Samatha, Shamatha, Śamatha, Śamaṭha: 16 definitions
Samatha means something in Buddhism, Pali, Hinduism, Sanskrit, biology. 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 (?).
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).
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.
Theravada (major branch of Buddhism)Source: Dhamma Dana: Pali English Glossary
Samatha (“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
Samatha (“tranquillity”, “serenity”) is a synonym of samādhi (concentration), cittekaggatā (one-pointedness of mind) and avikkhepa (undistracted ness). Samatha is one of the mental factors in wholesome consciousness. Cf. foll. and bhāvanā.
Tranquillity (samatha) [Cf. Bhavana] is the concentrated, unshaken, peaceful, and therefore undefiled state of mind, whilst insight (vipassanā) is the intuitive insight into the impermanence, misery and impersonality (anicca, dukkha, anattā; s. tilakkhana) of all bodily and mental phenomena of existence, included in the 5 groups of existence, namely, corporeality, feeling, perception, mental formations and consciousness; s. khandha. Tranquillity, or concentration of mind, according to Sankhepavannana (Commentary to Abhidhammattha-sangaha), bestows a threefold blessing: favourable rebirth, present happy life, and purity of mind which is the condition of insight.
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).
Mahayana (major branch of Buddhism)Source: academia.edu: A Study and Translation of the Gaganagañjaparipṛcchā
1) Śamatha (शमथ) refers to “peaceful meditation”, according to the Gaganagañjaparipṛcchā: the eighth chapter of the Mahāsaṃnipāta (a collection of Mahāyāna Buddhist Sūtras).—Accordingly, “The great vehicle (mahāyāna) is made with four wheels (cakra), namely with the means of attraction, the spokes (ara) are well fitted as the roots of good have been transformed with intention (āśaya), [...] it is carried on by a yoke yoked with the team of insight and expedient means, it is fastened in the holes of peaceful meditation and expanded vision (śamatha-vipaśyanā), it is powered by the power of understanding four holy truths (catuḥsatya), it has the power of a thousand well-bred horses, [...]”.
2) Śamatha (शमथ) refers to “mental quiescence”, according to the Gaganagañjaparipṛcchā: the eighth chapter of the Mahāsaṃnipāta (a collection of Mahāyāna Buddhist Sūtras).—Accordingly, “Then, the Lord went on to speak these verses: ‘[...] (46) The morality pacifies [minds], pacifies afflictions (kleśa), brings to the completion of the mental quiescence and transcendental analysis (śamatha-vipaśyana), 431 and guides to the ultimate [liberation]. [...]’”.Source: WikiPedia: Mahayana Buddhism
Śamatha (शमथ) refers to “single-pointed consciousness” according to the Mahāyāna Sūtras.—One of the most prominent, the (Āryaratnameghasūtra, “Cloud of Jewels Sutra”) divides all forms of meditation into either śamatha or vipaśyanā, defining śamatha as “single-pointed consciousness” and vipaśyanā as “seeing into the nature of things”. In a formulation originating in the Śrāvakabhūmi section of the Yogācārabhūmi-śāstra śamatha practice is said to progress through nine “mental abidings” or Nine stages of training the mind (navākārā cittasthiti), leading to śamatha proper (the equivalent of “access concentration” in the Theravāda system), and from there to a state of meditative concentration called the first dhyāna (Pāli: jhāna; Tibetan: bsam gtan) which is often said to be a state of tranquillity or bliss.
The Nine Mental Abidings connected with śamatha are described by Kamalaśīla as follows:
- Placement of the mind (cittasthāpana),
- Continuous placement (samsthāpana),
- Repeated placement (avasthāpana),
- Close placement (upasthāpana),
- Taming (damana),
- Pacifying (śamana),
- Fully pacifying (vyupaśamana),
- Single-pointing (ekotīkarana),
- Balanced placement (samādhāna).
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.
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 dictionarySource: 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 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.
