Samnyasa, Sannyasa, Saṃnyāsa, Sannyāsa: 24 definitions


Samnyasa means something in Hinduism, Sanskrit, Jainism, Prakrit, Marathi, Hindi. 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

Purana and Itihasa (epic history)

[«previous next»] — Samnyasa in Purana glossary
Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: The Purana Index

Sannyāsa (सन्न्यास).—Giving up of karmas by.*

  • * Brahmāṇḍa-purāṇa II. 32. 58; Matsya-purāṇa 145. 54.
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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Rasashastra (chemistry and alchemy)

Source: Wisdom Library: Rasa-śāstra

Sannyāsa (सन्न्यास) refers to “malignant swoon” according to the fifth volume of the Rasajalanidhi (chapter 22). Accordingly, “Sannyasa is a disease which attacks a weak man when a highly abnormal excess of vayu, pitta, and kapha, as well as the other dirty matter in the body, have recourse to the vital parts of the body, and especially the heart and the respiratory system, and thereby stop the action of the vocal system, the external body, and of the mind, making the patient fall down as dead-like as a log of wood. Such a patient dies very soon, if not treated with such processes as are considered generally successful in such cases (such as pricking the body with needle, application of strong snuff, collyrium, etc.)”.

Source: Rasa-Jala-Nidhi: Or Ocean of indian chemistry and alchemy

Sannyāsa (सन्न्यास) refers to “malignant swoon”.—This is a disease which attacks a weak man when a highly abnormal excess of vāyu, pitta, and kapha, as well as the other dirty matter in the body, have recourse to the vital parts of the body, and especially the heart and the respiratory system, and thereby stop the action of the vocal system, the external body, and of the mind, making the patient fall down as dead-like as a log of wood.

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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Arthashastra (politics and welfare)

Source: Knowledge Traditions & Practices of India: Indian Ethics: Individual and Social

Saṃnyāsa (संन्यास, “renunciation”) refers to the last of the four Āśramas (“stages of life”).—The division of one’s life into the four āśramas (e.g., Saṃnyāsa) and their respective dharmas, was designed, in principle at least, to provide fulfilment to the person in his social, moral and spiritual aspects, and so to lead to harmony and balance in the society.

Source: Knowledge Traditions & Practices of India: Society State and Polity: A Survey

Saṃnyāsa (संन्यास, “renunciation”) refers to one of the sixteen saṃskāras, or “ceremonies” accompanying the individual during the Gṛhastha (householder) stage of the Āśrama way of life. These ceremonies (e.g., saṃnyāsa-saṃskāra) are community affairs and at each ceremony relations and friends gather for community eating.

Arthashastra book cover
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Arthashastra (अर्थशास्त्र, arthaśāstra) literature concerns itself with the teachings (shastra) of economic prosperity (artha) statecraft, politics and military tactics. The term arthashastra refers to both the name of these scientific teachings, as well as the name of a Sanskrit work included in such literature. This book was written (3rd century BCE) by by Kautilya, who flourished in the 4th century BCE.

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Vaishnavism (Vaishava dharma)

Source: Pure Bhakti: Bhagavad-gita (4th edition)

Sannyāsa (सन्न्यास) refers to “(1) Completely giving up the results of one’s activities (2) The fourth stage of life in the varṇāśrama system. There are four stages of sannyāsa: (a) Kūtīcaka. He resides in a hut (kūtīr) and accepts alms from a family or āśrama till his sādhana reaches maturity; (b) Bahūdaka. He then travels on pilgrim-age and bathes in many (bahu) waters (udakas), practising detachment through dependence on Bhagavān; (c) Parivrājak. When transcendental knowledge arises in his heart, he preaches his realizations to everyone, in every village; (d) Parama-haṃsa. By full absorption in kṛṣṇa-kathā, kṛṣṇa-tattva and kṛṣṇa-kīrtana, he becomes fully mature and the swan (haṃsa) of his mind always dives and surfaces in Śrī Śrī Rādhā-Kṛṣṇa’s ever fresh pastimes”. (cf. Glossary page from Śrīmad-Bhagavad-Gītā).

