Upamana, aka: Upamāna; 11 Definition(s)


Upamana 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

Vāstuśāstra (architecture)

Upamāna (उपमान):—One of the “six iconographic measurements”, according to the Mānasāra (sanskrit literary treatise on vāstu-śāstra, or, ‘architectural science’). The measurement unit is used in the process of procuring/securing the height of the principal image and secondary images. Breadth, circumference, and other dimensions are derived from the height using rules of proportion.

(Source): Wisdom Library: Vāstu-śāstra
Vāstuśāstra book cover
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Vāstuśāstra (वास्तुशास्त्र, vastu-shastra) refers to the knowledge of architecture. It is a branch of ancient Indian science dealing with topics such architecture, construction, sculpture and their relation with the cosmic universe.

Śilpaśāstra (iconography)

Upamāna (one of the six types of measurement (māna)) is the meassurement of the inter-spaces, that is the width of the navel, the interval between the two thighs or the two big toes.

(Source): Google Books: The Theory of Citrasutras in Indian Painting
Śilpaśāstra book cover
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Śilpaśāstra (शिल्पशास्त्र, shilpa-shastra) represents the ancient Indian science of creative arts such as sculpture, iconography and painting. Closely related to Vāstuśāstra (architecture), they often share the same literature.

Arthaśāstra (politics and welfare)

Upamāna (उपमान) refers to “simile” and is the name of a yukti, or ‘technical division’, according to which the contents of the Arthaśāstra by Cāṇakya are grouped. Cāṇakya (4th-century BCE), aka Kauṭilya, was the chief minister of Chandragupta Maurya, the founder of the famous Maurya Empire.

(Source): Wisdom Library: Arthaśāstra
Arthaśāstra book cover
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Arthaśāstra (अर्थशास्त्र, artha-shastra) literature concers itself with subjects such as statecraft, economics politics and military tactics. The term arthaśāstra refers to both the name of these scientific teachings, as well as the name of a Sanskrit work included in such literature. This book was written (3rd century BCE) by by Kauṭilya, who flourished in the 4th century BCE.

Vyākaraṇa (Sanskrit grammar)

Upamāna (उपमान).—Standard of comparison. The word is found in the Pāṇinisūtra उपमानानि सामान्यवचनैः (upamānāni sāmānyavacanaiḥ) P.II.I.55 where the Kāśikāvṛtti explains it as उपमीयतेऽनेनेत्युपमानम् । (upamīyate'nenetyupamānam |)

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

General definition (in Hinduism)

Upamāna (उपमान, “comparison”), which can be roughly translated as comparison is the knowledge of the relationship between a word and the object denoted by the word. It is produced by the knowledge of resemblance or similarity, given some pre-description of the new object beforehand.

(Source): WikiPedia: Hinduism

In Buddhism


upamāna : (nt.) simile; parable; comparison.

(Source): BuddhaSasana: Concise Pali-English Dictionary

Upamāna, (nt.) (fr. upa + ) comparison, the 2nd part of the comparison J. V, 341; VvA. 13. (Page 145)

(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.

Mahayana (major branch of Buddhism)

Upamāna (उपमान, “metamorphosis”) represents a set of ten observances that form part of the 19th quality of the Bodhisattvas accompanying the Buddha at Rājagṛha on the Gṛdhrakūṭaparvata. They accepted the non-existence of dharmas according to the Mahāprajñāpāramitāśāstra chapter 11.

Accordingly, these Bodhisattvas accept that dharmas are like:

  1. A magic show (māyā)
  2. A a mirage (marīci)
  3. The moon reflected in water (udakacandra)
  4. Space (ākāśa)
  5. An echo (pratiśrutkā)
  6. A city of the Gandharvas
  7. A dream (svapna)
  8. A shadow (chāyā)
  9. A reflection (bimba) in a mirror (ādarśa)
  10. A metamorphosis (nirmāṇa)
(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.

Languages of India and abroad

Marathi-English dictionary

upamāna (उपमान).—n (S) An illustration; an object or a matter adduced in illustration. 2 One of the four kinds of evidence;--that of analogy.

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

upamāna (उपमान).—n An illustration. An object advanced in illustration.

(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.

Relevant definitions

Search found 24 related definition(s) that might help you understand this better. Below you will find the 15 most relevant articles:

Upamānakhaṇḍa (book on comparison), is the second book (khaṇḍa) of the Tattvacintāmaṇi (by G...
Pramāṇa (प्रमाण, “approved knowledge”).—What is valid /comprehensive or approved knowledge (pra...
Maya (मय).—tad. affix मयट् (mayaṭ) (1) in the sense of proceeding therefrom (तत आगतः (tata āgat...
Anubhava (अनुभव) or Anubhāva (अनुभाव).—&c. See under अनुभू (anubhū).--- OR --- Anubhava (अनुभव)...
Mana (“measure”) is one of the exogamous septs (divisions) among the Kurubas (a tribe of South ...
Rūpaka (रूपक).—a. [rūp-ṇvul] Bodily, corporeal.2) Figurative (as words &c.).-kaḥ A particular c...
Ākāśa (आकाश, “space”) according to the 2nd-century Tattvārthasūtra 5.9.—Space (ākāśa) is a subs...
Mārīcī (मारीची) refers to the sixth of “seven days” (saptavāra) classified as a dhāraṇī accordi...
Chāyā (छाया, “shadow”) according to the 2nd-century Tattvārthasūtra 5.24.—“Sound (śabda), union...
Vyatireka (व्यतिरेक).—1) Distinction, difference; यथा गन्धस्य भूमश्च न भावो व्यतिरेकतः (yathā g...
Upama (उपम).—a. Ved.1) Highest, uppermost.2) Most excellent, best, eminent, first.3) Nearest.--...
Svapna (स्वप्न).—[svap-bhāve nak]1) Sleeping, sleep; अकाले बोधितो भ्रात्रा प्रियस्वप्नो वृथा भव...
Bimba (बिम्ब).—1) The disc of the sun or moon; वदनेन निर्जितं तव निलीयते चन्द्रबिम्बमम्बुधरे (v...
1) Yukti (युक्ति).—Argumentation: reasoning; 2) Yukti.—Current maxim: cf. युक्तिसिद्धमेतत् (yuk...
Arthāpatti (अर्थापत्ति).—Presumption. It is a means of knowledge.

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