Paramanu, aka: Paramāṇu, Parama-anu; 16 Definition(s)

Introduction

Paramanu means something in Buddhism, Pali, Hinduism, Sanskrit, Jainism, Prakrit, 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.

In Hinduism

Ayurveda (science of life)

[Paramanu in Ayurveda glossaries]

Paramāṇu (परमाणु):—Caraka has explained that the body parts can be divided and re-divided into innumerable individual components called ‘Paramāṇus’. These are innumerable because of their huge number, highly minute structure a nd limited perceptive ability of sense organs (Carakasaṃhitā Śārirasthāna 7.17). This statement indicates that there existed a concept of minute and numerous individual living units in the body. Today we call such microscopic units by the name ‘Cell’.

(Source): Cogprints: Concepts of Human Physiology in Ayurveda
Ayurveda book cover
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Āyurveda (आयुर्वेद, ayurveda) is a branch of Indian science dealing with medicine, herbalism, taxology, anatomy, surgery, alchemy and related topics. Traditional practice of Āyurveda in ancient India dates back to at least the first millenium BC. Literature is commonly written in Sanskrit using various poetic metres.

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Vastushastra (architecture)

[Paramanu in Vastushastra glossaries]

Paramāṇu (द्रोणी, “atom”) is the Sanskrit name for a unit of measurement, used in Vāstuśāstra literature, according to the Mānasāra II.40-53. A single Paramāṇu unit corresponds to the smalles unit possible. It takes 8 Paramāṇu units to make a single Rathadhūli unit.

Below follows a table of the different units of measurement in relation to one another:

  • 8 Paramāṇu = 1 Rathadhūli, chariot-dust
  • 8 Rathadhūli = 1 Vālāgra, hair-end
  • 8 Vālāgra = 1 Likṣā, nit,
  • 8 Likṣā = 1 Yūka, louse
  • 8 Yūka = 1 Yava, barley-corn,
  • 8 Yava = 1 Aṅgula, digit (finger-breadth),
  • 12 Aṅgula = 1 Vitasti, span,
  • 2 Vitasti (24 aṅgulas) = 1 Kiṣku, cubit,
  • 4 Dhanurmuṣṭi (26 aṅgulas) = 1 Daṇḍa, rod,
  • 8 Daṇḍa = 1 Rajju, rope

The smallest unit, which is paramāṇu, atom is stated ta be perceived (only) by the sages. For all practical purposes, aṅgula is the smallest unit of measurement. For this reason, it is seen to be treated in a special way in the text with regards to its universality that significantly downplays its semantic reference to the body.

(Source): Wisdom Library: Vāstu-śāstra
Vastushastra book cover
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Vastushastra (वास्तुशास्त्र, vāstuśāstra) refers to the ancient Indian science (shastra) of architecture (vastu), dealing with topics such architecture, sculpture, town-building, fort building and various other constructions. Vastu also deals with the philosophy of the architectural relation with the cosmic universe.

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Vyakarana (Sanskrit grammar)

[Paramanu in Vyakarana glossaries]

Paramāṇu (परमाणु).—A time-unit equal to one-half of the unit called अणु (aṇu), which forms one-half of the unit called मात्रा (mātrā) which is required for the purpose of the utterance of a consonant; cf. परमाणु अर्धाणुमात्रा (paramāṇu ardhāṇumātrā) V. Pr.I.61. परमाणु (paramāṇu), in short, is the duration of very infinitesimal time equal to the pause between two individual continuous sounds. The interval between the utterances of two consecutive consonants is given to be equivalent to one Paramanu; cf. वर्णान्तरं परमाणु (varṇāntaraṃ paramāṇu) R.T.34.

(Source): Wikisource: A dictionary of Sanskrit grammar
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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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Purana

[Paramanu in Purana glossaries]

Paramāṇu (परमाणु).—See under Trasareṇu.

(Source): archive.org: Puranic Encyclopaedia
Purana book cover
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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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Nyaya (school of philosophy)

[Paramanu in Nyaya glossaries]

Paramānu (परमानु, “atom”) is defined in the Nyāyasūtra (4.2.17ff).—The Atomic Theory is the most important theory of the Nyāya-Vaiśeṣika system. All the material objects of the world are made up of some parts. This material object is divided into smaller parts and the latter is further divisible into smaller parts which are further divisible into still smaller parts. This process cannot go on infinitely and the ultimate minutest part of matter which cannot be further divisible is called atom or paramānu. This atom is partless, eternal and indivisible. According to Gautama atom is partless, indivisible and smallest part of composite things which cannot be divided into further parts. Atom has no inside and outside because it is not a product.

