Samatha, Shamatha, Śamatha, Śamaṭha: 13 definitions

Introduction

Samatha 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.

The Sanskrit terms Śamatha and Śamaṭha can be transliterated into English as Samatha or Shamatha, using the IAST transliteration scheme (?).

In Hinduism

Purana and Itihasa (epic history)

Source: archive.org: Puranic Encyclopedia

Śamaṭha (शमठ).—A learned brahmin. He once gave Yudhiṣṭhira a description of the yajña performed by King Gaya, son of Amūrtarayas. (Vana Parva, Chapter 95, Verse 17).

Purana book cover
context information

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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In Buddhism

Theravada (major branch of Buddhism)

Source: Dhamma Dana: Pali English Glossary

M (Tranquillity, serenity). Concentration bringing about calm and mental clarity. The practice of samatha lies in focusing ones concentration on a single object so as to lessen the flow of discursive thoughts, which cause hindrances (nivaranas), in a first stage, and then to experience a jhana.

The practice of samatha alone does not lead to nibbana.

Source: Pali Kanon: Manual of Buddhist Terms and Doctrines

'tranquillity', serenity, is a synonym of

  • samādhi (concentration),

  • cittekaggatā (one-pointed ness of mind) and

  • avikkhepa (undistracted ness).

It is one of the mental factors in wholesome consciousness. Cf. foll. and bhāvanā.

Source: Dhamma Study: Cetasikas

calm;

context information

Theravāda is a major branch of Buddhism having the the Pali canon (tipitaka) as their canonical literature, which includes the vinaya-pitaka (monastic rules), the sutta-pitaka (Buddhist sermons) and the abhidhamma-pitaka (philosophy and psychology).

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General definition (in Buddhism)

Source: Shambala Publications: General

Shamatha (śamatha), Skt., lit., “dwelling in tranquillity.” In the Gelug school of Tibet­an Buddhism it is stressed that the precondition of “concentration” (samādhi) is intentional development of “dwelling in tranquillity” and “special insight” (vipashyanā ). Dwelling in tranquillity calms the mind, while special in­sight, through analytical examination, leads to vision of genuine reality, which is emptiness (shūnyatā). Shamatha is first developed in preliminary practice and later further refined in connection with vipashyanā. Dwelling in tranquillity is compared to a still, clear lake in which the “fish of special insight” plays.

Languages of India and abroad

Pali-English dictionary

[«previous (S) next»] — Samatha in Pali glossary
Source: BuddhaSasana: Concise Pali-English Dictionary

samatha : (m.) calm; quietude of heart; settlement of legal questions.

Source: Sutta: The Pali Text Society's Pali-English Dictionary

Samatha, (fr. śam, cp. BSk. śamatha) 1. calm, quietude of heart M. I, 33; A. I, 61, 95; II, 140; III, 86 sq. (ceto°), 116 sq. , 449; IV, 360; V, 99; D. III, 54, 213, 273; DhA. II, 177; S. IV, 362; Dhs. 11, 15, 54; cessation of the Saṅkhāras S. I, 136; III, 133; A. I, 133; Sn. 732; Vin. I, 5. ‹-› 2. settlement of legal questions (adhikaraṇa) Vin. II, 93; IV, 207; cp. DhsA. 144; s. paṭivijjhati Pts. I, 180.

Pali book cover
context information

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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Sanskrit-English dictionary

Source: DDSA: The practical Sanskrit-English dictionary

Śamatha (शमथ).—[śam-athac]

1) Tranquillity, calmness; especially mental calmness, absence of passion.

2) A counsellor, minister.

Derivable forms: śamathaḥ (शमथः).

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

Śamatha (शमथ).—often written sa°, m. (= Sanskrit Lex. id., Pali samatha), (1) tranquillity, tranquillization; esp. often assoc. with vipaśyanā or (less often) its syn. vidarśanā, see these two; when cpd. they form a dvandva, never a tatp. as suggested erroneously in PTSD (in every passage there quoted samatha and vipassanā are parallel and coordinate, usually not even cpd.); also often with dama- (tha): dama-śamatham ākāṅkṣamāṇā(ḥ) SP 80.9; dama- samathe LV 169.5 (verse); paramadama-samatha- 427.22; [Page523-b+ 71] ātma-dama-(iii.52.18 °damatha-) -śamatha-pariṇirvāṇār- thaṃ Mv ii.157.5; iii.52.18; uttama-damatha (so Senart, but mss. dama) -śamatha-pāramitā- iii.64.6; śamatha- saṃbhāra LV 35.14; 427.21; śamatha-sukha-vyavasthitaḥ Laṅk 15.4; smara…śamathaṃ LV 11.14; samatha- dhanu gṛhītvā LV 156.5 (verse), taking the bow of…; samatha- nirvāṇa-puram anupravekṣyāmi Mv ii.148.6; tranquilliza- tion of the mind as a process, a course of practice, dvāda- śavarṣābhyastaḥ śamathaś (or sa°) cittasya Divy 47.3; 461.20; adhyātmaṃ (adv.) cetaḥśamathaṃ (riñcanti) MSV iii.11.18; sarva(iii.314.5 pūrva)-saṃskāra-samatho (so read in ii.285.20) or °tha-Mv ii.285.20; iii.314.5, the tranquillizing of (all) the (former) saṃskāra, compare Pali sabbasaṃkhārasa- matho Vin. i.5.2; (2) (= Pali adhikaraṇa-sa°) adhikaraṇa- śamathā(ḥ), settling, appeasement, of disputed questions: Mvy 8630 (see adhikaraṇa 1).

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Samatha (समथ).—often written for śamatha, q.v.

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

Śamatha (शमथ).—m.

(-thaḥ) 1. Quiet, tranquillity: (see the last) 2. A counsellor, a minister. E. śam to be calm, Unadi aff. athac .

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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