Upaya, Ūpāya, Upāyā, Upāya, Upayā: 24 definitions



Upaya means something in Buddhism, Pali, Hinduism, Sanskrit, 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.

Alternative spellings of this word include Upay.

In Hinduism

Shaivism (Shaiva philosophy)

Source: bhagavadgitausa.com: Kashmir Saivism

Upāyas: Means. The soul needs the means to get rid of the Malas, obtain Anugraha or Grace of Siva and gain an entry into the Universal Siva Consciousness from the state of limited individual consciousness. Spiritual discipline is the centerpiece of this effort. It is also called Avesa (absorption in Siva). Abhi is of the opinion that an individual to should try and use Sambhavopaya the highest means first for realizing God Consciousness. Barring its success, one should proceed to the next best and so on. This list I have given goes from the lowest to the highest with Anupaya being in the epicenter of God realization. This entry is Samvesa.

There are four upayas or means: There are actually four entities that one can meditate on: the individual Body, the evolutes of Sakti, Siva Himself and Null means. They are respectively

  1. Anavopaya,
  2. Saktopaya,
  3. Sambhovopaya,
  4. Anupaya.

Progression from the first to the third is pAramparika.

Shaivism book cover
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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.

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Ayurveda (science of life)

Source: Shodhganga: Ayurveda siddhanta evam darshana

Upaya (उपय) has been defined by Charaka as vidhi or methodology of chikitsa is Upaya. In the context of dashavidha-parikshya-bhavas Charaka has defined upaya in context of supremacy of bhishak. Dictionary meanings of Upaya are excellence, goodness, suppleness or extreme skilfulness.

Upaya is excellence of physician and pharmacist etc. and their proper arrangement, it is characterized by (physicians etc.). endowed with their respective qualities and proper application of the therapy along with (the consideration) of place, time, dose, suitability, processing etc. which are the factors leading to success.

Source: gurumukhi.ru: Ayurveda glossary of terms

1) Upāya (उपाय):—[upāyaḥ] Methods , techniques

2) [upāyaḥ] Mode and mechanism of drug action

Ayurveda book cover
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Āyurveda (आयुर्वेद, ayurveda) is a branch of Indian science dealing with medicine, herbalism, taxology, anatomy, surgery, alchemy and related topics. Traditional practice of Āyurveda in ancient India dates back to at least the first millenium BC. Literature is commonly written in Sanskrit using various poetic metres.

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Purana and Itihasa (epic history)

Source: archive.org: Puranic Encyclopedia

Upāya (उपाय).—See under Caturupāya.

Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: The Purana Index

1) Upaya (उपय).—Śveta Parāśara group.*

  • * Matsya-purāṇa 201. 36.

2) Upāyā (उपाया).—Seven in number: sāma, bheda, daṇḍa, dāna, upekṣā, māyā and indrajāla Acts done with upāyās become fruitful.*

  • * Matsya-purāṇa 222. 1-3; Vāyu-purāṇa 62. 158.
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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General definition (in Hinduism)

Source: Red Zambala: On the Salvific Activities of God

Upāyas are stratagems for worldly success and achieving one’s goals or self-initiated methods for attaining Liberation recommended by the Scriptures such as Bhakti, Jñana and Karma Yoga, pilgrimages, austerities, and other spiritual practices.

In Buddhism

Tibetan Buddhism (Vajrayana or tantric Buddhism)

Source: archive.org: The Indian Buddhist Iconography

Upāya (उपाय, “means”) refers to the “process of various experiences through which the Sādhaka has to pass before the deity is realised and visualised”.—The Guhyasamāja (chapter 18) calls this process Upāya (means) which is recognised as of four kinds.

The four upāyas are:—

  1. Sevā (worship),
  2. Upasādhana,
  3. Sādhana,
  4. Mahāsādhana.

Sevā (worship) is again sub-divided into two, namely, Sāmānya (ordinary) and Uttama (excellent). Of these two, the Sāmānya-sevā consists of four Vajras: first, the conception of Śūnyatā; second, its transformation into the germ-syllable; third, its evolution in the form of a deity, and the fourth, the external representation of the deity.

