Ratna, Ratnā: 20 definitions

Introduction

Ratna means something in Buddhism, Pali, Hinduism, Sanskrit, Jainism, Prakrit, the history of ancient India, 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.

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In Hinduism

Rasashastra (chemistry and alchemy)

Source: Wisdom Library: Rasa-śāstra

Ratna (रत्न):—There are nine types of gems, according to the Rasaprakāśasudhākara, which is a 13th century Sanskrit literary work related to Medical Alchemy, or Rasaśāstra (Rasa literature).

  1. Māṇikya (‘Ruby’),
  2. Mauktika (‘Pearl’),
  3. Vidruma or Pravāla (‘Coral’),
  4. Tārkṣya (‘Emerald’),
  5. Puṣparāga or Puṣpaka (‘Topaz’),
  6. Vajra (‘Diamond’),
  7. Nīla or Nīlamaṇi (‘Sapphire’),
  8. Gomeda (‘Hessonite’),
  9. Vaidūrya (‘Cat’s eye’)

The ratnas of superior quality and possessing better physical characteristics may only prove to give all types of siddhis (success). And only such ratnas (gemstones) should be used for dāna (offering purpose), rasa-yana (therapeutic purpose), dhāraṇa bearing purpose and devatārcana (worship of Gods).

Rasashastra book cover
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Rasashastra (रसशास्त्र, rasaśāstra) is an important branch of Ayurveda, specialising in chemical interactions with herbs, metals and minerals. Some texts combine yogic and tantric practices with various alchemical operations. The ultimate goal of Rasashastra is not only to preserve and prolong life, but also to bestow wealth upon humankind.

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Shaivism (Shaiva philosophy)

Source: Wisdom Library: Kubjikāmata-tantra

Ratnā (रत्ना, “Jewel”):—Fifth of the eight Mātṛs born from the body of Śaśinī, according to the Kubjikāmata-tantra. These eight sub-manifestations (mātṛ), including Ratnā, symbolize a connection to the moon. They are presided over by the Bhairava Krodha and his consort Vaiṣṇavī. Śaśinī is the third of the Eight Mahāmātṛs, residing within the Mātṛcakra (third of the five cakras) and represents the moon.

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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Purana and Itihasa (epic history)

Source: archive.org: Shiva Purana - English Translation

1) Ratna (रत्न) refers to “gems”, representing a type of material for construction of a Liṅga, according to the Śivapurāṇa 1.22 while explaining the importance of the partaking of the Naivedya of Śiva:—“[...] with regard to the following phallic images viz:—[...] liṅgas made of gems (Ratna-liṅga) [...], the partaking of the Naivedya of Śiva is on a par with the rite of Cāndrāyaṇa. Even the slayer of a brahmin if he partakes of the remains of the food offered to the God quells all his sins immediately [...]”.

2) Ratna (रत्न) refers to “precious gems”, representing the material of the Brahmāṇī’s liṅga, according to the Śivapurāṇa 2.1.12, where the Devas and Viṣṇu requested Viśvakarman for liṅgas for the achievement of the desires of all people:—“[...] at our bidding Viśvakarmā made liṅgas and gave them to the devas according to their status. [...] the Goddess Brahmāṇī worships, of course, the Liṅga of Ratna (precious gem) [viz., Ratna-liṅga]. Bāṇa and others worshipped a liṅga of mercury. [...] Thus different kinds of liṅgas were given to them by Viśvakarmā which the devas and the celestial sages worship regularly. After giving the devas the various liṅgas from a desire for their benefit, Viṣṇu explained the mode of worship of Śiva to me, Brahmā”.

Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: The Purana Index

Ratnā (रत्ना).—A daughter of Śaibya, queen of Akrūra and mother of eleven heroic sons.*

  • * Matsya-purāṇa 45. 28.
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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Shilpashastra (iconography)

Source: Shodhganga: The significance of the mūla-beras (śilpa)

Ratna (रत्न) refers to “ruby” and represents a kind of precious stone (gem) used for the making of images (Hindu icons), as defined in the texts dealing with śilpa (arts and crafs), known as śilpaśāstras.—The materials listed in the Āgamas for the making of images are wood, stone, precious gems, metals, terracotta, laterite, earth, and a combination of two or three or more of the materials specified above. The precious stones mentioned in the Āgamas for the purpose of making images are [for example] ratna (ruby).

