Upanayana, Upanāyana, Upānayana: 24 definitions


Upanayana means something in Hinduism, Sanskrit, Buddhism, Pali, Marathi, Hindi. 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.

Alternative spellings of this word include Upnayan.

In Hinduism

Dharmashastra (religious law)

Source: Google Books: Manusmṛti with the Manubhāṣya

Upanayana (उपनयन), ‘Initiation,’ is the name of a sacrament described in the Gṛhyasūtras and well-known to Vedic scholars, its other name is ‘Mauñjī-bandha,’ ‘Girdle-Investiture.’ That ceremony in which the child is taken over to—made over to—(upanīyatē)—the teacher, for the purposes of teaching—and not for any such other purpose as the building of a Avail, or the making of a mat—is what is called ‘Upanayana.’ It is the name of a particular sacramental rite.

Source: Shodhganga: Facts of society in the Manusamhita

Upanayana (उपनयन):—A boy makes entry into the student’s life by performing a special ritual. It is known as Upanayana. This term is derived as upa - √ + ghañ reproducing the meaning ‘taking near’. Now the question arises to whom the boy is taken. The solution is that he is taken to his preceptor i.e. guru. Upanayana or the ceremony of submission of the responsibility of the boy to the teacher is considered as a holy performance. The Manusaṃhitā describes the Upanayana accomplished a second birth of a person which is purer in its origin than man’s natural birth.

Source: Shodhganga: Vaikhanasa Grhyasutra Bhasya (Critical Edition and Study)

Upanayana (उपनयन) refers to the “ritual of initiation into Vedic studies” and represents one of the eighteen bodily rituals (śārīraka-saṃskāras) mentioned in the Vaikhānasagṛhyasūtra (viz., vaikhānasa-gṛhya-sūtra) which belongs to the Taittirīya school of the Black Yajurveda (kṛṣṇayajurveda).—The original Gṛhyasūtra of Vaikhanāsa consists of eleven chapters or “praśnas”. Each praśna is subdivided into sub-divisions called “khaṇḍa”. But only the first seven chapters deal with actual Gṛhyasūtra section. Of these, the first three chapters dealing with the bodily rituals [viz., Upanayana].

Dharmashastra book cover
context information

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.

Discover the meaning of upanayana in the context of Dharmashastra from relevant books on Exotic India

Purana and Itihasa (epic history)

[«previous next»] — Upanayana in Purana glossary
Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: The Purana Index

Upanayana (उपनयन).—A ceremony for twice-born castes;1 of Sagara;2 of Kṛṣṇa and Rāma.3

  • 1) Viṣṇu-purāṇa III. 9. 1.
  • 2) Viṣṇu-purāṇa IV. 3. 37.
  • 3) Viṣṇu-purāṇa V. 21. 19.
Purana book cover
context information

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.

Discover the meaning of upanayana in the context of Purana from relevant books on Exotic India

Arthashastra (politics and welfare)

Source: Knowledge Traditions & Practices of India: Society State and Polity: A Survey

Upanayana (उपनयन) refers to “initiation into adulthood” and represents one of the sixteen saṃskāras, or “ceremonies” accompanying the individual during the Gṛhastha (householder) stage of the Āśrama way of life. These ceremonies (e.g., upanayana-saṃskāra) are community affairs and at each ceremony relations and friends gather for community eating.

Arthashastra book cover
context information

Arthashastra (अर्थशास्त्र, arthaśāstra) literature concerns itself with the teachings (shastra) of economic prosperity (artha) statecraft, politics and military tactics. The term arthashastra 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 Kautilya, who flourished in the 4th century BCE.

Discover the meaning of upanayana in the context of Arthashastra from relevant books on Exotic India

Shaivism (Shaiva philosophy)

[«previous next»] — Upanayana in Shaivism glossary
Source: archive.org: Sardhatrisatikalottaragama

Upanayana (उपनयन) refers to the “sacred cord ceremony”, which is mentioned as one of the fire-rituals related to the kuṇḍa (“fire-pit”), according to the various Āgamas and related literature. Upanayana is mentioned in the Vīra-āgama (chapter 41).

Shaivism book cover
context information

Shaiva (शैव, śaiva) or Shaivism (śaivism) represents a tradition of Hinduism worshiping Shiva as the supreme being. Closely related to Shaktism, Shaiva literature includes a range of scriptures, including Tantras, while the root of this tradition may be traced back to the ancient Vedas.

