Upanayana, Upanāyana, Upānayana: 13 definitions


Upanayana means something in Hinduism, Sanskrit, 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)

[«previous (U) 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
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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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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.

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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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 (eg., upanayana-saṃskāra) are community affairs and at each ceremony relations and friends gather for community eating.

Arthashastra book cover
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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.

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General definition (in Hinduism)

[«previous (U) 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 (U) 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
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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

[«previous (U) 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.

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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

[«previous (U) 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) Ms.2.18,173.

4) Employment, application.

5) Introduction (into any science).

Derivable forms: upanayanam (उपनयनम्).

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

Derivable forms: upanāyanam (उपनायनम्).

See also (synonyms): upanāya.

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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.

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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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