaṃ 5 fold prostration or veneration, viz. with forehead, waist, elbows, knees, feet (Childers) in phrase °ena vandati (sometimes °ṃ vandati, e.g. SnA 78, 267) J. V, 502; SnA 267, 271, 293, 328, 436; VvA. 6; DhA. I, 197; IV, 178, etc. °bandhana either 5 ways of binding or pinioning or 5 fold bondage J. IV, 3 (as “ure pañcaṅgika-bandhanaṃ” cp. kaṇṭhe pañcamehi bandhanehi bandhitvā S. IV, 201); Nda 304III, B2 (rājā bandhāpeti andhu-bandhanena vā rajju°, saṅkhalika°, latā°, parikkhepa°), with which cp. Śikṣāsamucc. 165: rājñā pañcapāśakena bandhanena baddhaḥ.—There is a diff. kind of bandhana which has nothing to do with binding, but which is the 5 fold ordeal (obligation: pañcavidhabandhana-kāraṇaṃ) in Niraya, and consists of the piercing of a red hot iron stake through both hands, both feet and the chest; it is a sort of crucifixion. We may conjecture that this “bandhana” is a corruption of “vaddhana” (of vyadh, or viddhana?), and that the expression originally was pañcaviddhana-kāraṇa (instead of pañca-vidha-bandhana-k°). See passages under bandhana & cp. M. III, 182; A. I, 141; Kvu 597; SnA 479. °balāni 5 forces: saddhā° viriya° sati° samādhi° paññā° D. II, 120; M. II, 12; S. III, 96; A. III, 12 (see also bala). °bhojanāni 5 kinds of food: odāna, kummāsa, sattu, maccha, maṃsa Vin. IV, 176. °macchariyāni 5 kinds of selfishness: āvāsa° kula° lābha° vaṇṇa° dhamma°. °rajāni defilements: rūpa°, sadda° etc. (of the 5 senses) Nd1 505; SnA 574. °vaṇṇā 5 colours (see ref. for colours under pīta and others), viz. nīla, pītaka, lohitaka, kaṇha, odāta (of B’s eye) Nd2 235Q; others with ref. to paduma-puṇḍarīka VvA. 41; to paduma DhA. III, 443; to kusumāni DA. I, 140; DhA. IV, 203. °vaṇṇa in another meaning (fivefold) in connection with pīti (q. v.). °saṃyojanāni fetters (q. v.). °saṅgā impurities, viz. rāga, dosa, moha, māna, diṭṭhi (cp. taṇhā) DhA. IV, 109. °sīla the 5 moral precepts, as sub-division of the 10 (see dasasīla and Nd2 under sīla on p. 277).

4. Other (not detailed) passages with 5: Sn. 660 (abbudāni), 677 (nahutāni koṭiyo pañca); Th. 2, 503 (°kaṭuka=pañcakāmaguṇa-rasa ThA. 291); DhA. II, 25 (°mahānidhi); SnA 39 (°pakāra-gomaṇḍala-puṇṇabhāva). Cp. further: guṇā Miln. 249; paṇṇāni Vin. I, 201 (nimba°, kuṭaja°, paṭola°, sulasi°, kappāsika°); Paṇḍu-rāja-puttā J. V, 426; pabbagaṇṭhiyo Miln. 103; pucchā DhsA. 55; mahā-pariccāgā DhA. III, 441; mahā-vilokanāni DhA. I, 84; vatthūni Vin. II, 196 sq.; vāhanāni (of King Pajjota) DhA. I, 196; suddhāvāsā Dhs. A 14. In general see Vin. V, 128—133 (var. sets of 5).

