Shramana, Śramaṇa: 18 definitions


Shramana means something in Buddhism, Pali, Hinduism, Sanskrit, Jainism, Prakrit, the history of ancient India, 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.

The Sanskrit term Śramaṇa can be transliterated into English as Sramana or Shramana, using the IAST transliteration scheme (?).

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In Hinduism

Purana and Itihasa (epic history)

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

Śramaṇa (श्रमण).—A sage; nine sons of Ṛṣabha became this.*

  • * Bhāgavata-purāṇa V. 3. 20; XI. 2. 20.
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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Yoga (school of philosophy)

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

Śramaṇa (श्रमण) refers to an “Ascetic”, according to the Dattātreyayogaśāstra 41-42.—Accordingly, “Whether a Brahmin, an ascetic (Śramaṇa), a Buddhist, a Jain, a Skull-Bearer or a materialist, the wise man who is endowed with faith and constantly devoted to the practice of [haṭha] yoga will attain complete success”.

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)

Source: A Study and Translation of the Gaganagañjaparipṛcchā

Śrāmaṇa (श्रामण) (Cf. Śrāmaṇaka) refers to “(qualities of) ascetics”, according to the Gaganagañjaparipṛcchā: the eighth chapter of the Mahāsaṃnipāta (a collection of Mahāyāna Buddhist Sūtras).—Accordingly, “[...] What is called ‘exhaustion’ is a designation for extinction, and thus all dharmas are the same as extinction. Why is that? Because it is without adversary. Just as there is no adversary in open space, so there is no adversary in all dharmas. Those who seek extinction in the perspective of an adversary see birth and death, and those who think that these dharmas will be born and will die never know the sameness of extinction since they practice in birth and death. Therefore, the Lord said ‘You should know, you should know. Do not dispute, do not dispute. Fulfill the indisputable excellent qualities of ascetics (śrāmaṇa)!’ [...]”.

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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General definition (in Buddhism)

Source: Wisdom Library: Buddhism

Shramana:—One who leaves worldly cares and becomes a monastic seeker of the way.

Source: WikiPedia: Buddhism

A shramana is a wandering monk in certain ascetic traditions of ancient India including Jainism, Buddhism, and Ājīvikism. Famous śramaṇas include Mahavira and Gautama Buddha.

Traditionally, a shramana is one who renounces the world and leads an ascetic life for the purpose of spiritual development and liberation. Typicaly, shramanas assert that human beings are responsible for their own deeds and reap the fruits of those deeds, for good or ill. Liberation, therefore, may be achieved by anybody irrespective of caste, creed, color or culture (in contrast to certain historical caste-based traditions) providing the necessary effort is made. The cycle of reincarnation, saṃsāra, to which every individual is subject, is viewed as the cause and substratum of misery. The goal of every person is to evolve a way to escape from the cycle of rebirth. Shramanic traditions dispense with the rites and rituals of formal religion as factors in emancipation, emphasizing instead the paramount importance of ascetic endeavor and personal conduct.

Shramana; (Sanskrit śramaṇa श्रमण, Pāli samaṇa)

In Jainism

General definition (in Jainism)

Source: HereNow4U: Bhagwaan Mahaveer Evam Jain Darshan

A śramaṇa (श्रमण) or monk closes the passages of passion (attachment and aversion) and annihilates the karmas accumulated during millions of births. As a large tank, when its supply of water has been stopped, gradually dries up by consumption of the water and by evaporation, so the Karman of a monk, which he acquired in millions of birth, is annihilated by austerities, if there is no influx of bad Karman.

Source: HereNow4u: Jain Dharma ka Maulika Itihasa (2)

Śramaṇa (श्रमण) refers to “asceticism” or “mendicancy”, according to the Upāsaka Daśā, one of the Dvādaśāṅgī (twelve Aṅgas) of Jainism.—[...] All these upāsakas described in the scriptures are householders following the twelve vows (vratas). Except Mahāśataka, all others had only one wife each. For 14 years each of them abided the holy vows meant for the householder and during the fifteenth year, with an intention to get closer to asceticism (śramaṇa-dharma), they entrusted the household responsibilities to their eldest sons,  while still in the garb of a householder, slowly & steadily relinquished all their previous possessions and finally as a mendicant (śramaṇa-bhūta), by thought, word and deed (trikaraṇa) and controlling all the three types of activities (triyoga), they practised spiritual-exertion (sādhanā) to renounce their sins.

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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India history and geography

Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: Indian Epigraphical Glossary

Śramaṇa.—(EI 8; CII 3; LL; BL), a Buddhist or Jain monk; an ascetic. Note: śramaṇa is defined in the “Indian epigraphical glossary” as it can be found on ancient inscriptions commonly written in Sanskrit, Prakrit or Dravidian languages.

India history book cover
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The history of India traces the identification of countries, villages, towns and other regions of India, as well as mythology, zoology, royal dynasties, rulers, tribes, local festivities and traditions and regional languages. Ancient India enjoyed religious freedom and encourages the path of Dharma, a concept common to Buddhism, Hinduism, and Jainism.

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Languages of India and abroad

Sanskrit dictionary

Source: DDSA: The practical Sanskrit-English dictionary

Śramaṇa (श्रमण).—a. (-ṇā, -ṇī f.) [श्रम्-युच् (śram-yuc)]

1) Labouring, toiling.

2) Low, base, vile.

3) Naked.