Source: academia.edu: The Structure and Meanings of the Heruka Maṇḍala

Upāya (उपाय) is the name of a Vīra (hero) who, together with the Ḍākinī named Icchāsiddhi forms one of the 36 pairs situated in the Vajracakra, according to the 10th century Ḍākārṇava chapter 15. Accordingly, the vajracakra refers to one of the four divisions of the sahaja-puṭa (‘innate layer’), situated within the padma (lotus) in the middle of the Herukamaṇḍala. The 36 pairs of Ḍākinīs and Vīras [viz., Upāya] each have one face and four arms; they hold a skull bowl, a skull staff, a small drum and a knife; they are dark-bluish-black in color.

Tibetan Buddhism book cover
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Tibetan Buddhism includes schools such as Nyingma, Kadampa, Kagyu and Gelug. Their primary canon of literature is divided in two broad categories: The Kangyur, which consists of Buddha’s words, and the Tengyur, which includes commentaries from various sources. Esotericism and tantra techniques (vajrayāna) are collected indepently.

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General definition (in Buddhism)

Source: Wisdom Library: Dharma-samgraha

1) Upāya (उपाय, “skilful means”) or upāyapāramitā represents the seventh of the “ten perferctions” (daśapāramitā) as defined in the Dharma-saṃgraha (section 18). The Dharma-samgraha (Dharmasangraha) is an extensive glossary of Buddhist technical terms in Sanskrit (e.g., daśa-pāramitā and upāya). The work is attributed to Nagarjuna who lived around the 2nd century A.D.

2) Upāya (उपाय) also refers to the “manifold means” as defined in the Dharma-saṃgraha (section 111):

  1. sarva-sattvāvabodhaka (that which understands all beings),
  2. sattvārthābhāvaka (that which develops the welfare of beings),
  3. kṣipra-sukhābhisambodhi (that which awakens quickly and pleasantly).

India history and geography

Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: Indian Epigraphical Glossary

Upāya.—(EI 6, 25), four in number; ‘four’. Cf. catur-upāya (SII 1). (SITI), probably, minor taxes. Note: upāya is defined in the “Indian epigraphical glossary” as it can be found on ancient inscriptions commonly written in Sanskrit, Prakrit or Dravidian languages.

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 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

Source: BuddhaSasana: Concise Pali-English Dictionary

upaya : (m.) attachment. || upāya (m.), way; means; resource.

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

Upāya, (fr. upa + i, cp. upaya) approach; fig. way, means, expedient, stratagem S. III, 53 sq. , 58; D. III, 220 (°kosalla); Sn. 321 (°ññū); J. I, 256; Nd2 570 (for upaya); PvA. 20, 31, 39, 45, 104, 161; Sdhp. 10, 12. 350, 385.—Cases adverbially; Instr. upāyena by artifice or means of a trick PvA. 93; yena kenaci u. PvA. 113.—Abl. upāyaso by some means, somehow J. III, 443; V, 401 (= upāyena C.). ‹-› anupāya wrong means J. I, 256; Sdhp. 405; without going near, without having a propensity for S. I, 181; M. III, 25.

— or —

Upaya, (fr. upa + i, cp. upāya) approach, undertaking, taking up; clinging to, attachment, only as adj. (-°) in an° (anûpaya metri causā) not going near, aloof, unattached S. I, 141, 181; II, 284; Sn. 786, 787, 897 (cp. SnA 558); and in rūpûpaya (vv. ll. rūpupaya & rūpupāya) “clinging to form” (etc.) S. III, 53 = Nd1 25 = Nd2 570 (+ rup’ārammaṇa). (Page 145)

— or —

Ūpāya, at DhA. II, 93 stands for upāya. (Page 158)

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.

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Marathi-English dictionary

Source: DDSA: The Molesworth Marathi and English Dictionary

upāya (उपाय).—m (S) A remedy, a resource, a measure: also a scheme, contrivance, expedient, device, stratagem.

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

upāya (उपाय) [-va, -व].—m A remedy, a resource. A scheme.

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.

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Sanskrit dictionary

Source: DDSA: The practical Sanskrit-English dictionary

Upaya (उपय).—1 U.

