Shunya, Śūnya, Śūnyā, Śunya: 21 definitions
Shunya means something in Buddhism, Pali, Hinduism, Sanskrit, the history of ancient India, Marathi, 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 terms Śūnya and Śūnyā and Śunya can be transliterated into English as Sunya or Shunya, using the IAST transliteration scheme (?).
Alternative spellings of this word include Shuny.
Images (photo gallery)
Natyashastra (theatrics and dramaturgy)Source: Wisdom Library: Nāṭya-śāstra
Śūnyā (शून्या, “vacant”) refers to a specific “glance” (dṛṣṭi), according to the Nāṭyaśāstra chapter 8. This is a type of glance that expresses a ‘transitory state’ (saṃcāribhāva). There are a total thirty-six glances defined.Source: archive.org: The mirror of gesture (abhinaya-darpana)
A type of glance (or facial expression): Śūnya (vacant): eyelids level, pupils visible, motionless, gaze vacant. Usage: misunderstanding (bāhyārtha-grahaṇa).Source: archive.org: Natya Shastra
Śūnyā (शून्या).—A type of glance (dṛṣṭi) expressing a transitory state (saṃcāribhāva);—The Glance which is weak and motionless and in which the eyeballs and the eyelids are in ordinary position (lit. level), and which turns to the space and is not attentive to external objects is called Śūnyā (vacant).
Uses of Śūnyā (vacant)—in anxiety and paralysis (motionlessness).
Natyashastra (नाट्यशास्त्र, nāṭyaśāstra) refers to both the ancient Indian tradition (śāstra) of performing arts, (nāṭya, e.g., theatrics, drama, dance, music), as well as the name of a Sanskrit work dealing with these subjects. It also teaches the rules for composing dramatic plays (nataka) and poetic works (kavya).
Jyotisha (astronomy and astrology)Source: Wikibooks (hi): Sanskrit Technical Terms
Śunya (शुन्य).—Void. Note: Śunya is a Sanskrit technical term used in ancient Indian sciences such as Astronomy, Mathematics and Geometry.
Jyotisha (ज्योतिष, jyotiṣa or jyotish) refers to ‘astronomy’ or “Vedic astrology” and represents the fifth of the six Vedangas (additional sciences to be studied along with the Vedas). Jyotisha concerns itself with the study and prediction of the movements of celestial bodies, in order to calculate the auspicious time for rituals and ceremonies.
Ayurveda (science of life)Source: gurumukhi.ru: Ayurveda glossary of terms
Śūnya (शून्य):—[śūnyaḥ] Expressionless blank, it is a symptom produced in the third impulse of animal poisoning.
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.
Shaktism (Shakta philosophy)Source: Google Books: Manthanabhairavatantram
1) Śūnya (शून्य) refers to the “void”, according to the Manthānabhairavatantra, a vast sprawling work that belongs to a corpus of Tantric texts concerned with the worship of the goddess Kubjikā.—Accordingly, “[...] The groups of six [i.e., ṣaṭka/ṣaṭprakārā], deployed and worshipped in the six corners of the hexagon in the core of the maṇḍala, are primary emanations of the goddess who ‘spreads herself out’ (vikāsikā, vikāsinī) from the centre of the Triangle. There, in the dimensionless point (bindu) in the centre, she abides formless (nirākārā) and undifferentiated (niṣkalā) as the genderless absolute (napuṃsakā) both as and within the transcendent which, as the very absence of phenomenal existence (abhāva), is void (śūnya) like space (ākāśa) or the sky (kha). [...]”.
2) Śūnya (शून्य) or Śāśvataśūnya refers to the “eternal void”, representing one of the “sixteen stations of the ascent of kuṇḍalinī”, according to the Manthānabhairavatantra.—Accordingly, “[...] (16) Above that is the eternal Void [i.e., śāśvata-śūnya—śāśvataṃ śūnyaṃ]. (There) one should think of nothing. Then, having emptied the mind (one attains) Nirvāṇa, the supreme plane. Having contemplated the End of the Nine, which is supreme, (one attains) Nirvāṇa, the supreme plane. The renouncer, having contemplated the End of the Nine, is freed from bondage. [...] (Perfect) contemplation (samādhi) is with (these) sixteen aspects and is (attained) within the form of the sixfold deposition (ṣoḍhānyāsa). He who knows this is (a veritable) Lord of Yogis, the others (who do not) are (just) quoting from books. Once attained the plane that is Void and Non-void, the yogi is freed from bondage”.
