Sparsha, aka: Sparśa; 8 Definition(s)


Sparsha means something in Buddhism, Pali, Hinduism, Sanskrit, Jainism, Prakrit, Marathi. 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 Sparśa can be transliterated into English as Sparsa or Sparsha, using the IAST transliteration scheme (?).

In Hinduism


1a) Sparśa (स्पर्श).—A Tuṣita.*

  • * Brahmāṇḍa-purāṇa III. 3. 19; Vāyu-purāṇa 66. 18.

1b) The guṇa of Vāyu devoured by Ākāśa when Vāyu cools down.*

  • * Vāyu-purāṇa 102. 15.
(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.

Vaiśeṣika (school of philosophy)

Sparśa (स्पर्श, “touch”) is one of the seventeen guṇas (‘qualities’), according to the Vaiśeṣika-sūtras. These guṇas are considered as a category of padārtha (“metaphysical correlate”). These padārthas represent everything that exists which can be cognized and named. Together with their subdivisions, they attempt to explain the nature of the universe and the existence of living beings.

(Source): Wisdom Library: Vaiśeṣika
Vaiśeṣika book cover
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Vaiśeṣika (वैशेषिक, vaisheshika) refers to a school of orthodox Hindu philosophy (āstika), drawing its subject-matter from the Upaniṣads. Vaiśeṣika deals with subjects such as logic, epistemology, philosophy and expounds concepts similair to Buddhism in nature

Nāṭyaśāstra (theatrics and dramaturgy)

Sparśa (स्पर्श, “touch”) refers to an aspect of the representation of objects and senses, according to the Nāṭyaśāstra chapter 24. Accordingly, “by slightly narrowing down the eyes, raising the eyebrows in the like manner as well as by touching (sparśa) the shoulder and the cheek, the wise one should represent the form”.

(Source): Wisdom Library: Nāṭya-śāstra
Nāṭyaśāstra book cover
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Nāṭyaśāstra (नाट्यशास्त्र, natya-shastra) refers to both the ancient Indian tradition of performing arts, (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 (nāṭya) and poetic works (kāvya).

In Buddhism

Mahayana (major branch of Buddhism)

Sparśa (स्पर्श, “contact”) (pali phassa) refers to the sixth of twelve pratītyasamutpāda (dependent origination) according to the Mahāprajñāpāramitāśāstra chapter X. From nāmarūpa there arise the six sense organs, eye (cakṣus), etc. These are the ṣaḍāyatanas, the six inner bases of consciousness. The meeting (saṃnipāta) of organ (indriya), object (viṣaya) and a consciousness (vijñāna) is called sparśa, contact. From sparśa there arises vedanā, sensation.

(Source): Wisdom Library: Maha Prajnaparamita Sastra
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.

General definition (in Buddhism)

Sparśa (स्पर्श, “tangible”) or sparśāyatana refers to one of the “twelve sense spheres” (āyatana) as defined in the Dharma-saṃgraha (section 24). The Dharma-samgraha (Dharmasangraha) is an extensive glossary of Buddhist technical terms in Sanskrit (eg., sparśa). The work is attributed to Nagarguna who lived around the 2nd century A.D.

Sparśa also represents one of the “eighteen elements” (dhātu) as well as one of the “eleven form components” (rūpaskandha).

Sparśa also refers to one of the fourty “conditions” (saṃskāra) that are “associated with mind” (citta-samprayukta) as defined in the Dharma-saṃgraha (section 30).

Sparśa also refers to one of the “six spheres” (ṣaḍviṣaya) as defined in the Dharma-saṃgraha (section 33).

(Source): Wisdom Library: Dharma-samgraha

In Jainism

General definition (in Jainism)

Sparśa (स्पर्श, “touch”) refers to the object of sparśana (touching), which represents one of the “five sense-organs” (pañcendriya), according to the 2nd-century Tattvārthasūtra 2.19. Cognition which results by touching the object of knowledge is called touch (sparśa). How many kinds of touch are there? There are eight namely cold-hot, oily-dry or smooth-rough, soft-hard and heavy-light. What is the form of touch sense organ? There are innumerable forms of touch sense organ.

(Source): Encyclopedia of Jainism: Tattvartha Sutra 2: the Category of the living
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

Marathi-English dictionary

sparśa (स्पर्श).—m (S) Touch, taction, contact. 2 The sense of touch. 3 That property of bodies which constitutes them objects of the sense of touch, tactility or tangibility. 4 A consonant of any of the first five classes of the alphabet; i. e. from ka, kha &c. to pa, pha, ba, bha, ma. 5 A gem or stone of which the touch turns iron into gold, the philosopher's stone. 6 (Figuratively of the sense Touch or contact.) A whit, jot, iota, tittle, bit, the merest tangible point. Ex. hṛdayānta dayēcā sparśa nāhīṃ; tyālā adattaśirōmaṇī hmaṇūna hmaṇāvēṃ udāratvācā kiṃvā nustyā snēhācā tyālā sparśa nāhīṃ. 7 S Air or wind.

(Source): DDSA: The Molesworth Marathi and English Dictionary
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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.

Relevant definitions

Search found 53 related definition(s) that might help you understand this better. Below you will find the 15 most relevant articles:

Sparśarūpaskandha (स्पर्शरूपस्कन्ध) or simply sparśa refers to the “tangible form component” an...
Sparśadhātu (स्पर्शधातु) or simply sparśa refers to the “touch element” and represents one of t...
Sparśāyatana (स्पर्शायतन) or simply sparśa refers to the “sense sphere of the tangible” and rep...
Sparśatattva (स्पर्शतत्त्व, “touch”):—One of the Thirty-six Tattvas, accor...
Sparśendriya (स्पर्शेन्द्रिय, “touch-sense-organ”) is another word for Sparśanendriya: one of t...
Tṛṇasparśa (तृणस्पर्श) refers to “injury from thorns, etc.” and represents one of the hardships...
Sparśasaṃkocin (स्पर्शसंकोचिन्) is another name for Piṇḍālu, which is a Sanskrit word referr...
Vāyu (वायु) refers to the last of the “eight world protectors” (aṣṭalokapāla) as defined in the...
guṇa (गुण).—m (S) A quality, attribute, affection, or property, whether of matter or mind; a po...
Ākāśa (आकाश, “space”) refers to the first of the “three unconditioned things” (asaṃskṛta) as de...
svara (स्वर).—n S One of the divisions of the universe,--the space between the sun and polar st...
Dhātu (धातु) or aṣṭādaśadhātu refers to the “eighteen elements” as defined in the Dharma-saṃgra...
prakṛti (प्रकृति).—f Constitution or disposition. Temperament or temper. Nature. In philosophy,...
1) Saṃskāra (संस्कार, “volitions”) refers to the fourth of the “five components” (pañcaskandha)...
Vedanā (वेदना, “feelings”) refers to the second of the “five components” (pañcaskandha) as defi...

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