Shramana, aka: Śramaṇa; 4 Definition(s)


Shramana means something in Buddhism, Pali, Hinduism, Sanskrit, Jainism, Prakrit. 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 (?).

In Hinduism


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

  • * Bhāgavata-purāṇa V. 3. 20; XI. 2. 20.
(Source): Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: The Purana Index
Purāṇa book cover
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The Purāṇas (पुराण, purana) refers to Sanskrit literature preserving ancient India’s vast cultural history, including historical legends, religious ceremonies, various arts and sciences. The eighteen mahāpurāṇas total over 400,000 ślokas (metrical couplets) and date to at least several centuries BCE.

In Buddhism

General definition (in 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)

(Source): WikiPedia: Buddhism

In Jainism

General definition (in Jainism)

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: Bhagwaan Mahaveer Evam Jain Darshan
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.

Languages of India and abroad

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; Mb.12.154.21; Bhāg.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): DDSA: The practical Sanskrit-English dictionary
context information

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.

Relevant definitions

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