Svadhyaya, aka: Svādhyāya, Sva-adhyaya; 11 Definition(s)


Svadhyaya means something in 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.

In Hinduism

Dharmashastra (religious law)

Svādhyāya (स्वाध्याय) refers to “self-study, introspection” and forms part of the ancient Indian education system, which aimed at both the inner and the outer dimension of a person. Students living with the teacher (Guru or Ācārya) led a life of self-control, abstinence, obedience and devotion and regulated their lives by adhering to yama (self-restraint) and niyama (five observances), that is, śauca — purity of body, mind, thought; santoṣa — positive contentment; tapas — austerity; svādhyāya — self-study, introspection; and īśvarapraṇidhāna — faith in and surrender to the gods.

Source: Knowledge Traditions & Practices of India: Education: Systems & Practices

Svādhyāya (स्वाध्याय) refers to “self-reading”, as mentioned in the Āpastamba-yajña-paribhāṣā-sūtras.—“the prohibition of reciting Mantras in the Svādhyāya does not apply to the sacrifice, because there is then a different object”. Commentary: Svādhyāya, i.e. self-reading, is the name given to the study of the Veda, both in first learning and in afterwards repeating it. This study is under several restrictions, but these restrictions cease when the Veda is used for sacrificial purposes.

Source: Sacred Texts: The Grihya Sutras, Part 2 (SBE30)
Dharmashastra book cover
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Dharmashastra (धर्मशास्त्र, dharmaśāstra) contains the instructions (shastra) regarding religious conduct of livelihood (dharma), ceremonies, jurisprudence (study of law) and more. It is categorized as smriti, an important and authoritative selection of books dealing with the Hindu lifestyle.

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Purana and Itihasa (epic history)

Svadhyaya in Purana glossary... « previous · [S] · next »

Svādhyāya (स्वाध्याय).—Vedic studies, neglect of, before Pṛthu's advent;1 recitation of Veda on the occasion of the śrāddha.2

  • 1) Matsya-purāṇa 10. 11; 16. 9.
  • 2) Ib. 17. 37.
Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: The Purana Index
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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General definition (in Hinduism)

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Svādhyāya (स्वाध्याय) is a Sanskrit word referring to personal study of Vedic literature.

Source: Wisdom Library: Hinduism

Svādhyāya is a Sanskrit term in Hinduism having several meanings, including study of the Vedas and other sacred books, self-recitation, repetition of the Vedas aloud, and as a term for the Vedas themselves. In various schools of Hinduism, particularly Yoga, Svadhyaya is also a Niyama, a virtuous behavior. As a virtue, it means "study of self", "self reflection", "introspection, observation of self".

1) Svādhyāya is a compound Sanskrit word composed of svā (स्व) + adhyāya (अध्याय). Adhyāya means "a lesson, lecture, chapter; reading". Svā means "own, one's own, self, the human soul". Therefore, Svādhyāya literally means "one's own reading, lesson".

2) Svādhyāya is also a compound Sanskrit word composed of svā (स्व) + dhyāya (ध्याय). Dhyāya means "meditating on". The root of Adhyāya and Dhyāya is “Dhyai” (ध्यै) which means “meditate, contemplate, think of”. The term Svādhyāya therefore, also connotes “contemplation, meditation, reflection of one self”, or simply “to study one’s own self”.

Taittiriya Upanishad’s hymn 1.9.1 emphasizes the central importance of Svadhyaya in one’s pursuit of Reality (ṛta), Truth (satya), Self-restraint (damaḥ), Perseverance (tapas), Tranquility and Inner Peace (samas), Relationships with others, family, guests (praja, prajana, manus, atithi) and all Rituals (agnaya, agnihotram).

Source: WikiPedia: Hinduism

Svadhyaya means learning one’s Veda (the branch of Veda one is ordained to pursue) along with the Vedangas. It is through learning that one gains the knowledge of the rites he should perform as his duty, the rites he can perform for various other desired purposes, how to perform those, and what his conduct should be to gain the desired results (these could be material or heavenly or liberation).

Svadhyaya is the primary duty during brahmacarya, and forms the basis for performing all the rites of subsequent ashramas.

Source: Hindupedia: The Hindu Encyclopedia

In Jainism

General definition (in Jainism)

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Svādhyāya (स्वाध्याय).—How many types of self-study (svādhyāya) austerities are there? The five types of self-study austerities are:

  1. teaching (vācāna),
  2. questioning (pracchanā),
  3. contemplation (anuprekṣā),
  4. recitation (āmnāya),
  5. preaching (dharmopadeśa).
Source: Encyclopedia of Jainism: Tattvartha Sutra 9: Influx of karmas
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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Languages of India and abroad

Marathi-English dictionary

Svadhyaya in Marathi glossary... « previous · [S] · next »

svādhyāya (स्वाध्याय).—m (S sva & adhyāya) Perusal of the Vedas: also a day on which the resumption of the work of reading them is commanded or permitted after a suspension of it.

Source: DDSA: The Molesworth Marathi and English Dictionary

svādhyāya (स्वाध्याय).—m Perusal of the Vedas.

Source: DDSA: The Aryabhusan school dictionary, Marathi-English
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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.

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Sanskrit-English dictionary

Svadhyaya in Sanskrit glossary... « previous · [S] · next »

Svādhyāya (स्वाध्याय).—

1) self-recitation, muttering to oneself.

2) study of the Vedas, sacred study, perusal of sacred books; स्वाध्यायेनार्चयेदृषीन् (svādhyāyenārcayedṛṣīn) Ms.3.81; Bg.16.1; T. Up.1.9.1.

3) the Veda itself.

4) a day on which sacred study is enjoined to be resumed after suspension. °अर्थिन् (arthin) m. a student who tries to secure his own livelihood during his course of holy study; Ms.11.1.

Derivable forms: svādhyāyaḥ (स्वाध्यायः).

Svādhyāya is a Sanskrit compound consisting of the terms sva and adhyāya (अध्याय).

Source: DDSA: The practical Sanskrit-English dictionary

Svādhyāya (स्वाध्याय).—m.

(-yaḥ) 1. Inaudible reading or muttering of prayers. 2. The Vedas or scripture. 3. Perusal or study of the Vedas. E. sva one’s self, adhyāya reading.

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