Precious stones (eg., ratna or ‘ruby’) are preferred materials for fashioning images.—The materials recommended in the śilpaśāstra for the fashioning of images are unburnt clay, burnt clay as in brick or terracotta, sudhā (a special kind of mortar/plaster), composite earth, wood, stone, metal, ivory, dhātu (mineral), pigment, and precious stones. Wood is considered superior to earth, stone as better than wood, metal better than stone, and precious stone (such as ratna) is the most preferred of all.

Shilpashastra book cover
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Shilpashastra (शिल्पशास्त्र, śilpaśāstra) represents the ancient Indian science (shastra) of creative arts (shilpa) such as sculpture, iconography and painting. Closely related to Vastushastra (architecture), they often share the same literature.

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General definition (in Hinduism)

Source: archive.org: Vedic index of Names and Subjects

Ratna (रत्न) in the Rigveda and later denotes a precious object, not specifically a ‘jewel’, as in post-Vedic literature.

In Buddhism

Mahayana (major branch of Buddhism)

Source: Wisdom Library: Maha Prajnaparamita Sastra

Ratna (रत्न) refers to jewels, into which the universe was transformed by the Buddha’s miraculous power (ṛddhibala) according to the 2nd century Mahāprajñāpāramitāśāstra (chapter XV).

There are four types of jewels:

  1. Kin (suvarṇa), gold;
  2. Yin (rajata, rūpya), silver;
  3. P’i lieou li (vaiḍūrya), lapis-lazuli;
  4. P’o li (sphaṭika), crystal.
  5. Tch’ö k’iu (musāragalva) cat’s-eye;
  6. Ma nao (aśmagarbha) emerald;
  7. Tch’e tchen tchou (lohitamukti), red pearl.

There are yet other jewels:

  1. Mo lo k’ie t’o (marakata), emerald;
  2. Yin t’o ni lo (indranīla), sapphire;
  3. Mo ho ni lo (mahānīla) ‘great blue’ pearl;
  4. Po mo lo k’ie (padmarāga), ruby;
  5. Yue chö (vajra) diamond;
  6. Long tchou (nāgamaṇi), nāga pearl;
  7. Jou yi tchou (cintāmaṇi), precious stone that grants all the wishes of its owner;
  8. Yu, jade;
  9. Pei (śaṅkha) conch;
  10. Chan hou (pravāḍa, vidruma), coral;
  11. Hou p’e (tṛṇamaṇi) amber, etc.

All these are called jewel (ratna). These jewels are of three types, Human jewels (manuṣya-ratna), Divine jewels (divya-ratna) and Bodhisattva jewels (bodhisattva-ratna). These various jewels remove the poverty (dāridrya) and the suffering (duḥkha) of beings.

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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Tibetan Buddhism (Vajrayana or tantric Buddhism)

Source: archive.org: The Indian Buddhist Iconography

Ratna (रत्न) refers to “jewels” and represents one of the five auspicious symbols of Nairātmā.—The Indian Museum image is the only image of this goddess [Nairātmā] which conforms to the description given in the sādhana. Here the goddess, in accordance with the Dhyāna, has a terrible appearance with canine teeth, garland of heads and three eyes rolling in anger. She stands on the corpse lying on its back, and dances in the ardhaparyaṅka attitude. Burning flames radiate from her person, and her hair rise upwards in the shape of a flame. She is decked in the five auspicious symbols, the kaṇṭhikā (torque), rucaka (bracelets), ratna (jewels), mekhalā (girdle), and bhasma (ashes) or the sūtra (sacred thread) in the form of a garland of heads. She bears the image of her sire Akṣobhya on her crown and carries the menacing kartri in the right hand. The left hand holding the kapāla is broken. The khaṭvāṅga, as usual, hangs from her left shoulder.

Tibetan Buddhism book cover
context information

Tibetan Buddhism includes schools such as Nyingma, Kadampa, Kagyu and Gelug. Their primary canon of literature is divided in two broad categories: The Kangyur, which consists of Buddha’s words, and the Tengyur, which includes commentaries from various sources. Esotericism and tantra techniques (vajrayāna) are collected indepently.