Vātsyāyana (Nyāyabhāṣya on Nyāyasūtra 4.2.16) gives his opinion that an atom (paramānu) is the smallest part of a composite thing which cannot be divided into smaller parts. Uddyotakara (Nyāyavārtika  4.2.22) states that if an atom (paramānu) is divisible then it cannot be an atom. Atom is indestructible. Vācaspati (Nyāyavārtikatātparyaṭīkā 4.2.17) points out that an atom (paramānu) is called to be an atom for its smallest size which cannot be divided into smaller parts. According to Jayanta Bhaṭṭa (Nyāyamañjarī), atom (paramānu) is called to be atom as it cannot be further divided. It cannot be produced and destroyed. Therefore, atoms are eternal.

(Source): Shodhganga: A study of Nyāya-vaiśeṣika categories
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Nyaya (न्याय, nyaya) refers to a school of Hindu philosophy (astika), drawing its subject-matter from the Upanishads. The Nyaya philosophy is known for its theories on logic, methodology and epistemology, however, it is closely related with Vaisheshika in terms of metaphysics.

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Vaisheshika (school of philosophy)

[Paramanu in Vaisheshika glossaries]

Paramānu (परमानु, “atom”).—Śivāditya states that atoms (paramāṇu) are active. According to the earlier Vaiśeṣikas motion is imparted to them through the unseen power (adṛṣṭa). But the later Vaiśeṣikas state that God gives motion in the atoms joins them into composite products according to their merits and demerits. The Vaiśeṣikas regards that God creates this world with the atoms (paramāṇu) as material cause. God is being the efficient cause of it. The Vaiśeṣika atomism is not materialistic but they believe in the reality of individual souls and God, and the law of karma. According to Vaiśeṣika, there are different kinds of atoms (paramāṇu) and they possess different qualities. According to Vaiśeṣikas, God imparts motion to the atoms and combines them into dyads, triads, and quartrads and so on. Both the Jainas and the Vaiśeṣikas admit that an atom is the eternal indivisible and the smallest part of matter.

(Source): Shodhganga: A study of Nyāya-vaiśeṣika categories (vaisesika)
Vaisheshika book cover
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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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In Buddhism

Mahayana (major branch of Buddhism)

[Paramanu in Mahayana glossaries]

Paramāṇu (परमाणु, “atom”).—The Buddhas and dharmakāya Bodhisattvas who are able to number the atoms (paramāṇu) that arise and cease in the whole of Jambudvīpa, according to Mahāprajñāpāramitāśāstra (chapter XIV).

(Source): Wisdom Library: Maha Prajnaparamita Sastra
Mahayana book cover
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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)

[Paramanu in Buddhism glossaries]

Paramānu (परमानु, “imperceptible atoms”).—The Buddhists also believe in the reality of atoms. They consider atoms to be momentary. Buddhists divide atoms into perceptible atoms (aṇu) and imperceptible atoms (paramāṇu) and they consider that the aṇu is formed of the paramāṇus. The Sautrāntikas admit atoms as partless and momentary. The Buddhist considers the atoms as transient. They do not accept the reality of dyads, triads and quartrads. Buddhists uphold an atheistic atomism against the Vaiśeṣika’s theistic atomism. Therefore, there are differences between the Vaiśeṣika atomism and the Buddhist atomism.

(Source): Shodhganga: A study of Nyāya-vaiśeṣika categories (buddhism)

In Jainism

General definition (in Jainism)

[Paramanu in Jainism glossaries]

Atom; The smallest (indivisible) particle or unit of matter substance which can not be further divided is called an atom (paramanu).

An atom (paramanu) has also one spatial unit. Even then how is it called an astikaya?

Although an atom (paramanu) has only one spatial unit, even then it has the power of attaining manifoldness of spatial units (pradeshas) by becoming a molecule. It is, therefore, conventionally called an astikaya.

(Source): Atma Dharma: Principles of Jainism

Paramāṇu (परमाणु, “sub-atom”).—What is meant by sub-atom (paramāṇu)? The smallest indivisible part of matter (pudagala) is called paramāṇu.