Vaishnavism book cover
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Vaishnava (वैष्णव, vaiṣṇava) or vaishnavism (vaiṣṇavism) represents a tradition of Hinduism worshipping Vishnu as the supreme Lord. Similar to the Shaktism and Shaivism traditions, Vaishnavism also developed as an individual movement, famous for its exposition of the dashavatara (‘ten avatars of Vishnu’).

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Dharmashastra (religious law)

Source: Shodhganga: The saurapurana - a critical study (dharma)

Sannyāsa (सन्न्यास) or Sannyāsin refers to the fourth of the four “stages of life” (aśrama), according to the 10th century Saurapurāṇa: one of the various Upapurāṇas depicting Śaivism.—From the times of the most ancient dharmaśāstras the number of āśramas has been four:—Brahmacarya, Gṛhastha, Vānaprastha and Sannyāsin.— After spending the third part of his life in the forest for some times he spends the rest of his life as a Sannyāsa. [...] Those twice-born who live as such in the third stage of life [viz., Vānaprastha] gets liberation. This is a stage of transition from the life of a householder to that of the Sannyāsa; and it is a period of probation entitling one to enter a state of complete renunciation.

In the twentieth chapter of the Saurapurāṇa the duties of the Vānaprasthas and the Sannyāsa are described. The fourth stage is that of the Sannyāsa. Complete detachment from worldly objects entitles one to enter this stage. Kindness to all, freedom from desires and passions and complete equanimity in pleasure and pain , gain and loss and also sameness of attitude towards friends and foe, characterise this stage. The Sannyāsa has to observe non-injury in thought, word and deed. He has to bath thrice a day and besmear his body with ashes. He should mutter ‘praṇava’ study the Vedanta and meditate on the all the prevading Ātman, Lord Śaṅkara, the cause of creation. The Sannyāsa subsists on leaves and leads a life of peace, silence and celibacy not expecting any reward and caring neither for life nor death. He transcends the bonds of the flesh and rises into the realm of the Spirit.

Dharmashastra book cover
context information

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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Vedanta (school of philosophy)

Source: Google Books: Sankara’s Vedanta through His Upanisad Commentaries

Saṃnyāsa (संन्यास) means “set down completely” and represents a term used for renunciation.—Śaṅkara often uses terms for renunciation drawn from the Bṛhadāraṇyaka-upaniṣad: vyutthāna (“transcendence”—literally “intensely rising up or away from”), bhikṣācārya (“begging”) and parivrājin (“one who goes forth”—appearing mostly in its derivative form parivrājaka, which by the medieval period designated the most radical type of renunciation). But he also interjects the synonyms saṃnyāsa (“set down completely”) and tyāga (“letting go” or “abandoning”) or parityāga (“complete letting go” or complete abandoning) both widely used in epic sources such as the Bhagavadgītā and in more specialized medieval Vedānta sources focusing exclusively on renunciation.

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Vedanta (वेदान्त, vedānta) refers to a school of orthodox Hindu philosophy (astika), drawing its subject-matter from the Upanishads. There are a number of sub-schools of Vedanta, however all of them expound on the basic teaching of the ultimate reality (brahman) and liberation (moksha) of the individual soul (atman).

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General definition (in Hinduism)

Source: WikiPedia: Hinduism

Sannyasa is the life stage of the renouncer within the Hindu scheme of four age-based life stages known as ashrams. It is the topmost and final stage of the ashram system and is traditionally taken by men or women over fifty or by young Brahmacharis who wish to renounce worldly and materialistic pursuits and dedicate their lives to spiritual pursuits.

During the sannyasa phase of life, a person abandons fire, or Agnihotra, allowed to the Grihastha ashram or householder phase of life. People who have entered the sannyasa ashram may choose not to cook, perform fire rituals or take heat from fire. In practice, however, Sannyasis do various services and partake in sacred rituals to set an example for others.

Sannyasa focuses only on the self and spirituality and not even the gods (as abandoning fire suggests). Symbolically, a sannyasi casts his physical body into fire by wearing saffron robes when entering this phase, signifying purification of body through fire thus freeing the soul while the body is still alive. Hence, sannyasis are not cremated after death as most Hindus are, but may instead be buried.

Source: Texas Liberal Arts: Āśrama and Saṃnyāsa

Saṃnyāsa (सम्̣न्यास).—The last āśrama, that of the world renouncing mendicant, is referred to in late Sanskrit texts by the term saṃnyāsa. Literally meaning “to cast down together,” the term is used in Vedic texts and ritual manuals to refer to throwing down unwanted things in a pile. This meaning of discarding and rejecting is present in its usage within the ascetic vocabulary.

In its earliest usage, however, saṃnyāsa is specifically associated with retirement in old age, thus in some way corresponding to the position of ascetic institutions in the classical āśrama system. The most explicit statement in this regard is found in the Māna-vaśrautasūtra (8.25) where the saṃnyāsavidhi (procedure of retirement) is described with reference to a grandfather who wishes to give up his ritual and domestic obligations. The legal treatise of Manu (Manu-smṛti. 1.114; 6.86–96) makes a clear distinction between such old age saṃnyāsa and the life of a wandering mendicant, which is referred to as mokṣa.

In Jainism

General definition (in Jainism)

Source: The University of Sydney: A study of the Twelve Reflections

Saṃnyāsa (संन्यास) refers to “abandonment (of attachment)”, according to the 11th century Jñānārṇava, a treatise on Jain Yoga in roughly 2200 Sanskrit verses composed by Śubhacandra.—Accordingly, “Tolerance of anger and humility towards pride, moreover straightforwardness towards deception [and] abandonment of attachment (saṃga-saṃnyāsa), these are the enemies of desire respectively. Yogis continually drive away desire and dislike through equanimity or through the state of non-attachment , and they drive away wrong faith through the application of right faith”

Synonyms: Nyāsa, Saṃtyāga.

General definition book cover
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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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Languages of India and abroad

Marathi-English dictionary

Source: DDSA: The Molesworth Marathi and English Dictionary

sannyāsa (सन्न्यास).—m (S) Abandonment of all worldly possessions and earthly affections. Ex. sannyāsa- dīkṣā nirdhāri || jēṇēṃ sthāpilī vidhiyukta ||. sa0 ghēūna āīcā utarāī hōṇēṃ To be quit of all obligation to one's mother by taking sannyāsa; the mother, by this sacrifice on the part of her son, obtaining regeneration as a male.

--- OR ---

sannyāsa (संन्यास).—This is the popular form. See the correct form sannyasta &c.

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

sannyāsa (संन्यास).—m Abandonment of all worldly possessions and earthly affections.

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 dictionary

Source: DDSA: The practical Sanskrit-English dictionary

Saṃnyāsa (संन्यास).—

1) Leaving, abandonment.

2) Complete renunciation of the world and its possessions and attachments, abandonment of temporal concerns; काम्यानां कर्मणां न्यासं संन्यासं कवयो विदुः (kāmyānāṃ karmaṇāṃ nyāsaṃ saṃnyāsaṃ kavayo viduḥ) Bhagavadgītā (Bombay) 18.2; Manusmṛti 1.114; 5.18.

3) A deposit, trust; एतद्राज्यं मम भ्रात्रा दत्तं संन्यास- मुत्तमम् (etadrājyaṃ mama bhrātrā dattaṃ saṃnyāsa- muttamam) Rām.2.115.14.

4) A stake or wager in a game.

5) Giving up the body, death.

6) Indian spikenard.

7) Compact, agreement.

Derivable forms: saṃnyāsaḥ (संन्यासः).

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

Saṃnyasa (संन्यस).—read (with Index, Tibetan Index, and Miro-nov) saṃnyāsa, m. (in Sanskrit complete exhaustion, [Boehtlingk and Roth] s.v. 3), a kind of disease: Mahāvyutpatti 9553 = Tibetan rme bya (read rme ba, spots, (birth-)marks on the skin; so Chin., moles, spots on the body) or rmya ba (nausea; according to [Tibetan-English Dictionary] also degenera- tion, decay).

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

Sannyāsa (सन्न्यास).—m.

(-saḥ) 1. Abandonment of all worldly affections and possessions. 2. Abandonment in general. 3. Deposit, trust, or relinquishment to. 4. Sudden death. 5. A stake in game. 6. Indian spikenard. E. sam and ni before as to throw, to cast off, and ghañ aff.

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

Saṃnyāsa (संन्यास).—i. e. sam-ni- 2. as + a, m. 1. Abandonment. 2. Abandonment of all worldey affections and possessions, and fixing one’s mind only on the Supreme, pirit, [Mānavadharmaśāstra] 1, 114; 5, 108. 3. Deposit, trust. 4. Stake (in game), [Nala] 26, 5. 5. Sudden death. 6. Indian spikenard.

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

Saṃnyāsa (संन्यास).—[masculine] deposit, trust, stake (at a play); convention, agreement; relinquishment, resignation, abandonment of the world.

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

1) Saṃnyāsa (संन्यास):—[=saṃ-nyāsa] [from saṃny-as] m. (ifc. f(ā). ) putting or throwing down, laying aside, resignation, abandonment of ([genitive case] or [compound]), [Mahābhārata; Rāmāyaṇa; Sarvadarśana-saṃgraha]

2) [v.s. ...] renunciation of the world, profession of asceticism, [Manu-smṛti; Mahābhārata] etc.

3) [v.s. ...] abstinence from food, [cf. Lexicographers, esp. such as amarasiṃha, halāyudha, hemacandra, etc.]

4) [v.s. ...] giving up the body, sudden death, [Horace H. Wilson]

5) [v.s. ...] complete exhaustion, [Suśruta]

6) [v.s. ...] deposit, trust, [Rāmāyaṇa; Mṛcchakaṭikā]

7) [v.s. ...] compact, agreement, [Kathāsaritsāgara]

8) [v.s. ...] stake, wager, [Mahābhārata]

9) [v.s. ...] Indian spikenard, [cf. Lexicographers, esp. such as amarasiṃha, halāyudha, hemacandra, etc.]

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

Sannyāsa (सन्न्यास):—[sannyā-sa] (saḥ) 1. m. Indian spikenard; abandonment of the world; deposit; sudden death.

Source: DDSA: Paia-sadda-mahannavo; a comprehensive Prakrit Hindi dictionary (S)

Saṃnyāsa (संन्यास) in the Sanskrit language is related to the Prakrit word: Saṃṇāsa.

[Sanskrit to German]

Samnyasa 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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Hindi dictionary

[«previous next»] — Samnyasa in Hindi glossary
Source: DDSA: A practical Hindi-English dictionary

Saṃnyāsa (संन्यास) [Also spelled sanyas]:—(nm) renunciation, asceticism; abandonment of worldly ties or mundane interests; the fourth stage of life according to Hindu tradition (when one is supposed to renounce all worldly considerations)—see [āśrama; —lenā] to renounce the world.

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Kannada-English dictionary

Source: Alar: Kannada-English corpus

Saṃnyāsa (ಸಂನ್ಯಾಸ):—

1) [noun] a giving up (something for ever).

2) [noun] renunciation of the worldly life; resignation; the life of a religious ascetic.

3) [noun] the fourth stage in the Hindu way of life in which a person has to live a life of an ascetic.

4) [noun] something entrusted to another as a pledge.

5) [noun] something staked as a bet in a game of chance.

6) [noun] cessation of life; death.

7) [noun] the plant Nardostachys jatamansi of Valerianaceae family.

8) [noun] a perfume made from this plant.

9) [noun] a pack; a covenant; an agreement.

context information

Kannada is a Dravidian language (as opposed to the Indo-European language family) mainly spoken in the southwestern region of India.

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