Tama, aka: Tāma; 9 Definition(s)


Tama means something in Hinduism, Sanskrit, Jainism, Prakrit, Buddhism, Pali, 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

Purana and Itihasa (epic history)

Tama (तम).—A King who was the son of Śravā of the race of King Gṛtsamada. (Śloka 63, Chapter 30, Anuśāsana Parva).

Source: archive.org: Puranic Encyclopaedia

1a) Tama (तम).—(lokapṛṣṭha): a kind of hell: persons fallen from varṇa and āśramadharma find this hell.*

  • * Brahmāṇḍa-purāṇa IV. 2. 150, 177-78; Vāyu-purāṇa 101. 149, 179; Viṣṇu-purāṇa II. 6. 4.

1b) Equated with ajñāna or ignorance, bound by three fetters; to think that which is not eternal as eternal, to regard happiness in one's difficulties, to regard one's own self which is not his own, and to regard that as pure which is impure;1 fourfold, with Tāmasi vṛtti, the lowest.2

  • 1) Brahmāṇḍa-purāṇa IV. 3. 33-38.
  • 2) Ib. 3. 53.

1c) The eleventh kalpa.*

  • * Matsya-purāṇa 290. 5.
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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Vyakarana (Sanskrit grammar)

Tama (तम).—Common term for the tad. affixes तमट् (tamaṭ) and तमप् (tamap).

Source: Wikisource: A dictionary of Sanskrit grammar
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Vyakarana (व्याकरण, vyākaraṇa) refers to Sanskrit grammar and represents one of the six additional sciences (vedanga) to be studied along with the Vedas. Vyakarana concerns itself with the rules of Sanskrit grammar and linguistic analysis in order to establish the correct context of words and sentences.

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In Jainism

General definition (in Jainism)

Tama (तम) participated in the war between Rāma and Rāvaṇa, on the side of the latter, as mentioned in Svayambhūdeva’s Paumacariu (Padmacarita, Paumacariya or Rāmāyaṇapurāṇa) chapter 57ff. Svayambhū or Svayambhūdeva (8th or 9th century) was a Jain householder who probably lived in Karnataka. His work recounts the popular Rāma story as known from the older work Rāmāyaṇa (written by Vālmīki). Various chapters [mentioning Tama] are dedicated to the humongous battle whose armies (known as akṣauhiṇīs) consisted of millions of soldiers, horses and elephants, etc.

Source: archive.org: Een Kritische Studie Van Svayambhūdeva’s Paümacariu
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

Pali-English dictionary

tama : (m.; nt.) (mano-group), darkness, ignorance. (in cpds. it becomes tamo.)

Source: BuddhaSasana: Concise Pali-English Dictionary

Tama, (nt.) & tamo (Sk. tamas, tam & tim, cp. tamisra= Lat. tenebræ; also timira dark & P. tibba, timira; Ohg. dinstar & finstar; Ags. thimm, E. dim) darkness (syn. andhakāra, opp. joti), lit. as well as fig. (mental darkness=ignorance or state of doubt); one of the dark states of life & rebirth; adj. living in one of the dark spheres of life (cp. kaṇhajāta) or in a state of suffering (duggati) Sn. 248 (pecca tamaṃ vajanti ye patanti sattā nirayaṃ avaṃsirā), 763 (nivutānaṃ t. hoti andhakāro apassataṃ), 956 (sabbaṃ tamaṃ vinodetvā); Vbh. 367 (three tamāni: in past, present & future). adj. : puggalo tamo tama-parāyaṇo D. III, 233; A. II, 85= Pug. 51; J. II, 17.—tamā tamaṃ out of one “duggati” into another Sn. 278 (vinipātaṃ samāpanno gabbhā gabbhaṃ t. t... . dukkaṃ nigacchati), cp. M Vastu II. 225, also tamāto tamaṃ ibid. I. 27; II, 215.—tamat.—agge beyond the region of darkness (or rebirth in dark spheres), cp. bhavagge (& Sk. tamaḥ pāre) S. V, 154, 163.

—andhakāra (complete) darkness (of night) v. l. for samandha° at J. III, 60 (Kern: tamondhakāra); —nivuta enveloped in d. Sn. 348; —nuda (tama° & tamo°), dispelling darkness, freq. as Ep. of the Buddha or other sages Sn. 1133, 1136; It. 32, 108; Nd2 281; Vv 352 (=VvA. 161); Miln. 1, 21, etc.; —parāyaṇa (adj.) having a state of darkness or “duggati” for his end or destiny S. I, 93; A. II, 85=Pug. 51. (Page 297)

— or —

Tāma, (Sk. tāma) desire, longing, greed in tāmatamadasaṅgha-suppahīna Th. 1, 310, an epithet of frogs, which perhaps (with Kern, Toev. II. 88) is to be read as tāma-tamata-suppahita; “horribly greedy” (Kern, gruwelijk vraatzuchtig). (Page 299)

Source: Sutta: The Pali Text Society's Pali-English Dictionary
Pali book cover
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Pali is the language of the Tipiṭaka, which is the sacred canon of Theravāda Buddhism and contains much of the Buddha’s speech. Closeley related to Sanskrit, both languages are used interchangeably between religions.

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Marathi-English dictionary

tama (तम).—m n (S) Darkness. 2 The third of the qualities incident to created being, the tamaguṇa or property of darkness; whence proceed folly, ignorance, worldly delusion, the blindness of lust, anger, pride. 3 m Vaporing, blustering, roistering, angry or proud swelling. v gā, kara, māṇḍa.

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tama (तम).—ind An adjunct to Sanskrit adjectives, denoting the superlative degree. Ex. duṣṭa, duṣṭatara, duṣṭatama Bad, worse, worst.

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tamā (तमा).—f ( A Lust, desire.) Care or fear respecting; awe of; regard or consideration for as great. Neg. con.

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tāma (ताम).—& tāmarā See tāmba & tāmbarā.

Source: DDSA: The Molesworth Marathi and English Dictionary

tama (तम).—m n Darkness, ignorance. m Vapouring.

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tamā (तमा).—f Awe of; regard for as great.

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

Tama (तम).—Darkness.

2) The tip of the foot.

-maḥ 1 An epithet of Rāhu.

2) The Tamāla tree.

3) Darkness.

Derivable forms: tamam (तमम्).

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Tamā (तमा).—A night.

See also (synonyms): tamasvinī.

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Tama (तम).—A Taddhita affix of the superlative degree applied to nouns, adjectives and also to verbs and indeclinables in which latter case it is changed to तमाम् (tamām); अश्व° (aśva°) Pt.5. 'the best horse'; सुहृत्तम (suhṛttama) Mu.I; so पचतितमाम् (pacatitamām). It is also added to pronouns in the sense of 'one of many' e. g. कतम, यतम, ततम (katama, yatama, tatama) &c.

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Tāma (ताम).—[tam-karaṇe ghañ]

1) An object of terror.

2) A fault, defect.

3) Anxiety, distress.

4) Desire.

5) Exhaustion, fatigue.

Derivable forms: tāmaḥ (तामः).

Source: DDSA: The practical 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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