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In Jainism

General definition (in Jainism)

Source: Google Books: Jainism: An Indian Religion of Salvation

Ratna (रत्न).—The fourteen gems (ratna) are the living beings of different types which serve the Cakravartīs. They are divided into those which are provided only with one sense (ekendriya-ratna) and those which have five senses (pañcendriya-ratna).

The seven gems with one sense (ekendriya-ratna) are:

  1. cakra, a discues embellished with jewels;
  2. daṇḍa, a spledid staff with which the earth can be bored into its depths;
  3. khaḍga, a sharp sword which breaks all resistance;
  4. chatra, a glittering white sun-umbrella;
  5. carma, a wonderful hide which cannot be pierced by cut and thrust;
  6. maṇi, a gem of uncomparable dazzle;
  7. kākiṇī, a sort of very gollow mass in the form of a dice;

The seven gems with five senses (pañcendriya-ratna) are:

  1. senāpati, the commander of a Cakravartī;
  2. gṛhapati, chamberlain who looks after the kitchen and storeroom;
  3. vārddhaka, architect;
  4. purohita, house-priest;
  5. gaja, elephant of unsurpassable power;
  6. aśva, beautiful horse;
  7. strī, a most beautiful woman;
Source: Google Books: Jaina Iconography

Ratna (रत्न).—According to both Digambara and Śvetāmbara, every universal monarch obtains ratnas or jewels amongst human beings and amongst symbols, weapons or animals. They are: cakra (disc), daṇḍa (staff), asi (sword), chatra (umbrella), carma (hides), maṇi (diamond), kākiṇī (cowrie), aśva (the horse), gaja (the elephant), the commander-in-chief, the home minister, the architect (varddhakī), the priest and lastly the Queen. Ratnas or jewels of a Cakravartī (Cakravartin) are usually represented in miniature paintings of the Saṃgrahaṇī-sūtra.

General definition book cover
context information

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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India history and geogprahy

Source: Project Gutenberg: Castes and Tribes of Southern India, Volume 1

Ratna (“precious stones”) is one of the exogamous septs (divisions) among the Kurubas (a tribe of South India). The Kurubas are sub-divided into clans or gumpus, each having a headman or guru called a gaudu, who gives his name to the clan. And the clans are again sub-divided into gotras or septs (viz., Ratna).

Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: Indian Epigraphical Glossary

Ratna.—(IE 7-1-2), ‘five’; sometimes also used to indicate ‘nine’, and rarely even ‘fourteen’. (EI 22; CII 4), same as the Buddhist tri-ratna, i. e. the Buddha, Dharma and Saṅgha. (ML), a relic [of the Buddha]. Note: ratna is defined in the “Indian epigraphical glossary” as it can be found on ancient inscriptions commonly written in Sanskrit, Prakrit or Dravidian languages.

India history book cover
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The history of India traces the identification of countries, villages, towns and other regions of India, as well as royal dynasties, rulers, tribes, local festivities and traditions and regional languages. Ancient India enjoyed religious freedom and encourages the path of Dharma, a concept common to Buddhism, Hinduism, and Jainism.

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Languages of India and abroad

Marathi-English dictionary

Source: DDSA: The Molesworth Marathi and English Dictionary

ratna (रत्न).—n (S) A gem, a jewel, a precious stone. 2 A common term for the fourteen precious things produced by the ocean when it was churned by the gods and giants. See caudā ratnēṃ. 3 fig. A term of praise for an excellent thing in general, a jewel. 4 A cant name for a bug.

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

ratna (रत्न).—n A gem. Fig. A jewel.

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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Sanskrit-English dictionary

Source: DDSA: The practical Sanskrit-English dictionary

Ratna (रत्न).—[ramate'tra ram-na tāntādeśaḥ Uṇ.3.14]

1) A gem, jewel, a precious stone; किं रत्नमच्छा मतिः (kiṃ ratnamacchā matiḥ) Bv.1.86; न रत्नमन्विष्यति मृग्यते हि तत् (na ratnamanviṣyati mṛgyate hi tat) Ku.5.45. (The ratnas are said to be either five, nine or fourteen; see the words pañcaratna, navaratna, and caturdaśaratna respectively.)

