Svapna, Svāpna: 15 definitions


Svapna means something in Buddhism, Pali, Hinduism, Sanskrit, 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

Natyashastra (theatrics and dramaturgy)

Source: Wisdom Library: Nāṭya-śāstra

Svapna (स्वप्न, “dream”) refers to one of the twenty-one sandhyantara, or “distinct characteristics of segments (sandhi)” according to the Nāṭyaśāstra chapter 21. The segments are divisions of the plot (itivṛtta or vastu) of a dramatic play (nāṭaka) and consist of sixty-four limbs, known collectively as the sandhyaṅga.

Natyashastra book cover
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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).

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Purana and Itihasa (epic history)

Source: Puranic Encyclopedia

Svapna (स्वप्न).—(dream) General information. One of the four states of mind. (See full article at Story of Svapna from the Puranic encyclopaedia by Vettam Mani)

Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: The Purana Index

Svapna (स्वप्न).—Dreams, bad and good; ceremonies must be performed for bad ones; after a bad dream, one must try to sleep for sometime; after a good dream one must try to be awake lest it should be followed by a bad one for the latter will generally come true. Dream had in the first of the four divisions of the night will come true in a year; that had in the second will come true in six months; that had in the third, will come true in three months and that had early in the morning will come true in 10 days.*

  • * Matsya-purāṇa 242. 1-19.
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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Kavya (poetry)

Source: Wisdom Library: Kathāsaritsāgara

Svapna (स्वप्न) refers to a “dream” according to the Kathāsaritsāgara, chapter 46. Accordingly, as Suvāsakumāra said to Sūryaprabha and his companions: “... dreams are of many kinds, the rich-sensed, the true-sensed and the senseless. A dream which quickly reveals its meaning is called rich-sensed, a dream in which a propitious god gives a command is called true-sensed, and one which is brought about by deep meditation and anxiety they call senseless. For a man under the influence of sleep, with mind bewildered by the quality of passion and withdrawn from outward objects, sees a dream on account of various causes. And it depends upon the time when it is seen whether it is fulfilled soon or late; but this kind of dream which is seen at the end of the night is quickly fulfilled”.

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Kavya (काव्य, kavya) refers to Sanskrit poetry, a popular ancient Indian tradition of literature. There have been many Sanskrit poets over the ages, hailing from ancient India and beyond. This topic includes mahakavya, or ‘epic poetry’ and natya, or ‘dramatic poetry’.

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General definition (in Hinduism)

Source: Wisdom Library: Hinduism

Svapna is sanskrit for 'dream'.

Source: Vedic index of Names and Subjects

Svapna (स्वप्न, ‘dream’) is referred to in the Rigveda and later. Evil dreams are often mentioned. The Āraṇyakas of the Rigveda contain a list of dreams with their signification, as well as of pratyakṣa-darśanāni, ‘sights seen with one’s own eyes’.

Source: Namah, the Journal of Integral Health: Hinduism

The word ‘svapna’ has two meanings in Sanskrit: sleep and dream. Svapna (as sleep) is one of the three sub-pillars of life and detailed descriptions of it have been made in the Classics. Svapna (as dream) is a series of happenings which evolve in various stages of sleep. It is used as a diagnostic and prognostic tool in Āyurveda. A clinical analysis of dream, in Ayurvedic and classical literature, is the subject matter of this article.

The primary meaning of the word svapna is sleep. Nidrā, śayana, svāpa, svapna, sṃaveśa are synonyms. The word svapna has been used in the ‘sleep’ sense in different places in various texts . Its secondary meaning is ‘the subject’s’ experience in the different state of sleep, which is mentioned in various contexts and instances in the Caraka saṃhitā 

In Buddhism

Mahayana (major branch of Buddhism)

Source: Wisdom Library: Maha Prajnaparamita Sastra

Svapna (स्वप्न, “dream”) refers to one of the ten comparisons (upamāna) according to the 2nd century Mahāprajñāpāramitāśāstra chapter 11. These upamānas represent a quality of the Bodhisattvas accompanying the Buddha at Rājagṛha on the Gṛdhrakūṭaparvata. They accepted that dharmas are like a dream (svapna). There is no reality in a dream but nevertheless we believe in the reality of the things seen in a dream. After waking up, we recognize the falsity of the dream and we smile at ourselves. In the same way, the person deep in the sleep of the fetters (saṃyojana-nidra) clings to the things that do not exist; but when he has found the Path, at the moment of enlightenment, he understands that there is no reality and laughs at himself. This is why it is said: like in a dream (svapna).

There are five types of dreams:

i) In the case of physical unbalance (kāyavaiṣamya), when the hot vapors predominate, one dreams a lot, one sees fire (tejas), yellow (pīta) and red (lohita);

ii) when the cold vapors predominate, one sees especially water (ap-) and white (avadāta);

iii) when the windy vapors predominate, one sees particularly flights of birds and black (kṛṣṇa);

iv) when one has thought a lot during the day and reflected well on what one has seen and heard (dṛṣṭaśruta), one sees all of that again in dream;

v) finally, the gods send dreams to teach about future events.