Discover the meaning of upanayana in the context of Shaivism from relevant books on Exotic India

General definition (in Hinduism)

[«previous next»] — Upanayana in Hinduism glossary
Source: archive.org: South Indian Festivities (hinduism)

Upanayana ritual.—A bird is called Dwija—twice born since it is first born as egg and then comes out of it as a bird. Similarly a Brahmin is called a Dwija sincehe has the birth of being launched into the world from his mother’s wombas well as the birth into the spiritual world by the ceremony called “Upanayanam” performed tor him hy his parents and family guru or preceptor. The Upanayanam of youths has a deep spiritual significance.

The world “upanayanam” means additional eye. By his knowledge of things beyond mundane, the Guru (preceptor) becomes an eye-opener to the youth and he begins to see the next higher world. In fact this ceremony was performed to Arjuna by Sri-Krishna in the battle-field. By strenuous application day after day, the youth develops this new sight more and more till it is fully open. In this way he is said to open and develop seven sights before completing his evolution.

Source: WikiPedia: Hinduism

In Hinduism, Upanayana is the initiation ritual by which initiates are invested with a sacred thread, to symbolize the transference of spiritual knowledge.

In Hinduism, the "sacred thread" (Sanskrit: यज्ञोपवीतम् yajñopavītam or upavīta) is a thin, consecrated cord, composed of distinct cotton strands, worn to symbolize the permission given to the wearer to perform sandhyavandanam and recite the Gayatri Mantra. The sacred Yajñopavītam is known by many names (varying by region and community), such as Bratabandha, Janivaara, Jandhyam, Poita, Pūṇūl, Janeu, Lagun, Yajnopavita, Yagyopavit, Yonya and Zunnar. The other Sanskrit term for it is Avyanga.

The ceremony that invests the wearer with the sacred thread is often considered a socially and spiritually significant rite (or samskara). It has varying formats across Hindu communities and is also called by varying names, including brahmopadesham, munji, munj, janeu rasm and bratabandha. Among Hindus, the ceremony is associated with the higher varṇas.

Languages of India and abroad

Pali-English dictionary

[«previous next»] — Upanayana in Pali glossary
Source: BuddhaSasana: Concise Pali-English Dictionary

upanayana : (nt.) 1. bringing near; 2. the ceremony of subsumption.

Source: Sutta: The Pali Text Society's Pali-English Dictionary

Upanayana, (nt.) (fr. upa + ni; cp. naya & nayana) tt. for the minor premiss, subsumption (see Kvu trsl. 11) Miln. 154; Nett 63; DhsA. 329 (so read with v. l. for °najana). (Page 143)

Pali book cover
context information

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.

Discover the meaning of upanayana in the context of Pali from relevant books on Exotic India

Marathi-English dictionary

[«previous next»] — Upanayana in Marathi glossary
Source: DDSA: The Molesworth Marathi and English Dictionary

upanayana (उपनयन).—n S Initiation of the three first classes; investiture with a thread or cord to be worn over the left shoulder and under the right. The cord of the Brahman is of cotton or of munja or Kusha grass; of the Kshatriya, of flax; of the Vyshya, of wool.

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

upanayana (उपनयन).—n Thread ceremony, vestiture with the sacred thread of the first three classes.

context information

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.

Discover the meaning of upanayana in the context of Marathi from relevant books on Exotic India

Sanskrit dictionary

[«previous next»] — Upanayana in Sanskrit glossary
Source: DDSA: The practical Sanskrit-English dictionary

Upanayana (उपनयन).—

1) Leading to or near.

2) Presenting, offering; धारासारोपनयनपरा नैगमाः सानुमन्तः (dhārāsāropanayanaparā naigamāḥ sānumantaḥ) V.4.13.

3) Investiture with the acred thread; गर्भाष्टमे ब्राह्मण उपनेय इत्युपनयनं संस्कारार्थम् (garbhāṣṭame brāhmaṇa upaneya ityupanayanaṃ saṃskārārtham) Mahābhārata 6.6.84. आसमावर्तनात्कुर्यात् कृतोपनयनो द्विजः (āsamāvartanātkuryāt kṛtopanayano dvijaḥ) Manusmṛti 2.18,173.

4) Employment, application.

5) Introduction (into any science).

Derivable forms: upanayanam (उपनयनम्).

--- OR ---

Upanāyana (उपनायन).—= उपनय (upanaya) q. v.

Derivable forms: upanāyanam (उपनायनम्).

See also (synonyms): upanāya.

--- OR ---

Upānayana (उपानयन).—The act of leading near or home (a wife); Bhāg.

Derivable forms: upānayanam (उपानयनम्).

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

Upanayana (उपनयन).—n.

(-naṃ) See the preceding. E. As before, affix lyuṭ; also with aṇ added upanāyana.

Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: Benfey Sanskrit-English Dictionary

Upanayana (उपनयन).—i. e. upa-nī + ana, n. 1. Bringing, [Vikramorvaśī, (ed. Bollensen.)] 76. 2. The initiation of the three first classes, [Mānavadharmaśāstra] 2, 108.

--- OR ---

Upanāyana (उपनायन).—i. e. upa-nī + ana, n. The initiation of the three first classes, [Mānavadharmaśāstra] 2, 36.

Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: Cappeller Sanskrit-English Dictionary

Upanayana (उपनयन).—[neuter] the same + seq.

--- OR ---

Upanāyana (उपनायन).—[neuter] leading to a teacher, initiation.

Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: Aufrecht Catalogus Catalogorum

Upanayana (उपनयन) as mentioned in Aufrecht’s Catalogus Catalogorum:—[dharma] Cs 2, 256.

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

1) Upanayana (उपनयन):—[=upa-nayana] [from upa-nī] n. the act of leading to or near, bringing, [Rāmāyaṇa; Bhāgavata-purāṇa; Vikramorvaśī]

2) [v.s. ...] employment, application, [Caraka]

3) [v.s. ...] introduction (into any science), [Prabodha-candrodaya]

4) [v.s. ...] leading or drawing towards one’s self

5) [v.s. ...] that ceremony in which a Guru draws a boy towards himself and initiates him into one of the three twice-born classes (one of the twelve Saṃskāras or purificatory rites [prescribed in the Dharma-sūtras and explained in the Gṛhya-sūtras] in which the boy is invested with the sacred thread [different for the three castes] and thus endowed with second or spiritual birth and qualified to learn the Veda by heart; a Brāhman is initiated in the eighth year [or seventh according to Hiraṇyakeśin; or eighth from conception, according to Śāṅkhāyana etc.], a Kṣatriya in the eleventh, a Vaiśya in the twelfth; but the term could be delayed)

6) [v.s. ...] See, [Indian Wisdom, by Sir M. Monier-Williams] p.201 [Religious Thought and Life in India p.360seqq.; Āśvalāyana-gṛhya-sūtra i, 19-22; Śāṅkhāyana-gṛhya-sūtra ii, 1-6; Pāraskara-gṛhya-sūtra ii, 2-5; Gobhila-śrāddha-kalpa ii, 10; Hiraṇyakeśin-gṛhya-sūtra i, 1 seqq.; Manu-smṛti ii, 36; Yājñavalkya i, 14.]

7) Upanāyana (उपनायन):—[=upa-nāyana] [from upa-nī] n. initiation = upa-nayana above.

8) Upānayana (उपानयन):—[=upā-nayana] [from upā-nī] n. the act of leading near or home (a wife), [Bhāgavata-purāṇa]

Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: Yates Sanskrit-English Dictionary

Upanayana (उपनयन):—[upa-nayana] (naṃ) 1. n. Idem.

Source: DDSA: Paia-sadda-mahannavo; a comprehensive Prakrit Hindi dictionary (S)

Upanayana (उपनयन) in the Sanskrit language is related to the Prakrit word: Uvaṇayaṇa.

[Sanskrit to German]

Upanayana in German

context information

Sanskrit, also spelled संस्कृतम् (saṃskṛtam), is an ancient language of India commonly seen as the grandmother of the Indo-European language family (even English!). 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.

Discover the meaning of upanayana in the context of Sanskrit from relevant books on Exotic India

Hindi dictionary

[«previous next»] — Upanayana in Hindi glossary
Source: DDSA: A practical Hindi-English dictionary

Upanayana (उपनयन) [Also spelled upnayan]:—(nm) a ceremony marking the investiture of the sacred thread ([yajñopavīta] or [janeū]).

context information


Discover the meaning of upanayana in the context of Hindi from relevant books on Exotic India

Kannada-English dictionary

[«previous next»] — Upanayana in Kannada glossary
Source: Alar: Kannada-English corpus

Upanayana (ಉಪನಯನ):—

1) [noun] the act or an instance of bringing near or carrying toward.

2) [noun] a religious function, held just before sending a Brāhmaṇa student to the residence of the teacher for learning, in which he is initiated with the hymn of light (the Gāyatri hymn) by his father and invested with the sacred thread; (now that religious function only).

3) [noun] a pair of eye-glasses; spectacles.

context information

Kannada is a Dravidian language (as opposed to the Indo-European language family) mainly spoken in the southwestern region of India.

Discover the meaning of upanayana in the context of Kannada from relevant books on Exotic India

See also (Relevant definitions)

Relevant text

Related products

Like what you read? Consider supporting this website: