Samsaracakra, Saṃsāracakra, Samsara-cakra: 8 definitions


Samsaracakra means something in Buddhism, Pali, Hinduism, Sanskrit, Jainism, Prakrit, 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.

Alternative spellings of this word include Samsarachakra.

In Hinduism

Yoga (school of philosophy)

[«previous next»] — Samsaracakra in Yoga glossary
Source: ORA: Amanaska (king of all yogas): A Critical Edition and Annotated Translation by Jason Birch

Saṃsāracakra (संसारचक्र) refers to the “cycle of birth and death”, according to the Śivayogadīpikā by Sadāśivayogīśvara: a text dealing with Śaivism and Haṭhayoga in two hundred and eighty-nine verses.—Accordingly, while discussing the difference between Rājayoga and Śaivayoga: “[...] Devotion is gnosis full of Śiva, and Śaiva gnosis is Śiva’s nature. Since Śaiva observance is worship of Śiva, Śiva's yoga is five-fold. He who is without the practice [of worshipping] Śiva is certainly a bound soul, and he goes round and round forever in this cycle of birth and death (saṃsāracakra)”.

Yoga book cover
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Yoga is originally considered a branch of Hindu philosophy (astika), but both ancient and modern Yoga combine the physical, mental and spiritual. Yoga teaches various physical techniques also known as āsanas (postures), used for various purposes (eg., meditation, contemplation, relaxation).

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In Buddhism

Mahayana (major branch of Buddhism)

[«previous next»] — Samsaracakra in Mahayana glossary
Source: Wisdom Library: Maha Prajnaparamita Sastra

Saṃsāracakra (संसारचक्र) refers to the “wheel of transmigration”, according to  the 2nd century Mahāprajñāpāramitāśāstra chapter 46.—Accordingly, “[...] While the wheel of transmigration (saṃsāracakra) is in movement, among the profitable actions there is none that surpasses generosity. Conveniences obtainable at will in the present lifetime and in future lifetimes all come from generosity. Generosity is the good guide that opens the doorway to the threefold happiness: heavenly happiness, human happiness and the happiness of nirvāṇa. [...]”..

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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In Jainism

General definition (in Jainism)

[«previous next»] — Samsaracakra in Jainism glossary
Source: The University of Sydney: A study of the Twelve Reflections

Saṃsāracakra (संसारचक्र) refers to the “whirlpool of the cycle of existence”, according to the 11th century Jñānārṇava, a treatise on Jain Yoga in roughly 2200 Sanskrit verses composed by Śubhacandra.—Accordingly, “Those who throw you into the whirlpool of life [com.saṃsāracakra—‘into the whirlpool of the cycle of existence’] are certainly not [your] friends. Having shown [you] what is beneficial, yogis will form a kinship with you”.

Synonyms: Bhavāvarta.

Source: Singhi Jain Series: Ratnaprabha-suri’s Kuvalayamala-katha

Saṃsāracakra (संसारचक्र) refers to the description of the three worlds (i.e., hell, humans and gods), according to Uddyotanasūri in his 8th-century Kuvalayamālā (a Prakrit Campū, similar to Kāvya poetry).—Page 185.21 f.: Here follows a description of two printed scrolls, one illustrating the Jaina conception of saṃsāracakra and the other of Bhavāntaras. The saṃsāracakra was also painted by Buddhists on a ceiling at Ajanta. It is stated in Divyāvadāna that Bhavacakra was painted in the dvāra-prakoṣṭha or the entrance of the royal palace. It is little surprising that the different parts of the painting were explained by being pointed out with a long stick. The saṃsāracakra illustrated the three worlds of hell, human world and the world of gods.

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

[«previous next»] — Samsaracakra in Marathi glossary
Source: DDSA: The Molesworth Marathi and English Dictionary

saṃsāracakra (संसारचक्र).—n (S Wheel of the world.) The world or human life viewed as constituted of changes and chances, of vicissitudes and ever-varying scenes or forms; the whirl and maze of mundane affairs or secular life.

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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

[«previous next»] — Samsaracakra in Sanskrit glossary
Source: DDSA: The practical Sanskrit-English dictionary

Saṃsāracakra (संसारचक्र).—succession of births and deaths, metempsychosis.

Derivable forms: saṃsāracakram (संसारचक्रम्).

Saṃsāracakra is a Sanskrit compound consisting of the terms saṃsāra and cakra (चक्र).

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

Saṃsāracakra (संसारचक्र):—[=saṃ-sāra-cakra] [from saṃ-sāra > saṃ-sṛ] n. the world comp° to a wheel, [Maitrī-upaniṣad]

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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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Kannada-English dictionary

[«previous next»] — Samsaracakra in Kannada glossary
Source: Alar: Kannada-English corpus

Saṃsāracakra (ಸಂಸಾರಚಕ್ರ):—[noun] the unending cycle of births and deaths that an individual soul has to go through.

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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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See also (Relevant definitions)

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