Rajan, aka: Rājan; 7 Definition(s)

Introduction

Rajan 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

Dharmaśāstra (religious law)

The king (raja/ rajan) is created for the protection of the world from out of the body of five deities. Leaving aside the metaphors, it can be said that the king was a symbol of five attributes of the five deities, which rule the universe. The king was to look to the customs of the people, and the customs had great force as law just as they have got today. According to Shukraniti, the king was to observe Nyaya in the noon and Smriti in the morning. The king was to legislate within certain bounds, but the law was mostly interpreted by the learned Brahmins who had absolutely no interest in their personal worldly well-being.

(Source): Triveni: Journal (dharmashastra)
Dharmaśāstra book cover
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Dharmaśāstra (धर्मशास्त्र, dharma-shastra) is a category of Hindu literature containing important instructions regarding religious law, ethics, economics, jurisprudence and more. It is categorised as smṛti, an important and authorative selection of books dealing with the Hindu lifestyle.

Purāṇa

Rājan (राजन्).—Ety. daṇḍadhārin; crimes escaping his notice are dealt with by Yama. In Kali the king is mostly of the fourth caste and takes the profession of robbery rather than protection. Earth loses its fertility. The wealth and wives of others are coveted; mlecchas are patronised. Duties— salutation to cows and Brahmanas, sandhya worship and gifts to the deserving; not to deprive forcibly a Brahmana of his property;1 renowned kings get the title of Rājaṛṣi, generally of the family of Manu, Aila, Ikṣvāku.2

  • 1) Brahmāṇḍa-purāṇa II. 29. 63-64; 31. 41-156; 36. 156; III. 28. 10-74.
  • 2) Ib. II. 35. 90, 96-102; III. 71. 194.
(Source): Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: The Purana Index
Purāṇa book cover
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The Purāṇas (पुराण, purana) refers to Sanskrit literature preserving ancient India’s vast cultural history, including historical legends, religious ceremonies, various arts and sciences. The eighteen mahāpurāṇas total over 400,000 ślokas (metrical couplets) and date to at least several centuries BCE.

Nāṭyaśāstra (theatrics and dramaturgy)

1) Rājan (राजन्, “king”) refers to a specific “mode of address” (nāman) used in drama (nāṭya), according to Nāṭyaśāstra chapter 19. Rājan is used by ṛṣis (sages) to address their king.

2) Rājan (राजन्) refers to a “king” who can be assigned the role of an assesor (prāśnika) of dramatic plays (nāṭaka) according to the Nāṭyaśāstra chapter 24. These assessors (eg., the rājans) are to point out the faults of a dramatic performance (nāṭaka) as well as the merits of actors (nartaka) whenever a controversy (saṃgharṣa) arises among persons ignorant of the nāṭyaśāstra.

3) Rājan (राजन्) is a classification of persons who “move about in public”, according to the Nāṭyaśāstra chapter 34. Accordingly, “the king (rājan) should be intelligent, truthful, master of his senses, clever, and of good character, and he should possess a good memory; and be powerful, high-minded and pure, and he should be far-sighted, greatly energetic, grateful, skilled in using sweet words; he should take a vow of protecting people and be an expert in the methods of different work, alert, without carelessness, and be should associate with old people, and be well-versed in the Arthasāstra and the practice of various policies, a promoter of various arts and crafts, and an expert in the science of polity, and should have a liking for this, Besides these he should know his actual position, prosperity and its decline, and the weak points of his enemies, and principles of Dharma, and be free from evil habits”.

4) Rājan (राजन्) refers to the role of “kings” defined to the Nāṭyaśāstra chapter 35, the role (bhūmikā) of actors playing kings (rājan) is defined as, “actors of the best kind who have beautiful eyes, eyebrows, forehead, nose, lips, cheeks, face, neck, and every other limbs beautiful, and who are tall, possessed of pleasant appearance, dignified gait, and are neither fat nor lean, and are well-behaved, wise and steady by nature, should be employed to represent the role of kings (rājan) and princes (kumāra)”.

(Source): Wisdom Library: Nāṭya-śāstra
Nāṭyaśāstra book cover
context information

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).

Itihāsa (narrative history)

In the Mahabharata the origin of kingship (raja/ rajan) appears to be divine (santiparva, Section 59). According to the Mahabharata, God Vishnu entered the body of Prithu and hence Prithu, the ruler of the earth, became representative of God. The king was to be obeyed because he was really a portion of Vishnu on earth.

The Mahabharata expressly shows that an unrighteous king could be slain by his subjects (Santiparva, Section 58, Shloka 41). The kingship, according to the Mahabharata and according to the ancient scriptures, was not a right but a duty. The king was to observe the rules of Raja Dharma.

(Source): Triveni: Journal (itihasa)
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Itihāsa (इतिहास) refers to ‘epic history’ and represents a branch of Sanskrit literature which popularly includes 1) the eighteen major Purāṇas, 2) the Mahābhārata and 3) the Rāmāyaṇa. It is a branch of Vedic Hinduism categorised as smṛti literature (‘that which is remembered’) as opposed to śruti literature (‘that which is transmitted verbally’).

Vāstuśāstra (architecture)

Rājan (राजन्, “king”) or Rāja refers to the fifth of nine aṃśa (part), according to the Mānasāra. Aṃśa is the alternative sixth of the āyādiṣaḍvarga, or “six principles” that constitute the “horoscope” of an architectural or iconographic object. Their application is intended to “verify” the measurements of the architectural and iconographic object against the dictates of astrology that lay out the conditions of auspiciousness.

The particular aṃśa (eg., rājan) of all architectural and iconographic objects (settlement, building, image) must be calculated and ascertained. This process is based on the principle of the remainder. An arithmetical formula to be used in each case is stipulated, which engages one of the basic dimensions of the object (breadth, length, or perimeter/circumference). Among the nine taskara, the ones named ṣaṇḍa and vipat are inauspicious, and should therefore be avoided.

(Source): Wisdom Library: Vāstu-śāstra
Vāstuśāstra book cover
context information

Vāstuśāstra (वास्तुशास्त्र, vastu-shastra) refers to the knowledge of architecture. It is a branch of ancient Indian science dealing with topics such architecture, construction, sculpture and their relation with the cosmic universe.

In Buddhism

Mahāsāṃghika (school of early Buddhism)

Rājan (राजन्) is the name of a Buddha under whom Śākyamuni (or Gautama, ‘the historical Buddha’) acquired merit along the first through nine bhūmis, according to the Mahāvastu. There are in total ten bhūmis representing the ten stages of the Bodhisattva’s path towards enlightenment.

Rājan is but one among the 500 Buddhas enumerated in the Mahāvastu during a conversation between Mahākātyāyana and Mahākāśyapa, both principle disciples of Gautama Buddha. The Mahāvastu is an important text of the Lokottaravāda school of buddhism, dating from the 2nd century BCE.

(Source): Wisdom Library: Lokottaravāda
context information

The Mahāsāṃghika (महासांघिक, mahasanghika) is an early school of Buddhism which split into three sub-schools: the Lokottaravāda, the Ekavyāvahārika and the Kukkuṭika. It is commonly seen as an important foundation for the development of Mahāyāna Buddhism.

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