Puryashtaka, Puryaṣṭaka, Puri-ashtaka: 7 definitions


Puryashtaka means something in 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.

The Sanskrit term Puryaṣṭaka can be transliterated into English as Puryastaka or Puryashtaka, using the IAST transliteration scheme (?).

In Hinduism

Dharmashastra (religious law)

Source: Google Books: Manusmṛti with the Manubhāṣya

Puryaṣṭaka (पुर्यष्टक):—When the Individual Soul (Jīva) thus emerges out of the Supreme Self (which is the Soul of all things), it assumes, by virtue of its past Virtue and Vice, a form known by the name ‘Puryaṣṭaka’ ; and this is the ‘subtle body,’ which serves as the clothing of the Individual Soul. This has been thus declared in the Purāṇa—‘He becomes united with the Puryaṣṭaka-form, which is known as Prāṇa (Life); when bound up with this, he is in bondage, and when freed from it, he is released.’

The ‘puryaṣṭaka,’ ‘eight-fold’ frame consists of the five life-breaths,—Prāṇa, Apāna, Samāna, Udāna and Vyāna—the Group consisting of the five organs of sensation, the Group consisting of the five organs of action, and the Mind as the eighth.

This body is not destroyed, until the condition of Final Release is attained. This is thus stated (in Sāṅkhyakārikā 40)—‘What migrates is the subtle body, which is devoid of feeling, but invested with tendencies.’

Dharmashastra book cover
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Dharmashastra (धर्मशास्त्र, dharmaśāstra) contains the instructions (shastra) regarding religious conduct of livelihood (dharma), ceremonies, jurisprudence (study of law) and more. It is categorized as smriti, an important and authoritative selection of books dealing with the Hindu lifestyle.

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Shaktism (Shakta philosophy)

[«previous next»] — Puryashtaka in Shaktism glossary
Source: Google Books: Manthanabhairavatantram

Puryaṣṭaka (पुर्यष्टक) refers to the “city of eight”, according to the Manthānabhairavatantra, a vast sprawling work that belongs to a corpus of Tantric texts concerned with the worship of the goddess Kubjikā.—Techniques to develop the inner fire and internalize the outer fire precede the Buddha. Centuries later the Kubjikā Tantras, as do the Śaiva Tantras in general, explain how this is done by the inner union and churning of Śiva and Śakti. These two encompass the Self—the living soul—thus forming the triad, which in the following passage is called HAṂSA. It is the seed-syllable mantra formed from Ha, which is Śakti, Sa, which is Śiva and the central Point Ṃ, in the centre between them, which is the Self enveloped in the subtle body, the City of Eight (puryaṣṭaka).

Note: The City of Eight (puryaṣṭaka) is the subtle body the individual soul inhabits in the physical body and is its vehicle when it transmigrates. There are various views concerning its nature. According to the most common one, it consists of the five sensations of form, sound, smell, taste, and touch and the internal mental organ consisting of the mind (manas), intellect (buddhi) and ego (ahaṃkāra).

Shaktism book cover
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Shakta (शाक्त, śākta) or Shaktism (śāktism) represents a tradition of Hinduism where the Goddess (Devi) is revered and worshipped. Shakta literature includes a range of scriptures, including various Agamas and Tantras, although its roots may be traced back to the Vedas.

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Shaivism (Shaiva philosophy)

[«previous next»] — Puryashtaka in Shaivism glossary
Source: Brill: Śaivism and the Tantric Traditions

Puryaṣṭaka (पुर्यष्टक) refers to the “subtle body” (consisting of the mind and its faculties) and represents of the four divisions of the Self, according to Kṣemarāja’s Pratyabhijñāhṛdaya (chapter 7-8).—Accordingly, the self is said to be four-fold: void, life-force, the subtle body consisting of the mind and its faculties (puryaṣṭaka, i.e. the antaḥkaraṇa plus tanmātras), and the physical body. It is five-fold with the transindividual Power of Awareness that permeates the whole. In fact, it is not only cit that permeates the other levels: Kṣemarāja tells us that “it is clear that the very essence of each of these levels is the fact of its pervasion by all the loci of perception prior to it,” where “loci of perception” refers to these levels of embodiment as those realities with which contracted souls identify, and “prior to” means “more fundamental than

Source: SOAS University of London: Protective Rites in the Netra Tantra

Puryaṣṭaka (पुर्यष्टक) refers to the “eight-fold subtle body”, according to the Netratantroddyota commentary on the Netratantra of Kṣemarāja: a Śaiva text from the 9th century in which Śiva (Bhairava) teaches Pārvatī topics such as metaphysics, cosmology, and soteriology.—Accordingly, [verse 8.4.7, while describing the purification process of the initiand]—“Next, after [the Mantrin has] caused the cessation, etc. [of differentiation], as taught of the eight-fold subtle body (puryaṣṭaka) through the offerings of inviting, reverence and oblation, [and] after he has purified all the paths, after he has first united [the initiand] with all the other tattvas, beginning with kalā, he should then] cut off of the topknot and perform homa. [...]”.

Note: Though the Netratantra does not define puryaṣṭaka, Kṣemarāja begins this purification process with the kalātattva. Often puryaṣṭaka is described as connected to the tattvas, from pṛthivī to kalā as in the Tattvasaṃgraha or eight tattvas in the Kallottara. Using either reading, the puryaṣṭaka, which is synonymous with the sūkṣma-śarīra, contains some but not all of the tattvas. This helps to explain why the initiand sheds his body as he passes through the lower tattvas into the higher. According to Mīmāṃsaka thought, the puryaṣṭaka equates to a soul. This acts and experiences the fruits of those actions in both pleasure and pain. The puryaṣṭaka or soul is what reincarnates from one birth to the next. For Kṣemarāja, the Mīmāṃsaka understanding does not go far enough. He adds that the puryaṣṭaka does not differ in substance from Śiva. Instead a practitioner experiences the state of the puryaṣṭaka, in which he encounters the fruits of action, when he conceals his true nature, i.e., that of Śiva. When one reaches the point where the puryaṣṭaka is completely dissolved, he then attains true enjoyment and assimilates himself into all tattvas, from pṛthivī to Śiva. In this moment, he attains Śivahood within his manifest body (deha).

Shaivism book cover
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Shaiva (शैव, śaiva) or Shaivism (śaivism) represents a tradition of Hinduism worshiping Shiva as the supreme being. Closely related to Shaktism, Shaiva literature includes a range of scriptures, including Tantras, while the root of this tradition may be traced back to the ancient Vedas.

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Languages of India and abroad

Sanskrit dictionary

[«previous next»] — Puryashtaka in Sanskrit glossary
Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: Aufrecht Catalogus Catalogorum

Puryaṣṭaka (पुर्यष्टक) as mentioned in Aufrecht’s Catalogus Catalogorum:—vedānta. Gov. Or. Libr. Madras 51 (and—[commentary]).

Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: Monier-Williams Sanskrit-English Dictionary

Puryaṣṭaka (पुर्यष्टक):—[=pury-aṣṭaka] [from purī > pur] n. the eight constituent parts of the body, [Manvarthamuktāvalī, kullūka bhaṭṭa’s Commentary on manu-smṛti on Manu-smṛti i, 56.]

[Sanskrit to German]

Puryashtaka in German

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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 (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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