Shakta (शाक्त, śākta) or Shaktism (śāktism) represents a tradition of Hinduism where the Goddess (Devi) is revered and worshipped. Shakta literature includes a range of scriptures, including various Agamas and Tantras, although its roots may be traced back to the Vedas.
Mahayana (major branch of Buddhism)Source: Wisdom Library: Maha Prajnaparamita Sastra
Śūnya (शून्य, “empty”) refers to one of the eight kinds of contemplations (anupaśyanā) among the Buddha’s disciples, according to the 2nd century Mahāprajñāpāramitāśāstra (chapter XVI). Accordingly, “for them, everything is impermanent (anitya), suffering (duḥkha), empty (śūnya), egoless (anātmaka), like a sickness (roga), an ulcer (gaṇḍa), like an arrow (śalya) stuck in one’s body, like an agony (agha)”.
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.
Tibetan Buddhism (Vajrayana or tantric Buddhism)Source: archive.org: The Indian Buddhist Iconography
Śūnya (शून्य) refers to the “infinite energy” that is invoked by the psychic force controlled by the desire (bhāvanā) of the worshipper, according to Vajrayāna Buddhism.—The Infinite Energy is Śūnya in Vajrayāna, and this Śūnya is invoked by the worshippers of different classes with different desires (bhāvanā) and different degrees mental development. As Śūnya is invoked in for thousand and one purposes, it manifests itself in thousand and one ways, in thousand and one forms, and it is precisely in this manner that the number of deities in the Buddhist pantheon increased to an enormous extent. The psychic exercise prescribed in the case of different deities is different in the Sādhanas.
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.
India history and geographySource: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: Indian Epigraphical Glossary
Śūnya.—(IE 7-1-2), ‘cypher’. Note: śūnya is defined in the “Indian epigraphical glossary” as it can be found on ancient inscriptions commonly written in Sanskrit, Prakrit or Dravidian languages.
The history of India traces the identification of countries, villages, towns and other regions of India, as well as 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.
Languages of India and abroad
Marathi-English dictionarySource: DDSA: The Molesworth Marathi and English Dictionary
śūnya (शून्य).—n (S) Voidness, vacancy, inanity, emptiness, nihility or nothingness: also a void or vacuum, the profundum or inane. 2 (Because represents emptiness.) A cipher. Applied also (from the circularity of its form) to the dot of the anu- svāra & visarga; and to a dot more generally. 3 Shy or space, the profundum or inane.
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śūnya (शून्य).—a (S) Void, vacant, empty, destitute, wanting. In this sense, although not confined to composition, śūnya most frequently and approvedly occurs thus; as dravyaśūnya, jñānaśūnya, yuktiśūnya, artha- śūnya, jalaśūnya, śaktiśūnya, vṛkṣaśūnya, puṣpaśūnya, parṇaśūnya. 2 Bare, naked, unfurnished, drearily or disagreeably empty or void. 3 Desolate or desert. Ex. śūnyamandira, śūnyagṛha, śūnyaprānta, śūnyasthala. 4 Benumbed or of lost sensation. śūnyasthānīṃ paḍaṇēṃ To be lost or wasted; to be cast upon the sands, given to the winds &c. Ex. jaisēṃ annēṃ kēlīṃ svādiṣṭa || pari jēvaṇāra tē rōgiṣṭa || tariṃ tē sugariṇīcē kaṣṭa || śūnyasthānīṃ paḍiyēlē ||.Source: DDSA: The Aryabhusan school dictionary, Marathi-English
śūnya (शून्य).—n Voidness. A cipher; a dot. The profundum. a Void, vacant, empty, destitute. Frequently in com. as dravyaśūnya. Bare. Desolate. Of lest sensation.
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.
Sanskrit dictionarySource: DDSA: The practical Sanskrit-English dictionary
Śunya (शुन्य).—a. Empty.
-nyam 1 A number of bitches.
2) A cypher; (more properly śūnya q. v.).
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Śūnya (शून्य).—a. [śūnāyai prāṇivadhāya hitaṃ rahasyasthānatvāt yat Tv.]
1) Empty, void.
2) Vacant (applied also to the heart, glances &c.), absent, listless; गमनमलसं शून्या दृष्टिः (gamanamalasaṃ śūnyā dṛṣṭiḥ) Māl. 1.17; see शून्यहृदय (śūnyahṛdaya) below.
4) Lonely, desolate, secluded, deserted; शून्येषु शूरा न के (śūnyeṣu śūrā na ke) K. P.7; Bk.6.9; शून्यं मन्ये जगदविरतज्वालमन्तर्ज्वलामि (śūnyaṃ manye jagadaviratajvālamantarjvalāmi) U.3. 38; M¯l.9.2.
5) Dejected, downcast, dispirited; शून्या जगाम भवनाभमुखी कथंचित् (śūnyā jagāma bhavanābhamukhī kathaṃcit) Ku.3.75; Ki.17.39.
6) Utterly devoid or deprived of, without, wanting in (with instr. or in comp.); अङ्गुलीयकशून्या मे अङ्गुलिः (aṅgulīyakaśūnyā me aṅguliḥ) Ś. 5; दया°, ज्ञान° (dayā°, jñāna°), &c.
9) Nonsensical, unmeaning; मुहुरविशदवर्णां निद्रया शून्यशून्याम् (muhuraviśadavarṇāṃ nidrayā śūnyaśūnyām) Śi.11.4.
1) Bare, naked.
-nyam 1 A vacuum, void, blank.
2) The sky, space, atmosphere.
3) A cipher, dot.
4) Non-entity, (absolute) non-existence; दूषण- शून्यबिन्दवः (dūṣaṇa- śūnyabindavaḥ) N.1.21.
5) Name of Brahman.
6) An earring; शून्यकर्णः (śūnyakarṇaḥ) Amaru.
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1) A hollow reed.
2) A barren woman.
3) The prickly pear.Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: Shabda-Sagara Sanskrit-English Dictionary
(-nyaḥ-nyā-nyaṃ) Empty, void. n.
(-nyaṃ) 1. A number of dogs. 2. A eipher. E. śvan a dog, and vat aff., the vowel substituted for the semi-vowel; more commonly śūnya .
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(-nyaḥ-nyā-nyaṃ) 1. Empty, void. 2. Lonely, desert. 3. Vacant. 4. Dovoid of. 5. Indifferent. 6. Guileless. 7. Absent-minded. 8. Nonsensical. 9. Naked, bare. n.
(-nyaṃ) 1. Heaven, sky, æther. 2. A dot, a spot. 3. A cipher. 4. A vacuum. 5. Non-entity. f.
(-nyā) 1. A hollow reed. 2. The prickly-pear. 3. A barren woman. E. śuna a dog, yata aff. of fitness, and the vowel substituted for the semi-vowel, and made optionally long.Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: Benfey Sanskrit-English Dictionary
Śūnya (शून्य).— (probably for original śvanya, vb. śvi), I. adj. 1. Empty, void, [Vikramorvaśī, (ed. Bollensen.)] 66, 1; vacant, [Mālatīmādhava, (ed. Calc.)] 11, 8; ruined, [Rāmāyaṇa] 2, 13, 16. 2. Deprived of, with instr., Bhāṣāp. 69 (read śūnyā siddhir); [Vikramorvaśī, (ed. Bollensen.)] [distich] 130 (as former part of a comp. Without, [Pañcatantra] 208, 22; figurat., Böhtl. Ind. Spr. 249). 3. Unsuspicious, [Rāmāyaṇa] 3, 50, 24. 4. Unmeaning, indifferent, [Pañcatantra] 117, 14. 5. Lonely, [Pañcatantra] 231, 18 (śūnye, secretly); desert, [Rāmāyaṇa] 3, 51, 17 (n. in the lonely place). Ii. f. yā, A hollow reed. Iii. n. 1. A vacuum. 2. Heaven. 3. A dot. 4. A cypher. 5. Absolute vacuity or rather nonentity, a principle of the Bauddha metaphysics, [Vedāntasāra, (in my Chrestomathy.)] in
Śūnya (शून्य).—[adjective] empty, void, desert, unoccupied, vacant; wanted, missing, absent, wandering or absent in mind; lonely, solitary; deprived of, free from ([instrumental] or —°); unreal, vain. [neuter] void, desert, solitude, vacuum, blank, absence of (—°); nought, a cypher; as [adverb] without, except (—°). — Loc. [with] ru howl in a desert, cry in vain.Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: Monier-Williams Sanskrit-English Dictionary
1) Śunya (शुन्य):—[from śuna] 1. śunya mfn. ([from] śvan) [gana] gav-ādi
2) [v.s. ...] n. and f(ā). a number of dogs or female dogs, [cf. Lexicographers, esp. such as amarasiṃha, halāyudha, hemacandra, etc.]