Sanskrit dictionarySource: DDSA: The practical Sanskrit-English dictionary
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; especially often associated with vipaśyanā or (less often) its syn. vidarśanā, see these two; when [compound] they form a dvandva, never a tatp. as suggested erroneously in [Pali Text Society’s Pali-English Dictionary] (in every passage there quoted samatha and vipassanā are parallel and coordinate, usually not even [compound]); also often with dama- (tha): dama-śamatham ākāṅkṣamāṇā(ḥ) Saddharmapuṇḍarīka 80.9; dama- samathe Lalitavistara 169.5 (verse); paramadama-samatha- 427.22; [Page523-b+ 71] ātma-dama-(iii.52.18 °damatha-) -śamatha-pariṇirvāṇār- thaṃ Mahāvastu ii.157.5; iii.52.18; uttama-damatha (so Senart, but mss. dama) -śamatha-pāramitā- iii.64.6; śamatha- saṃbhāra Lalitavistara 35.14; 427.21; śamatha-sukha-vyavasthitaḥ Laṅkāvatāra-sūtra 15.4; smara…śamathaṃ Lalitavistara 11.14; samatha- dhanu gṛhītvā Lalitavistara 156.5 (verse), taking the bow of…; samatha- nirvāṇa-puram anupravekṣyāmi Mahāvastu ii.148.6; tranquilliza- tion of the mind as a process, a course of practice, dvāda- śavarṣābhyastaḥ śamathaś (or sa°) cittasya Divyāvadāna 47.3; 461.20; adhyātmaṃ (adv.) cetaḥśamathaṃ (riñcanti) Mūla-Sarvāstivāda-Vinaya iii.11.18; sarva(iii.314.5 pūrva)-saṃskāra-samatho (so read in ii.285.20) or °tha-Mahāvastu 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: Mahāvyutpatti 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
(-thaḥ) 1. Quiet, tranquillity: (see the last) 2. A counsellor, a minister. E. śam to be calm, Unadi aff. athac .Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: Benfey Sanskrit-English Dictionary
Śamatha (शमथ).—[śam + atha], m. 1. Quiet, tranquillity of mind, absence of passion. 2. A counsellor.Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: Cappeller Sanskrit-English Dictionary
Śamatha (शमथ).—[masculine] quiet, tranquillity, rest, calm, peace; cessation, extinction.Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: Monier-Williams Sanskrit-English Dictionary
1) Śamaṭha (शमठ):—[from śam] m. (cf. [Uṇādi-sūtra i, 102 [Scholiast or Commentator]]) Name of a Brahman, [Mahābhārata]
2) Śamatha (शमथ):—[from śam] m. quiet, tranquillity, absence of passion, [Lalita-vistara]
3) [v.s. ...] a counsellor, minister, [cf. Lexicographers, esp. such as amarasiṃha, halāyudha, hemacandra, etc.]
4) Samatha (समथ):—[wrong reading] for śamatha, [Lalita-vistara]Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: Yates Sanskrit-English Dictionary
Śamatha (शमथ):—(thaḥ) 1. m. Quiet, tranquillity; a counsellor.
[Sanskrit to German]
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.
See also (Relevant definitions)
Starts with: Samatha Bhavana, Samatha Kamatthana, Samatha Kammatthana Bhavana, Samatha Sutta, Samatha Vipassana, Samatha Yanika, Samatha-kammatthana, Samathabhavana, Samathakkhandhaka, Samathala, Shamathacitta, Shamathacittata, Shamathaghosha, Shamathaka, Shamathaketu, Shamathasambhara, Shamathavipashyana, Shamathavipashyanaviharin.
Full-text (+97): Nimitta, Vipashyana, Bhavana, Samatha Vipassana, Serenity S, Anussati Kammatthana, Aruppa Kammatthana, Catudhatuvavatthana, Avikkhepa, Vidarshana, Yuganaddha, Aharepatikulasanna, Shamathavipashyanaviharin, Asubha Kammatthana, Shamathasambhara, Kasina Kammatthana, Samatha Bhavana, Uddhacca Sutta, Alambana, Parinibbapana.
Search found 77 books and stories containing Samatha, Shamatha, Śamatha, Smatha, Śamaṭha; (plurals include: Samathas, Shamathas, Śamathas, Smathas, Śamaṭhas). You can also click to the full overview containing English textual excerpts. Below are direct links for the most relevant articles:
The Great Chariot (by Longchenpa)
Part 1b.1h - How the four formless skandhas of name depend on the continuum of mind < [B. The extensive explanation of the nature of karma]
Part 2b.1 - The main means of practice, shamatha and vipashyana < [B. The teaching of the three factors of immovable samadhis]
Part 2b.9 - Summarizing the meaning of the eight means of resting < [B. The gradation of powers of those who meditate into high, middle, and low]
Vinaya (1): The Patimokkha (by T. W. Rhys Davids)
Buddhist Meditation (by Samdhong Rinpoche)
Vipassana Meditation Course (by Chanmyay Sayadaw)
Part 1 - Samatha And Vipassana Meditation < [Chapter 1 - Preliminary Stage]
Part 3 - Four Protective Meditations < [Chapter 1 - Preliminary Stage]
Mental Development in Daily Life (by Nina van Gorkom)
Vipassana Meditation (by Chanmyay Sayadaw)