Paracittajnana, Paracittajñāna, Paracitta-jnana: 4 definitions



Paracittajnana 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.

Alternative spellings of this word include Parachittajnana.

In Buddhism

Mahayana (major branch of Buddhism)

[«previous (P) next»] — Paracittajnana in Mahayana glossary
Source: Wisdom Library: Maha Prajnaparamita Sastra

1) Paracittajñāna (परचित्तज्ञान) refers to “knowledge of others’ minds” and represents one of the five superknowledges (pañcābhijñā) according to the 2nd century Mahāprajñāpāramitāśāstra chapter X. It is knowing if another’s mind (paracitta) is stained (samala) or stainless (vimala). The practitioner first considers his own mind in its arising (utpāda), its duration (sthiti) and its destruction (bhaṅga). By ceaselessly reflecting on it he succeeds in discerning in others the signs (nimitta) of joy (muditā), of hatred (dveṣa) and of fear (bhaya, viṣāda). Having seen these signs, then he knows the mind. This is the first gate of the knowledge of others’ minds.

2) Paracittajñāna (परचित्तज्ञान) refers to the “knowledge of another’s mind” and represents one of the eleven “eleven knowledges” (jñāna), according to chapter 38. Accordingly, “the knowledge of another’s mind (paracittajñāna) cognizes: a. the mind (citta) and mental events relating to the desire realm and the form realm presently belonging to others, b. also a small part of their pure minds and mental events”.

3) Paracittajñāna (परचित्तज्ञान) or Cetaḥparyāyajñāna refers to the “knowledge of another’s mind” and represents one of the six “superknowledges” (abhijñā), according to chapter XLIII.—Accordingly, “the Bodhisattva-Mahāsattva who wishes to become established in the six superknowledges [viz., Paracittajñāna] should practice the perfection of wisdom (prajñāpāramitā)”.

Mahayana book cover
context information

Mahayana (महायान, mahāyāna) is a major branch of Buddhism focusing on the path of a Bodhisattva (spiritual aspirants/ enlightened beings). Extant literature is vast and primarely composed in the Sanskrit language. There are many sūtras of which some of the earliest are the various Prajñāpāramitā sūtras.

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General definition (in Buddhism)

[«previous (P) next»] — Paracittajnana in Buddhism glossary
Source: Wisdom Library: Dharma-samgraha

Paracittajñāna (परचित्तज्ञान) refers to “knowledge of others’ minds” and represents one of the “five deep knowledges” (pañcābhijñā) as defined in the Dharma-saṃgraha (section 20). The Dharma-samgraha (Dharmasangraha) is an extensive glossary of Buddhist technical terms in Sanskrit (e.g., pañca-abhijñāu and paracittajñāna). The work is attributed to Nagarjuna who lived around the 2nd century A.D.

Paracittajñāna or simply Paracitta refers to the “knowledge of others’ minds” and represents the eighth of the “ten knowledges” (jñāna) as defined in the Dharma-saṃgraha (section 93).

Languages of India and abroad

Sanskrit dictionary

[«previous (P) next»] — Paracittajnana in Sanskrit glossary
Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: Monier-Williams Sanskrit-English Dictionary

1) Paracittajñāna (परचित्तज्ञान):—[=para-citta-jñāna] [from para] n. knowing the thoughts of another, [cf. Lexicographers, esp. such as amarasiṃha, halāyudha, hemacandra, etc.]

2) [v.s. ...] knowledge of the thoughts of others, [Sukhāvatī-vyūha i]

context information

Sanskrit, also spelled संस्कृतम् (saṃskṛtam), is an ancient language of India commonly seen as the grandmother of the Indo-European language family (even English!). 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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