2) Anything valuable or precious, any dear treasure.

3) Anything best or excellent of its kind; (mostly at the end of comp.); जातौ जातौ यदुत्कृष्टं तद् रत्नमभिधीयते (jātau jātau yadutkṛṣṭaṃ tad ratnamabhidhīyate) Malli; कन्यारत्नमयोनिजन्म भवतामास्ते वयं चार्थिनः (kanyāratnamayonijanma bhavatāmāste vayaṃ cārthinaḥ) Mv.1.3; अग्रेसरीभवतु काञ्चनचक्ररत्नम् (agresarībhavatu kāñcanacakraratnam) Nāg.5.37; so पुत्र°, स्त्री° (putra°, strī°) V.4.25; अपत्य° (apatya°) &c.

4) A magnet.

5) Water.

Derivable forms: ratnam (रत्नम्).

Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: Edgerton Buddhist Hybrid Sanskrit Dictionary

Ratna (रत्न).—(or MIndic ratana), nt. (m. forms, see § 6.10), jewel, gem, as in Sanskrit; (1) three (Buddha, dharma, saṃgha, as in Pali): Dharmasaṃgraha 1, etc.; see triratna, ratna-traya; (2) seven precious substances, or their respective colors, suvarṇa, rūpya, muktā, vaiḍūrya, sphaṭika (or sphā°), musāragalva (or variants, see s.v.), lohitikā: Mahāvastu i.49.10 —11; 63.1; 194.5, 19; 195.9; 249.6; iii.226.10; 227.6; 323.16; a different list of seven, muktāmaṇi, vaiḍūrya, śaṅkhaśilā, pravāla, sphaṭika, musāragalva, lohitikā, Mahāvastu ii.472.1; the usual list in other texts is nearly like Mahāvastu i.49.10 etc., but omits muktā, and for Nos. 5—7 (6 and 7 of Mahāvastu) has lohitamukti, aśmagarbha, musāragalva: Saddharmapuṇḍarīka 151.1; 153.3; Divyāvadāna 297.23 ff.; Gaṇḍavyūha 52.15; 161.16; in Saddharmapuṇḍarīka 239.7 sphaṭika is omitted, karketana added at the end, and the order is abnormal; in Pali no standard list of 7 ratana seems recorded except in the lex. Abhidh.p., which is cited in Childers and [Pali Text Society’s Pali-English Dictionary] as suvaṇṇa, rajata, muttā, maṇi, veḷuriya, vajira, pavāḷa (Miln. 267.23 ff., cited by [Pali Text Society’s Pali-English Dictionary], is not apposite, since this list far exceeds seven in number); yet seven ratnanāni (unspecified) are several times mentioned in Pali ([Pali Text Society’s Pali-English Dictionary]); (3) fig., the seven ‘jewels’ of a cakravartin, viz. cakra, hastin, aśva, maṇi, strī, gṛhapati, pariṇāyaka (same list in Pali forms also); see Senart, Légende du Buddha (1st ed.), 20 ff.: Lalitavistara 14.5 and ff., full descriptions of each ratna; also Mūla-Sarvāstivāda-Vinaya i.31.16 ff., in great detail; lists, Mahāvyutpatti 3621—8; Dharmasaṃgraha 85 (here, aberrantly, khaḍga instead of gṛhapati); Mahāvastu i.49.3; 108.5 ff. (account of how they are acquired, by previous deeds of merit); 193.16; ii.158.16; iii.107.5; Divyāvadāna 548.24 ff.; (4) m., name of a former Buddha: Mahāvastu i.62.16 (prose); later called Rat(a)navant, q.v.

Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: Shabda-Sagara Sanskrit-English Dictionary

Ratna (रत्न).—n.

(-tnaṃ) 1. A jewel, a gem. 2. Any thing the best of its kind, or figuratively, the jewel of the species. E. ram to sport, Unadi aff. na, and ta substituted for the radical final.

Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: Cappeller Sanskrit-English Dictionary

Ratna (रत्न).—[adjective] gift, present, riches, treasure, [especially] precious stone, jewel, pearl; often —° the jewel called —, a jewel of i.e. the best of; °— set or adorned with jewels.

context information

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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