(Source): Encyclopedia of Jainism: Tattvartha Sutra 1

Paramāṇu (परमाणु) refers to “sub-atom” according to the 2nd-century Tattvārthasūtra 5.1.—The sub-atom (paramāṇu), being without space-points or with one space point, is included as existent body (astikāya). As sub-atom (paramāṇu) has dry and oily attributes and hence has potential to be with many space-points, it is included as existent body.

Paramāṇu (“sub-atom”) refers to one of the two types of matter (pudgala) according to the 2nd-century Tattvārthasūtra 5.5.—What is the meaning of a sub-atom (paramāṇu)? The smallest indivisible part with one space point is its volume is called sub-atom. What are the beginning, middle and end of a sub-atom? A sub-atom is so minute that it is the beginning, middle and end of itself. What are the characteristics of a sub-atom? The peculiarities of an sub-atom is its round shape, two touches, one taste, one smell and one colour and cognized by its activity only.

According to Tattvārthasūtra 5.27, “the sub-atom (is produced only) by division (fission)”. A sub-atom (paramāṇu) can be created by fission (bheda) only. What is the difference between an āṇu and paramāṇu in Jain philosophy? Literally there are same but philosophically we can say it is similar to sub-atom and its smallest constituent (quark identified till now).

(Source): Encyclopedia of Jainism: Tattvartha Sutra 5: The category of the non-living

Paramānu (परमानु, “atom”).—There are difference between the Vaiśeṣika atomism and Jaina atomism. According to Vaiśeṣika, there are different kinds of atoms (paramāṇu) and they possess different qualities. On the other hand, Jaina states that each atom has colour, taste, odour and touch and their qualities are the same. Jainas admit theistic atomism and Vaiśeṣikas theistic atomism. Jainas state that God does not combine the atoms (paramāṇu) into composite things and does not impart motion in the atoms. But according to Vaiśeṣikas, God imparts motion to the atoms and combines them into dyads, triads, and quartrads and so on. But both the Jainas and the Vaiśeṣikas admit that an atom is the eternal indivisible and the smallest part of matter.

(Source): Shodhganga: A study of Nyāya-vaiśeṣika categories (jainism)
General definition book cover
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Jainism is an Indian religion of Dharma whose doctrine revolves around harmlessness (ahimsa) towards every living being. The two major branches (Digambara and Svetambara) of Jainism stimulate self-control (or, shramana, ‘self-reliance’) and spiritual development through a path of peace for the soul to progess to the ultimate goal.

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Languages of India and abroad

Pali-English dictionary

[Paramanu in Pali glossaries]

paramāṇu : (m.) the 36th part of an aṇu.

(Source): BuddhaSasana: Concise Pali-English Dictionary
Pali 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.

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Marathi-English dictionary

[Paramanu in Marathi glossaries]

paramāṇu (परमाणु).—m (S) An atom, the invisible base of all aggregate bodies. Thirty are supposed to form a mote in a sunbeam. This is the lowest measure of weight. See aṇu.

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

paramāṇū (परमाणू).—m An atom.

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

[Paramanu in Sanskrit glossaries]

Paramāṇu (परमाणु).—an infinitesimal particle, an atom; सिकतात्वादपि परां प्रपेदे पर- माणुताम् (sikatātvādapi parāṃ prapede para- māṇutām) R.15.22; परगुणपरमाणून् पर्वतीकृत्य नित्यम् (paraguṇaparamāṇūn parvatīkṛtya nityam) Bh.2.78; पृथ्वी नित्या परमाणुरूपा (pṛthvī nityā paramāṇurūpā) T. S; (a paramāṇu is thus defined:-- jālāntarasthasūryāṃśau yat sūkṣmaṃ dṛśyate rajaḥ | bhāgastasya ca ṣaṣṭho yaḥ paramāṇuḥ sa ucyate || Tarka K., or less accurately:-jālā- ntaragate raśmau yat sūkṣmaṃ dṛśyate rajaḥ | tasya triṃśattamo bhāgaḥ paramāṇuḥ sa ucyate ||) °अङ्गकः (aṅgakaḥ) an epithet of Viṣṇu.

Derivable forms: paramāṇuḥ (परमाणुः).

Paramāṇu is a Sanskrit compound consisting of the terms parama and aṇu (अणु).

(Source): DDSA: The practical Sanskrit-English dictionary
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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

Search found 597 related definition(s) that might help you understand this better. Below you will find the 15 most relevant articles:

Anu
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Parama
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Paramartha
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Anurenu
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