Upasana, Upāsanā, Upāsana: 22 definitions


Upasana means something in Hinduism, Sanskrit, Jainism, Prakrit, Buddhism, Pali, the history of ancient India, 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.

In Hinduism

Natyashastra (theatrics and dramaturgy)

Source: Wisdom Library: Nāṭya-śāstra

Upāsana (उपासन, “pacification”) refers to ‘propitiation’ or pacification of an angered. Upāsana represents one of the thirteen pratimukhasandhi, according to the Nāṭyaśāstra chapter 21. This element is also known by the name Paryupāsana. Pratimukhasandhi refers to the “segments (sandhi) of the progressing part (pratimukha)” and represents one of the five segments of the plot (itivṛtta or vastu) of a dramatic composition (nāṭaka).

Natyashastra book cover
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Natyashastra (नाट्यशास्त्र, nāṭyaśāstra) refers to both the ancient Indian tradition (shastra) of performing arts, (natya—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), construction and performance of Theater, and Poetic works (kavya).

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Shilpashastra (iconography)

Source: Red Zambala: Hindu Icons and Symbols | Introduction

Upāsanā (उपासना):—The Upaniṣads prescribe many techniques for spiritual advancement but the most prominent of them is upāsanā. Upāsanā (upa + āsana) literally means –‘sitting near’ and refers to the act of meditation. The term Upāsānā can be translated as worship, contemplation, devotion, the making of offerings etc.

The icons are primarily used for this practice of Upāsanā. They not merely “representations” of the Godhead but are in fact a “focus” or “locus” of the presence of the Godhead. This means that God is actually present in the icons.

Shilpashastra book cover
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Shilpashastra (शिल्पशास्त्र, śilpaśāstra) represents the ancient Indian science (shastra) of creative arts (shilpa) such as sculpture, iconography and painting. Closely related to Vastushastra (architecture), they often share the same literature.

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Vaishnavism (Vaishava dharma)

Source: Pure Bhakti: Bhagavad-gita (4th edition)

Upāsanā (उपासना) refers to “spiritual practices”. (cf. Glossary page from Śrīmad-Bhagavad-Gītā).

Source: Pure Bhakti: Brhad Bhagavatamrtam

Upāsanā (उपासना) refers to:—Spiritual practices, especially worship of the Deity. Upāsanā literally means ‘to sit near.’ It refers to all those activities by which one approaches the Lord in order to offer worship. (cf. Glossary page from Śrī Bṛhad-bhāgavatāmṛta).

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Vaishnava (वैष्णव, vaiṣṇava) or vaishnavism (vaiṣṇavism) represents a tradition of Hinduism worshipping Vishnu as the supreme Lord. Similar to the Shaktism and Shaivism traditions, Vaishnavism also developed as an individual movement, famous for its exposition of the dashavatara (‘ten avatars of Vishnu’).

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General definition (in Hinduism)

Source: WikiPedia: Hinduism

'Upasana' in Sanskrit literally means "Sitting near" but normally the term is used in Hinduism to denote a prescribed method for approaching a Deity or God or getting close to a deity/deities. In the Vedas, some Upasanas are prescribed whereby one meditates on the all-pervading Brahman as some aspect of creation, such as fire, water, directions, food, mind, joy, etc. Thus, Upasana can be described as a systematic practice of a prescribed method of worship for pleasing and winning the attention of the deity or it can be a deity-less practice of austerities involving meditating upon some aspect of nature as told in specific Vedic Upasanas. Normally such prescriptions of worship or meditational methods are taken from various Hindu scriptures, mainly the Puranas and Vedas. A devotee would consult the scriptures, or a person who knows them thoroughly, to get a prescribed form of worship (Upasana) for his/her deity of choice (Ishta Devata) and follow it faithfully to the best of his/her abilities.

In Jainism

General definition (in Jainism)

Source: archive.org: Trisastisalakapurusacaritra

Upāsanā (उपासना) refers to the “attendance on kings”, according to chapter 1.2 [ādīśvara-caritra] of Hemacandra’s 11th century Triṣaṣṭiśalākāpuruṣacaritra: an ancient Sanskrit epic poem narrating the history and legends of sixty-three illustrious persons in Jainism. Accordingly, “[...] From that time, the first artisans, the potters, arose. For the sake of houses for the people, the Lord appointed carpenters. [...] Worship of elephants, etc., archery, medicine, attendance on kings [viz., upāsanā], etc., battle, science of politics, binding, beating, killing, and organizations arose then”.

Note: Upāsanā is explained (Āvaśyakasūtra p. 199b) as either nāpitakarma, barbers’ work, or attendance on gurus, kings, etc. As the barbers have already been disposed of, the latter seems more plausible.

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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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India history and geography

Source: What is India: Epigraphia Indica volume XXXI (1955-56)

Upāsana, from which upāsanī is derived, generally means ‘worship’ and ‘religious meditation’; but according to the Yājñavalkya-smṛti, III, 45, it also indicates ‘sacred fire’.

India history book cover
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The history of India traces the identification of countries, villages, towns and other regions of India, as well as mythology, zoology, royal dynasties, rulers, tribes, local festivities and traditions and regional languages. Ancient India enjoyed religious freedom and encourages the path of Dharma, a concept common to Buddhism, Hinduism, and Jainism.

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Languages of India and abroad

Pali-English dictionary

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

upāsana : (nt.) service; attendance; archery; training (of some art).

