Saptaratna, Sapta-ratna: 8 definitions



Saptaratna 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)

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

Saptaratna (सप्तरत्न).—(of emperors); cakra, chariot, precious stones, consort, treasure, horses and elephants.*

  • * Vāyu-purāṇa 57. 68.
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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Kavya (poetry)

[«previous next»] — Saptaratna in Kavya glossary
Source: Wisdom Library: Kathāsaritsāgara

Saptaratna (सप्तरत्न) refers to the seven jewels of a Cakravartin, as mentioned in the Kathāsaritsāgara, chapter 109. Accordingly, “... then he [Naravāhanadatta] obtained the moonlight-jewel and the wife-jewel, and the jewel of charms, named the destroying charm. And thus having achieved in all seven jewels [saptaratna] (useful in time of need, and bestowers of majesty), taking into account the two first, the lake and the sandalwood-tree, he went out from that cave and told the hermit Vāmadeva that he had succeeded in accomplishing all his objects”.

Note: The seven jewels of the Cakravartin are often mentioned in Buddhist works. In the Mahāvastu, p. 108 (edited by Sénart) they are: chariot, elephant, horse, wife, householder, general. The number and variety of the “jewels” or ratnas varies, although seven was the usual number.

The Kathāsaritsāgara (‘ocean of streams of story’), mentioning saptaratna, is a famous Sanskrit epic story revolving around prince Naravāhanadatta and his quest to become the emperor of the vidyādharas (celestial beings). The work is said to have been an adaptation of Guṇāḍhya’s Bṛhatkathā consisting of 100,000 verses, which in turn is part of a larger work containing 700,000 verses.

context information

Kavya (काव्य, kavya) refers to Sanskrit poetry, a popular ancient Indian tradition of literature. There have been many Sanskrit poets over the ages, hailing from ancient India and beyond. This topic includes mahakavya, or ‘epic poetry’ and natya, or ‘dramatic poetry’.

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In Buddhism

Tibetan Buddhism (Vajrayana or tantric Buddhism)

Source: Tibetan Buddhism: Vajrakilaya

Saptaratna (सप्तरत्न) refers to the “the seven emblems of royalty” (Tib. རྒྱལ་སྲིད་སྣ་བདུན་, gyal si na dün, Wyl. rgyal srid sna bdun) are the seven possessions of a universal monarch (Skt. cakravartin). They are:

  1. the precious golden wheel (Skt. cakraratna; Wyl. 'khor lo rin po che),
  2. the precious wish-fulfilling jewel (Skt. maṇiratna; Wyl. nor bu rin po che),
  3. the precious queen (Skt. strīratna; Wyl. btsun mo rin po che),
  4. the precious minister (Skt. puruṣaratna or pariṇāyakaratna; Wyl. blon po rin po che),
  5. the precious elephant (Skt. hastiratna; Wyl. glang po rin po che),
  6. the precious horse (Skt. aśvaratna; Wyl. rta mchog rin po che), and
  7. the precious general (Skt. khaḍgaratna or senāpatiratna; Wyl. dmag dpon rin po che).

These symbolize “the seven noble riches”. In the Thirty-seven Point Mandala Offering, the vase of great treasure is added as an eighth emblem.

Tibetan Buddhism book cover
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Tibetan Buddhism includes schools such as Nyingma, Kadampa, Kagyu and Gelug. Their primary canon of literature is divided in two broad categories: The Kangyur, which consists of Buddha’s words, and the Tengyur, which includes commentaries from various sources. Esotericism and tantra techniques (vajrayāna) are collected indepently.

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Mahayana (major branch of Buddhism)

[«previous next»] — Saptaratna in Mahayana glossary
Source: Google Books: Power, Wealth and Women in Indian Mahayana Buddhism

Saptaratna (सप्तरत्न, “seven treasures”).—Commonly occurring in the Gaṇḍavyūha (and several other Mahāyāna sūtras) are seven treasures (saptaratna):

  1. gold (suvarṇa),
  2. silver (rūpya),
  3. lapis lazulio (vaiḍūrya),
  4. crystal (sphaṭika),
  5. red pearl (lokitamukti),
  6. emerald (aśmigarbha),
  7. coral (musāragalva).

Also mentioned frequently are diamonds (vajra), gems (ratna), jewels (maṇi), and maṇi-gems (maṇiratna).

Mahayana book cover
context information

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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General definition (in Buddhism)

[«previous next»] — Saptaratna in Buddhism glossary
Source: Wisdom Library: Dharma-samgraha

Saptaratna (सप्तरत्न) refers to the “seven jewels of Universal Monarchs” as defined in the Dharma-saṃgraha (section 85):

  1. cakra-ratna (the wheel jewel),
  2. aśva-ratna (the horse jewel),
  3. hasti-ratna (the elephant jewel),
  4. maṇi-ratna (the gem jewel),
  5. strī-ratna (the woman jewel),
  6. khaṅga-ratna (the rhinoceros jewel),
  7. pariṇāyaka-ratna (the advisor jewel).

The Dharma-samgraha (Dharmasangraha) is an extensive glossary of Buddhist technical terms in Sanskrit (e.g., saptaratna). The work is attributed to Nagarjuna who lived around the 2nd century A.D.

Source: Soka Gakkai International: The Soka Gakkai Dictionary of Buddhism

Saptaratna (सप्तरत्न, “seven kinds of treasures”) or ‘seven treasures’ or ‘seven kinds of gems’. Precious substances mentioned in the sutras. The list differs among the Buddhist scriptures. According to the Lotus Sutra, the seven are:

  1. gold,
  2. silver,
  3. lapis lazuli,
  4. seashell,
  5. agate,
  6. pearl, and
  7. carnelian.

In the "Treasure Tower" (eleventh) chapter of the sutra, the treasure tower adorned with these seven kinds of treasures appears from beneath the earth.

Languages of India and abroad

Sanskrit dictionary

[«previous next»] — Saptaratna in Sanskrit glossary
Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: Aufrecht Catalogus Catalogorum

1) Saptaratna (सप्तरत्न) as mentioned in Aufrecht’s Catalogus Catalogorum:—kāvya. Rādh. 22.
—stotra. Oppert. Ii, 2280. 6489.

2) Saptaratna (सप्तरत्न):—kāvya. Stein 75. Printed in Ha7berlin p. 5.

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

Saptaratna (सप्तरत्न):—[=sapta-ratna] [from sapta > saptan] n. Name of various works.

context information

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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