1) To marry, take a wife (Ā. in this sense); भवान् मिथः समयादिमामुपायंस्त (bhavān mithaḥ samayādimāmupāyaṃsta) Ś.5; आत्मानुरूपां विधिनोपयेमे (ātmānurūpāṃ vidhinopayeme) Ku.1.18; R.14.87; Śi.15.27; Ms.3.11; Bk.4.2, 28;7.11.

2) (a) To seize, hold; उपयच्छ शूर्पम् (upayaccha śūrpam) Av.; उपायंस्त महास्त्राणि (upāyaṃsta mahāstrāṇi) Bk.15.21; शस्त्राण्युपायंसत जित्वराणि (śastrāṇyupāyaṃsata jitvarāṇi) 1.16. (b) To take, receive, accept; कोपात्काश्चित्प्रियैः प्रत्तमुपायंसत नासवम् (kopātkāścitpriyaiḥ prattamupāyaṃsata nāsavam) Bk.8.33.

3) To show, indicate (sūc); मोपयध्वं भयम् (mopayadhvaṃ bhayam) Bk.7.11.

4) To lie under, support, prop up (Ved.).

5) To go to (a woman); एतास्तिस्रस्तु भार्यार्थे नोपयच्छेत्तु बुद्धिमान् (etāstisrastu bhāryārthe nopayacchettu buddhimān) Ms.11.172.

6) To curb, restrain.

Derivable forms: upayam (उपयम्).

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Upayā (उपया).—2 P.

1) To approach, go towards, reach; उपयामगृहीतोऽसि (upayāmagṛhīto'si) Ts.1.4.15. येन मामुपयान्तिते (yena māmupayāntite) Bg.1.1. so पुरम्, गतिम्, नयनम्, पदवीम् (puram, gatim, nayanam, padavīm); दुर्मन्त्रिणं कमुपयान्ति न नीतिदोषाः (durmantriṇaṃ kamupayānti na nītidoṣāḥ) H.3.11.

2) To attain to a particular state, meet with &c.; तनुताम्, मृत्युम्, रुजम्, पाकम्, प्रसादम् (tanutām, mṛtyum, rujam, pākam, prasādam) &c.

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Upāya (उपाय).—See under उपे (upe).

Derivable forms: upāyaḥ (उपायः).

See also (synonyms): upāyana.

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Upāya (उपाय).—(a)

1) Means, an expedient, remedy; शक्योवाप्तुमुपायतः (śakyovāptumupāyataḥ) Bg.6.36. उपायं चिन्तयेत्प्राज्ञस्तथापायं च चिन्तयेत् (upāyaṃ cintayetprājñastathāpāyaṃ ca cintayet) Pt.1.46; मयि क्षीणोपाये प्रणिपतनमात्रैकशरणे (mayi kṣīṇopāye praṇipatanamātraikaśaraṇe) Amaru.25; Bhāg.1.48.2; Ms.8.48,7.177. (b) A plan, contrivance; °निलया (nilayā) Mu.1.5. (c) A mode, way, stratagem. उपायेन तु यच्छक्यं न तच्छक्यं पराक्रमैः (upāyena tu yacchakyaṃ na tacchakyaṃ parākramaiḥ) | H.

2) A fact, circumstance; U.7.

3) Beginning, commencement.

4) Effort, exertion; वश्यात्मना तु यतता शक्योऽवाप्तुमुपायतः (vaśyātmanā tu yatatā śakyo'vāptumupāyataḥ) (yogaḥ) Bg.6.36; Ms.9.248;1.2.

5) A means of success against an enemy; (these are four:sāman conciliation or negotiation, dānam bribery; bhedaḥ sowing dissensions; and daṇḍaḥ punishment (open attack); some authorities add three more :माया (māyā) deceit; उपेक्षा (upekṣā) trick, deceit or neglect; इन्द्रजाल (indrajāla) conjuring, thus making the total number 7); चतुर्थोपायसाध्ये तु रिपौ सान्त्वमपक्रिया (caturthopāyasādhye tu ripau sāntvamapakriyā) Śi.2.54; सामादीना- मुपायानां चतुर्णामपि पण्डिताः (sāmādīnā- mupāyānāṃ caturṇāmapi paṇḍitāḥ) Ms.7.19.