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

1) Upāsana, 2 (nt.) (fr. upāsati) — 1. archery J. VI, 448; usually in phrase katûpāsana skilled in archery M. I, 82; S. II, 266; A. II, 48; J. IV, 211; Mhvs 24, 1.—Miln. 232 (°ṃ sikkhitvā).—2. practice Miln. 419.—3. in °sālā gymnasium, training ground Miln. 352. (Page 150)

2) Upāsana, 1 (nt.) (fr. upāsati) attendance, service, honour S. I, 46 (samaṇ°); Th. 1, 239; Miln. 115. Cp. payir°. (Page 150)

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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

Source: DDSA: The Molesworth Marathi and English Dictionary

upasāṇa (उपसाण).—f C (Or ubasāṇa) Musty or mouldy smell. v yē, paḍa.

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upāsanā (उपासना).—f (S) Worship or religious service. The distinctions are ātmōpāsanā, karmōpāsanā, jñā- nōpāsanā q. v. in loc. 2 Observing or keeping (an ordinance, a rite, a mantra).

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

upasāṇa (उपसाण).—f Musty or mouldy smell.

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upāsanā (उपासना).—f Worship or religious service. Observing (a rite, &c.).

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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 dictionary

Source: DDSA: The practical Sanskrit-English dictionary

Upāsana (उपासन) or Upāsanā (उपासना).—

1) Service, serving, attendance, waiting upon; शीलं खलोपासनात् (śīlaṃ khalopāsanāt) (vinaśyati); उपासनामेत्य पितुः स्म सृज्यते (upāsanāmetya pituḥ sma sṛjyate) N.1.34; Pañcatantra (Bombay) 1.169; Manusmṛti 3.17; Bhagavadgītā (Bombay) 13.7; Y.3.156; Bhartṛhari 2.42.

2) Engaging in, being intent on, performing; संगीत° (saṃgīta°) Mṛcchakaṭika 6; सन्ध्या° (sandhyā°) Manusmṛti 2.69.

3) Worship, respect, adoration.

4) Practice of archery.

5) Regarding as, reflecting upon.

6) Religious meditation. न कर्मसांख्ययोगोपासनादिभिः (na karmasāṃkhyayogopāsanādibhiḥ) Mukti Up.1.1.

7) The sacred fire. वानप्रस्थो ब्रह्मचारी साग्निः सोपासनो व्रजेत् (vānaprastho brahmacārī sāgniḥ sopāsano vrajet). Y.3.45.

8) Injuring, hurting; (fr. as 2).

Derivable forms: upāsanam (उपासनम्).

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

Upāsana (उपासन).—n.

(-naṃ) 1. Archery. 2. Service. 3. A seat. 4. Assembling. 5. Injuring, hurting. f.

(-nā) 1. Service. 2. Worship, adoration. E. upa before ās to sit, or āṅ before as to throw or send, affix yuc and fem. ṭāp.

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

Upāsana (उपासन).—i. e. upa-ās + ana. I. n. 1. Attendance, [Mānavadharmaśāstra] 3, 107. 2. Practice, [Mṛcchakaṭikā, (ed. Stenzler.)] 2, 11. 3. Religious contemplation, [Vedāntasāra, (in my Chrestomathy.)] in Chr. 202, 12, cf. 18, 3. 4. The sacred fire, [Yājñavalkya, (ed. Stenzler.)] 3, 45. Ii. f. , Service, Cāt. 10.

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

Upāsana (उपासन).—[neuter] seat; service, attendance, worship (also [feminine]); meditation, practice, exercise.

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

1) Upāsana (उपासन):—[from upās] 1. upāsana n. the act of throwing off (arrows), exercise in archery, [Mahābhārata]

2) [from upās] 2. upāsana f(ā)n. the act of sitting or being near or at hand

3) [v.s. ...] serving, waiting upon, service, attendance, respect, [Āpastamba-dharma-sūtra; Gautama-dharma-śāstra; Manu-smṛti; Yājñavalkya] etc.

4) [v.s. ...] homage, adoration, worship (with Rāmānujas, consisting of five parts, viz. Abhigamana or approach, Upādāna or preparation of offering, Ijyā or oblation, Svādhyāya or recitation, and Yoga or devotion), [Sarvadarśana-saṃgraha; Vedāntasāra] etc.

5) [v.s. ...] n. a seat, [Vaitāna-sūtra]

6) [v.s. ...] the being intent on or engaged in [Mṛcchakaṭikā; Rāmāyaṇa]

7) [v.s. ...] domestic fire, [Yājñavalkya iii, 45.]

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

1) Upāsana (उपासन):—[upā+sana] (naṃ) 1. n. Archery; service; a seat; assembling; injuring.

2) Upāsanā (उपासना):—[upā+sanā] (nā) 1. f. Service, worship.

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

Upāsana (उपासन) in the Sanskrit language is related to the Prakrit words: Uvāsaṇa, Uvāsaṇā.

[Sanskrit to German]

Upasana 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.

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Hindi dictionary

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

Upāsanā (उपासना):—(nf) worship, adoration; —[paddhati] cult; technique of worship.

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Kannada-English dictionary

Source: Alar: Kannada-English corpus

Upāsana (ಉಪಾಸನ):—[noun] = ಉಪಾಸನೆ [upasane].

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

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