-ṇaḥ 1 An ascetic, a devotee, religious mendicant in general; श्रमणोऽश्रमणः (śramaṇo'śramaṇaḥ) (bhavati) Bṛ. Up.4.3.22; Mahābhārata (Bombay) 12.154.21; Bhāgavata 5. 3.2.

2) A Buddhist or Jain ascetic.

3) A beggar.

-ṇā, -ṇī 1 A female devotee or mendicant.

2) A lovely woman.

3) A woman of low caste.

4) A hard-working woman.

5) Bengal madder.

6) The spikenard.

-ṇam Toil, exertion.

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

Śramaṇa (श्रमण).—name of a nāga: Mahāvyutpatti 3329; compare Śrāmaṇe- raka (2). (On śramaṇa for śravaṇa see the latter.)

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Śrāmaṇa (श्रामण).—nt. (Sanskrit Gr. id.; to śramaṇa plus -a; = śrāmaṇya), monkhood: (naiṣa…mārgo nirvṛtaye… na) °ṇāya na brāhmaṇāya (q.v., 2) na nirvāṇāya saṃ- vartate Lalitavistara 245.13 (prose). Some mss. śramaṇāya, which here makes no sense. (In Divyāvadāna 338.13 śrāmaṇāḥ, misprint for śra°.)

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

Śramaṇa (श्रमण).—mfn.

(-ṇaḥ-ṇā-ṇaṃ) 1. Following a low or degraded business or profession. 2. Base, vile, bad. m.

(-ṇaḥ) 1. A religious character, an ascetic, a Yati, one devoted to meditation for the purpose of obtaining final emancipation from existence, probably the Sarmanes of the Greek writers. 2. A beggar, the religious mendicant. f. (-ṇā or ṇī) 1. Indian spikenard, (Valeriana Jatamansi.) 2. Bengal madder, (Rubia manjith.) 3. A handsome woman. 4. A woman of low caste or business. 5. A female mendicant. E. śram to be wearied, aff. yuc .

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

Śramaṇa (श्रमण).—i. e. śram + ana, I. adj. 1. Following a low business. 2. Base. Ii. m. 1. An ascetic, a Bauddha friar, [Rājataraṅgiṇī] 5, 427. 2. A religious mendicant, [Rāmāyaṇa] 1, 13, 13. Iii. f. ṇā. 1. A female mendicant; also ṇī, [Rāmāyaṇa] 2, 38, 5. 2. A woman of low caste or business. 3. A handsome woman.

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

Śramaṇa (श्रमण).—[masculine] ā & ī [feminine] ascetic, mendicant; [neuter] toil, exertion.

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

1) Śramaṇa (श्रमण):—[from śram] mf(ā or ī)n. making effort or exertion, toiling, labouring, ([especially]) following a toilsome or menial business, [Horace H. Wilson]

2) [v.s. ...] base, vile, bad, [ib.]

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

4) [v.s. ...] m. one who performs acts of mortification or austerity, an ascetic, monk, devotee, religious mendicant, [Śatapatha-brāhmaṇa] etc. etc.

5) [v.s. ...] a Buddhist monk or mendicant (also applied to Buddha himself cf. [Monier-Williams’ Buddhism 23 etc.]; also applied to a Jain ascetic now commonly called Yati), [Mahābhārata; Rāmāyaṇa] etc.

6) [v.s. ...] Name of a serpent-demon, [Buddhist literature]

7) [v.s. ...] (ā or ī), a female mendicant or nun, [cf. Lexicographers, esp. such as amarasiṃha, halāyudha, hemacandra, etc.]

8) [v.s. ...] a hard-working woman, [cf. Lexicographers, esp. such as amarasiṃha, halāyudha, hemacandra, etc.]

9) Śramaṇā (श्रमणा):—[from śramaṇa > śram] f. a handsome woman, [cf. Lexicographers, esp. such as amarasiṃha, halāyudha, hemacandra, etc.]

10) [v.s. ...] = śabarī-bhid, māṃsī, muṇḍīrī, [cf. Lexicographers, esp. such as amarasiṃha, halāyudha, hemacandra, etc.]

11) Śramaṇa (श्रमण):—[from śram] n. toil, labour, exertion, [Śāṅkhāyana-śrauta-sūtra]

12) Śrāmaṇa (श्रामण):—[from śram] n. ([from] śramaṇa) [gana] yuvādi

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

Śramaṇa (श्रमण):—[(ṇaḥ-ṇā-ṇaṃ) m.] A religious character, an ascetic, a beggar. 1. f. Indian spikenard; a fine or a low woman. a. Following a low trade, base.

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

Śramaṇa (श्रमण) in the Sanskrit language is related to the Prakrit words: Samaṇa, Sāmaṇa, Sāmaṇiya.

[Sanskrit to German]

Shramana 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»] — Shramana in Hindi glossary
Source: DDSA: A practical Hindi-English dictionary

Śramaṇa (श्रमण) [Also spelled sraman]:—(nm) a Buddhist monk/mendicant.

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Kannada-English dictionary

Source: Alar: Kannada-English corpus

Śramaṇa (ಶ್ರಮಣ):—

1) [adjective] working hard; labouring.

2) [adjective] of low quality; mean; base; wicked.

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Śramaṇa (ಶ್ರಮಣ):—

1) [noun] the act of working hard; an exerting of oneself.

2) [noun] a wicked man.

3) [noun] a religious ascetic.

4) [noun] a buddhist monk or ascetic.

5) [noun] a jaina monk or ascetic.

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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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