Sanu, aka: Sānu, Saṇu; 7 Definition(s)


Sanu 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.

In Hinduism

Purana and Itihasa (epic history)

Saṇu (सणु).—A country of ancient India. (Mahābhārata, Bhīṣma Parva Chapter 9, Verse 43).

Source: Puranic Encyclopaedia

Sānu (सानु).—A son of Satyabhāmā and Kṛṣṇa.*

  • * Brahmāṇḍa-purāṇa III. 71. 247; Vāyu-purāṇa 96. 238.
Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: The Purana Index
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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Ayurveda (science of life)

Sanu (सनु) or Sānu or Sānunī refers to the “top” or “peak” of a mountain (giri) according to the second chapter (dharaṇyādi-varga) of the 13th-century Raj Nighantu or Rājanighaṇṭu (an Ayurvedic encyclopedia). The Dharaṇyādi-varga covers the lands, soil, mountains [viz., Sanu], jungles and vegetation’s relations between trees and plants and substances, with their various kinds.

Source: Wisdom Library: Raj Nighantu
Ayurveda book cover
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Āyurveda (आयुर्वेद, ayurveda) is a branch of Indian science dealing with medicine, herbalism, taxology, anatomy, surgery, alchemy and related topics. Traditional practice of Āyurveda in ancient India dates back to at least the first millenium BC. Literature is commonly written in Sanskrit using various poetic metres.

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In Buddhism

Theravada (major branch of Buddhism)

He was born in a family of Savatthi after his father had left home for the ascetic life. The mother, naming him Sanu, took him at the age of seven to the monks for ordination, thinking thus to ensure for him supreme happiness. He was known as Sanu (Sanu Samanera) the Novice, and became a very learned teacher of the doctrine, practising the meditation of love (metta), and was popular among gods and men.

His mother in a previous birth was a Yakkha. Later, Sanu lost his intellectual discernment and grew distraught and longed to go roaming. His former Yakkha mother seeing this, warned his human mother as described in the Sanu Sutta (q.v.). The latter was overwhelmed with grief, and, when Sanu visited her, he found her weeping. She told him that he was as good as dead in that he had rejected the Buddhas teaching and turned again to lower things, hence her sorrow. Sanu was filled with anguish, and, strengthening his insight, he soon won arahantship (ThagA.i.113f).

He is evidently identical with Udakadayaka of the Apadana (Ap.i.205). In the past, he saw Siddhattha Buddha having his meal and brought him water for his hands and feet and face and mouth. Sixty one kappas ago he was a king, named Vimala.

The story of Sanu is given also in the Samyutta and Dhammapada Commentaries (SA.i.235ff.; DhA.iv.18ff), but the details differ. There, Sanus human mother is portrayed as encouraging him to return to the lay life. His Yakkha mother went to his human mothers home, where Sanu was waiting for a meal, took possession of his body, twisted his neck, and felled him to the ground, where he lay foaming at the mouth. Sanus mother was filled with despair. The Yakkhini then revealed herself and exhorted Sanu not to behave foolishly by disregarding the Buddhas teaching. When he regained his senses, his human mother, too, pointed out the disadvantages of household life. When he declared his intention of not returning to lay life, she fed him with choice food and gave him a set of three robes that he might receive the upasampada ordination. He then sought the Buddha, who urged him to fresh and strenuous effort. Sanu was famous as a mighty teacher throughout Jambudipa. He lived to one hundred and twenty years.

Source: Pali Kanon: Pali Proper Names
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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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Languages of India and abroad

Pali-English dictionary

sānu : (f.; nt.) a table land.

Source: BuddhaSasana: Concise Pali-English Dictionary

Sānu, (m. and nt.) (Vedic sānu) ridge Vv 3210; J. III, 172. The commentary on the former passage (VvA. 136), translates vana wood, that on the latter paṃsupabbata; sānupabbata a forest-hill J. IV, 277; VI, 415, 540; pabbatasānu-° J. III, 175; girisānu-° J. III, 301; IV, 195. (Page 704)

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

Sānu (सानु).—m., n.

1) A peak, summit, ridge; सानूनि गन्धः सुरभीकरोति (sānūni gandhaḥ surabhīkaroti) Ku.1.9; Me.2. Ki.5.36.

2) A level ground on the top of a mountain, table-land.

3) A shoot, sprout.

4) A forest, wood; आसीद् विशालो- त्तमसानुलक्ष्म्या पयोदपङ्क्त्येव परीतपार्श्वम् (āsīd viśālo- ttamasānulakṣmyā payodapaṅktyeva parītapārśvam) Bu. Ch.1.2.

5) A road.

6) Any surface, point, end.

7) A precipice.

8) A gale of wind.

9) A learned man.

1) The sun.

Source: DDSA: The practical Sanskrit-English dictionary
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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. 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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Relevant definitions

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Adrisānu (अद्रिसानु).—mountain peak. Adrisānu is a Sanskrit compound consisting of the terms ad...
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