3) 2. śunya mfn. = śūnya, empty, void, [cf. Lexicographers, esp. such as amarasiṃha, halāyudha, hemacandra, etc.]
4) n. a cypher, [cf. Lexicographers, esp. such as amarasiṃha, halāyudha, hemacandra, etc.]
5) Śūnya (शून्य):—[from śū] a mf(ā)n. empty, void (with vājin = ‘a riderless horse’; with rājya = ‘a kingless kingdom’), hollow, barren, desolate, deserted, [Brāhmaṇa] etc. etc.
6) [v.s. ...] empty id est. vacant (as a look or stare), absent, absentminded, having no certain object or aim, distracted, [Mahābhārata; Kāvya literature] etc.
7) [v.s. ...] empty id est. possessing nothing, wholly destitute, [Mahābhārata; Kathāsaritsāgara]
8) [v.s. ...] wholly alone or solitary, having no friends or companions, [Rāmāyaṇa; Bhāgavata-purāṇa]
9) [v.s. ...] void of, free from, destitute of ([instrumental case] or [compound]), wanting, lacking, [Kāvya literature; Kathāsaritsāgara; Purāṇa; Sarvadarśana-saṃgraha] non-existent, absent, missing, [Kāvya literature; Pañcatantra]
10) [v.s. ...] vain, idle, unreal, nonsensical, [Rāmāyaṇa; Rājataraṅgiṇī; Sarvadarśana-saṃgraha]
11) [v.s. ...] void of results, ineffectual (a-śūnyaṃ-√kṛ, ‘to effect’, ‘accomplish’), [Śakuntalā; Ratnāvalī]
12) [v.s. ...] free from sensitiveness or sensation (said of the skin), insensible, [Bhāvaprakāśa]
13) [v.s. ...] bare, naked, [Monier-Williams’ Sanskrit-English Dictionary]
14) [v.s. ...] guileless, innocent, [ib.]
15) [v.s. ...] indifferent, [ib.]
16) Śūnyā (शून्या):—[from śūnya > śū] f. a hollow reed, [cf. Lexicographers, esp. such as amarasiṃha, halāyudha, hemacandra, etc.]
17) [v.s. ...] a barren woman, [cf. Lexicographers, esp. such as amarasiṃha, halāyudha, hemacandra, etc.]
18) [v.s. ...] Cactus Indicus = malī (for nalī?), [cf. Lexicographers, esp. such as amarasiṃha, halāyudha, hemacandra, etc.]
19) Śūnya (शून्य):—[from śū] n. a void, vacuum, empty or deserted place, desert (śūnye, in a lonely place), [Mahābhārata; Rāmāyaṇa] etc.
20) [v.s. ...] (in [philosophy]) vacuity, nonentity, absolute non-existence ([especially] with Buddhists), [Indian Wisdom, by Sir M. Monier-Williams 83 n. 3; 105, n.4; Monier-Williams’ Buddhism 7 n. 1; 142]
21) [v.s. ...] Name of Brahma, [Monier-Williams’ Sanskrit-English Dictionary]
22) [v.s. ...] (in [arithmetic]) nought, a cypher, [Varāha-mihira’s Bṛhat-saṃhitā; Gaṇitādhyāya] (cf. [Indian Wisdom, by Sir M. Monier-Williams 183])
23) [v.s. ...] space, heaven, atmosphere, [cf. Lexicographers, esp. such as amarasiṃha, halāyudha, hemacandra, etc.]
24) [v.s. ...] a [particular] phenomenon in the sky, [cf. Lexicographers, esp. such as amarasiṃha, halāyudha, hemacandra, etc.]
25) [v.s. ...] an earring (See next). cf. [Greek] κενός, κενεός; [Aeolic] κέννος.
26) b etc. See p. 1085, col. 1.Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: Yates Sanskrit-English Dictionary
1) Śunya (शुन्य):—[(nyaḥ-nyā-nyaṃ) a.] Empty, void. n. A cypher; many dogs.
2) Śūnya (शून्य):—[(nyaḥ-nyā-nyaṃ) a.] Empty; lonely. n. Sky, atmosphere; a dot; a cypher; a vacuum. 1. f. Hollow reed; prickly pear.Source: DDSA: Paia-sadda-mahannavo; a comprehensive Prakrit Hindi dictionary (S)
[Sanskrit to German]
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.