—aṅga five (bad) qualities (see aṅga 3 and above 3), in phrase vippahīna free from the 5 sins D. III, 269; Nd2 284 C; cp. BSk. pañcāṅga-viprahīna. Ep. of the Buddha Divy 95, 264 & °samannāgata endowed with the 5 good qualities A. V, 15 (of senāsana, expld at Vism. 122): see also above. —aṅgika consisting of 5 parts, fivefold, in foll. combns: °jhāna (viz. vitakka, vicāra, pīti, sukha, cittass’ekaggatā) Dhs. 83; °turiya orchestra S. I, 131; Th. 1, 398; 2, 139; Vv 364; DhA. I, 274, 394; °bandhana bond J. IV, 3. —aṅgula=°aṅgulika J. IV, 153 (gandha°); SnA 39 (usabhaṃ nahāpetvā bhojetvā °ṃ datvā mālaṃ bandhitvā). —aṅgulika (also °aka) the 5 finger-mark, palm-mark, the magic mark of the spread hand with the fingers extended (made after the hand & 5 fingers have been immersed in some liquid, preferably a solution of sandal wood, gandha; but also blood). See Vogel, the 5 finger-token in Pāli Literature, Amsterdam Akademie 1919 (with plates showing ornaments on Bharhut Tope), cp. also J. P. T, S. 1884, 84 sq. It is supposed to provide magical protection (esp. against the Evil Eye). Vin. II, 123 (cp. Vin. Texts II. 116); J. I, 166, 192; II, 104 (gandha °ṃ deti), 256 (gandhaā, appld to a cetiya); III, 23, 160 (lohita°); Vv 3318 (gandha°ṃ adāsiṃ Kassapassa thūpasmiṃ); Mhvs 32, 4 (see trsl. p. 220); DhA. III, 374 (goṇānaṃ gandha-°āni datvā); SnA 137 (setamālāhi sabba-gandha-sugandhehi p°akehi ca alaṅkatā paripuṇṇa-aṅgapaccaṅgā, of oxen). Cp. MVastu I. 269 (stūpeṣu pañcaṅgulāni; see note on p. 579). Quotations of similar use in brahmanical literature see at Vogel p. 6 sq. —āvudha (āyudha) set of 5 weapons (sword, spear, bow, battle-axe, shield, after Childers) Miln. 339 (see Miln. trsl. II. 227), cp. p° sannaddha J. III, 436, 467; IV, 283, 437; V, 431; VI, 75; sannaddha-p° J. IV, 160 (of sailors). They seem to be different ones at diff. passages. —âhaṃ 5 days Vin. IV, 281; J. II, 114. —cūḷaka with 5 topknots J. V, 250 (of a boy). —nakha with 5 claws, N. of a five-toed animal J. V, 489 (so read for pañca na khā, misunderstood by C.). —paṭṭhika at Vin. II, 117, 121, 152; is not clear (v. l. paṭika). Vin. Texts III, 97 trsl. “cupboards” and connect it with Sk. paṭṭikā, as celapattikaṃ Vin. II, 128 undoubtedly is (“strip of cloth laid down for ceremonial purposes, ” trsl. III, 128). It also occurs at Vin. IV, 47. —patikā (f.) having had 5 husbands J. V, 424, 427. —mālin of a wild animal J. VI, 497 (=pancaṅgika-turiya-saddo viya C. , not clear). —māsakamattaṃ a sum of 5 māsakas DhA. II, 29. —vaggiya (or °ika SnA 198) belonging to a group of five. The 5 brahmins who accompanied Gotama when he became an ascetic are called p. bhikkhū. Their names are Aññākondañña, Bhaddiya, Vappa, Assaji, Mahānāma. M. I, 170; II, 94; S. III, 66; PvA. 21 (°e ādiṃ katvā); SnA 351; cp. chabbaggiya. —vidha fivefold J. I, 204 (°ā abhirakkhā); VI, 341 (°paduma), °bandhana: see this. —sādhāraṇa-bhāva fivefold connection J. IV, 7. —seṭṭha (Bhagavā) “the most excellent in the five” Sn. 355 (=pañcannaṃ paṭhamasissānaṃ pañcavaggiyānaṃ seṭṭho, pañcahi vā saddhādīhi indriyehi sīlādīhi vā dhamma-khandhehi ativisiṭṭhehi cakkhūhi ca seṭṭho SnA 351). —hattha having 5 hands J. V, 431. (Page 387)

(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.

Languages of India and abroad

Marathi-English dictionary

pañca (पंच).—a (S) Five.

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pañca (पंच).—m (S The ca is ts.) A member of an assembly of arbitration. Used pl it signifies the assembly, as this usually consists of five members. 2 A jury.

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pañcā (पंचा).—m (Tsha.) An article of dress,--a piece about one cubit in breadth and six in length, worn like the dhōtara around the middle of the body. v nēsa. 2 R (Properly pañjā) The hand as expanded or opened out: also a claw.

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pāñca (पांच).—a (pañca S) Five. 2 Used like the word cāra for a moderate quantity or number. Ex. tyāpāsīṃ pāñca rupayē āhēta; pāñca karatīla tēṃ āpaṇa karāvēṃ; Pr. mājhēṃ ghyā āṇi pāñcānta nyā. pāñca tēthēṃ paramēśvara Vox populi vox Dei. pāñcācī pāñca buddhi or pāñcācē pāñca prakāra Quot homines tot sententiæ: also suus cuique mos. pāñcāntūna uṭhaṇēṃ To become outcast or isolated from society. pāñcāvara dhāraṇa basaṇēṃ To be frightened to death (i. e. out of one's five vital airs).

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

pañca (पंच).—a Five.

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pañca (पंच).—m A member of an assembly of ar- bitration. pl It signifies the assem- bly, as this usually consists of five members. A jury.

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pañcā (पंचा).—m An article of dress, a small dhotar.

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pāñca (पांच).—a Five. Pr. mājhēṃ ghyā āṇi pāñcānta nyā. pāñca tēthēṃ paramēśvara Vox populi vox Dei. pāñcācī pāñca buddhi or pāñcāñcē pāñca prakāra Quot homines tot sententiæ: also suns cui- que mos. pāñcāntūna uṭhaṇēṃ To become out- caste or isolated from society. pāñcāṃvara dhāraṇa basaṇēṃ To be frightened to death (i. e. out of one's five vital airs).

(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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