These five types of dreams are all without reality; they are false visions.

It is the same for people who are awake: beings who are in the five destinies (gati) see the ātman in four ways because of their material visions:

  1. the form aggregate (rūpaskandha) is the ātman;
  2. form (rūpa) belongs to the self, to the ‘me’ (ātmīya);
  3. in the ātman, there is rūpa.
  4. in rūpa, there is ātman.
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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Languages of India and abroad

Marathi-English dictionary

Source: DDSA: The Molesworth Marathi and English Dictionary

svapna (स्वप्न).—n m (S) Dreaming or a dream; the state of dreaming or the visions appearing. Pr. manīṃ vasē tēṃ svapnīṃ disēṃ. svapna nasaṇēṃ g. of s. (Not to be even a dream of it.) To have no existence; to be chimerical. svapna pāhūna jāgā hōṇēṃ To learn from experience or observation; to acquire knowledge or prudence from results or occurrences. svapnācēṃ bhākīta sāṅgaṇēṃ To interpret a vision or dream. svapnīṃ nāhīṃ Not even in a dream, i. e. not at all; as hyāsīṃ svapnīṃ nāhīṃ mṛtyu ||. svapnīṃ nēṇaṇēṃ (To be ignorant of in one's dreams or sleep--not even to dream of.) To know not absolutely and utterly. Ex. kapaṭa- bhāva kōṇhācē manīṃ || hēṃ tō sarvathā nēṇē svapnīṃ ||. svapnīṃ puṛyā or māṇḍē khāṇēṃ To build castles in the air.

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

svapna (स्वप्न).—n m A dream svapnācēṃ bhākīta sāṅgaṇēṃ Inter- prete a vision or dream. svapnīṃ nāhīṃ Not 2at all. svapnīṃ māṇḍē khāṇēṃ Build castles in the air.

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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

Source: DDSA: The practical Sanskrit-English dictionary

Svapna (स्वप्न).—[svap-bhāve nak]

1) Sleeping, sleep; अकाले बोधितो भ्रात्रा प्रियस्वप्नो वृथा भवान् (akāle bodhito bhrātrā priyasvapno vṛthā bhavān) R.12.81;7.61;12.7; Ku. 2.8.

2) A dream, dreaming; स्वप्नेन्द्रजालसदृशः खलु जीवलोकः (svapnendrajālasadṛśaḥ khalu jīvalokaḥ) Śānti.2.2; स्वप्नो नु भाया नु मतिभ्रमो नु (svapno nu bhāyā nu matibhramo nu) Ś.6.1; R.1.6.

3) Sloth, indolence, sleepiness; Ms.9.13;12.33.

4) The state of ignorance (?); भावाद्वैतं क्रियाद्वैतं तथात्मनः । वर्तयन् स्वानुभूत्येह त्रीन् स्वप्नान् धुनुते मुनिः (bhāvādvaitaṃ kriyādvaitaṃ tathātmanaḥ | vartayan svānubhūtyeha trīn svapnān dhunute muniḥ) || Baāg.7.15.62.

Derivable forms: svapnaḥ (स्वप्नः).

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Svāpna (स्वाप्न).—a.

1) Relating to sleep or dream.

2) Dreamy; तं सप्रपञ्चमधिरूढसमाधियोगः स्वाप्नं पुनर्न भजते प्रतिबुद्धवस्तुः (taṃ saprapañcamadhirūḍhasamādhiyogaḥ svāpnaṃ punarna bhajate pratibuddhavastuḥ) Bhāg. 11.13.37.

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

Svapna (स्वप्न).—m.

(-pnaḥ) 1. Sleep. 2. Dreaming, a dream. 3. Indolence, sleepiness. E. ṣvap to sleep, na Unadi aff., tan added.

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

1) Svapna (स्वप्न):—[from svap] a m. (once in [Rāmāyaṇa] n. ifc. f(ā). ; for sv-apna See p. 1281, col. 1) sleep, sleeping, [Ṛg-veda] etc. etc.

2) [v.s. ...] sleepiness, drowsiness, [Caurapañcāśikā]

3) [v.s. ...] sleeping too much, sloth, indolence, [Manu-smṛti ix, 13; xii, 33]

4) [v.s. ...] dreaming, a dream ([accusative] with √dṛś, ‘to see a vision, dream’), [Ṛg-veda]; etc.

5) Svāpna (स्वाप्न):—[from svap] mfn. ([from] svapna) relating to sleep, [Sāṃkhyapravacana [Scholiast or Commentator]]

6) Svapna (स्वप्न):—[=sv-apna] b mfn. (for svapna See p.1280) = next ([according to] to some), [Ṛg-veda i, 120, 12; viii, 2, 18.]

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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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