Hindi dictionarySource: DDSA: A practical Hindi-English dictionary
Śūnya (शून्य) [Also spelled shuny]:—(a) empty, void; vacant (as—[dṛṣṭi]); hollow; desolate; absent-minded; non-existent; (nm) a cipher, zero; void, voidance; vacunm, blank, emptiness; space; non-entity; absolute-non-existence; ~[ka] vacuum, void; ~[citta] absent-minded, vacant-minded; ~[tā/tva] emptiness; desolateness; absent-mindedness; nothingness; non-existence; illusory nature (of all worldly phenomena); —[bindu] the mark of a cipher, zero mark; —[bhāva] emptiness, state of being empty; absent-mindedness; ~[manaska/manā] absent-minded, vacant-minded; hence ~[manaskatā] (nf); ~[vāda] nihilism; the Buddhist doctrine of non-existence (of any spirit-either Supreme or human); ~[vādī] a nihilist; a believer in or affirmer of the ~[vāda]; nihilistic; ~[hasta] empty-handed, indigent.
See also (Relevant definitions)
Starts with (+56): Shunya-grama, Shunyabandhu, Shunyabhava, Shunyabindu, Shunyacitta, Shunyadaivata, Shunyadeha, Shunyadhva, Shunyadrishti, Shunyagara, Shunyagarakritalaya, Shunyagaravasa, Shunyagarti, Shunyageha, Shunyahara, Shunyahasta, Shunyahridaya, Shunyahridayatva, Shunyaisha, Shunyaka.
Ends with (+35): Abhimanashunya, Aksharashunya, Amtahshunya, Amtashshunya, Arthashunya, Ashunya, Atishunya, Bahushunya, Bhavashunya, Buddhishunya, Cira-khila-shunya, Drishtishunya, Durashunya, Gatishunya, Hetushunya, Hridayashunya, Jaikashunya, Jivashunya, Jnanashunya, Karnashunya.
Full-text (+177): Shunyamadhya, Svarashunya, Prantarashunya, Shunyahasta, Shunyasthana, Shunyageha, Trinashunya, Abhimanashunya, Shunyata, Shunyavadin, Shunyahridaya, Shunyavyapara, Shunyavat, Shunyapadavi, Shunyatva, Mushkashunya, Pushpashunya, Shunyapala, Shunyavada, Lajjashunya.
Search found 43 books and stories containing Shunya, Śūnya, Śūnyā, Sunya, Śunya; (plurals include: Shunyas, Śūnyas, Śūnyās, Sunyas, Śunyas). You can also click to the full overview containing English textual excerpts. Below are direct links for the most relevant articles:
Mahayana Buddhism and Early Advaita Vedanta (Study) (by Asokan N.)
Sri Bhakti-rasamrta-sindhu (by Śrīla Rūpa Gosvāmī)
Verse 2.4.218 < [Part 4 - Transient Ecstatic Disturbances (vyābhicāri-bhāva)]
Verse 3.3.20 < [Part 3 - Fraternal Devotion (sakhya-rasa)]
Verse 3.2.155 < [Part 2 - Affection and Service (dāsya-rasa)]
Brihad Bhagavatamrita (commentary) (by Śrī Śrīmad Bhaktivedānta Nārāyana Gosvāmī Mahārāja)
Verse 1.4.31 < [Chapter 4 - Bhakta (the devotee)]
Verse 2.2.3 < [Chapter 2 - Jñāna (knowledge)]
Verse 2.2.215 < [Chapter 2 - Jñāna (knowledge)]
Maha Prajnaparamita Sastra (by Gelongma Karma Migme Chödrön)
Emptiness 12: Emptiness of essences (prakṛtiśūnyatā) < [Chapter XLVIII - The Eighteen Emptinesses]
Mahāyāna auxiliaries (G): The eight members of the path < [Part 3 - The auxiliaries according to the Mahāyāna]
III. Emptiness according to the Madhyamaka < [Note on emptiness (śūnyatā)]
Brahma Sutras (Shankara Bhashya) (by Swami Vireshwarananda)
Complete works of Swami Abhedananda (by Swami Prajnanananda)
Preface < [Discourse 8 - The Steps towards Perfection]
Chapter 4 - Buddhist Councils And Buddhist Thoughts < [Discourse 7 - Thoughts on Sankhya Buddhism and Vedanta]