6) Joining (as in singing).

7) Approach.

8) Initiation, thread ceremony (= upanayana); अपि वा वेदतुल्यत्वाद् उपायेन प्रवर्तेरन् (api vā vedatulyatvād upāyena pravarteran) MS.6.2.22 (where śabara explains upāyena pravarteran as upa- nayanena saha pravarteran |).

Derivable forms: upāyaḥ (उपायः).

Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: Edgerton Buddhist Hybrid Sanskrit Dictionary

Upāya (उपाय).—m. (= Sanskrit), means: three, Dharmasaṃgraha 111, sarvasattvāvabodhakaḥ, sattvārthābhāvakaḥ, kṣiprasu- khābhisaṃbodhiḥ; six, of a Bodhisattva, for sattvārthasyā- bhiniṣpattaye, Bodhisattvabhūmi 264.7—9; ānulomiko vibandhasthāyī visabhāgāśayaḥ avaṣṭambhajaḥ kṛtapratikṛtikaḥ viśuddhaś ca ṣaṣṭha upāyaḥ. (They are explained in great detail.)

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

Upāya (उपाय).—m.

(-yaḥ) 1. A means, an expedient, a way. 2. A means of success against an enemy; four are usually enumerated, as, sowing dissension, chastisement, conciliation and gifts. 3. Approaching, approach. E. upa and āṅ before iṇ to go, affix ghañ.

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

Upāya (उपाय).—i. e. upa-i + a, m. 1. Approach, [Bhartṛhari, (ed. Bohlen.)] 3, 10. 2. Means of success, [Mānavadharmaśāstra] 7, 177. 3. An expedient in general, [Mānavadharmaśāstra] 9, 110. 4. Craft, Böhtl. Ind. Spr. 498.

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

Upāya (उपाय).—[masculine] approach, way to or of, means, expedient, stratagem; upāyena & upāyatas in a clever way, by stratagem.

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Upāyā (उपाया) or Abhyupāyā or Samupāyā.—the same.

Upāyā is a Sanskrit compound consisting of the terms upā and (या).

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

1) Upayā (उपया):—[=upa-√yā] [Parasmaipada] -yāti ([infinitive mood] -yai, opposed to ava-yai See ava-√yā) to come up, [Ṛg-veda viii, 47, 12];

—to come near, go near or towards, approach (for protection), visit, frequent, [Ṛg-veda; Atharva-veda; Āśvalāyana-gṛhya-sūtra; Mahābhārata; Bhāgavata-purāṇa; Kathāsaritsāgara] etc.;

—to approach (a woman for sexual intercourse), [Mahābhārata; Rāmāyaṇa] etc.;

—to arrive at, reach, obtain, to get into any state or condition, [Mahābhārata; Varāha-mihira’s Bṛhat-saṃhitā; Raghuvaṃśa] etc.;

—to occur, befall, [Hitopadeśa];

—to give one’s self up to, [Viṣṇu-purāṇa]

2) Upāya (उपाय):—a etc. See p. 215, col. 2.

3) Upāyā (उपाया):—[=upā-√yā] [Parasmaipada] -yāti, to come near or towards, approach, [Ṛg-veda; Mahābhārata; Bhāgavata-purāṇa; Kathāsaritsāgara] etc.;

—to come into any state or condition, undergo, [Mārkaṇḍeya-purāṇa; Kirātārjunīya]

4) Upāya (उपाय):—[from upe] b m. coming near, approach, arrival, [Bhartṛhari]

5) [v.s. ...] that by which one reaches one’s aim, a means or expedient (of any kind), way, stratagem, craft, artifice, [Mahābhārata; Manu-smṛti; Yājñavalkya; Pañcatantra] etc.

6) [v.s. ...] ([especially]) a means of success against an enemy (four are usually enumerated, sowing dissension, negotiation, bribery, and open assault)

7) [v.s. ...] joining in or accompanying (in singing), [Śāṅkhāyana-śrauta-sūtra]

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

Upāya (उपाय):—[upā+ya] (yaḥ) 1. m. Means; a means of success against an enemy.

[Sanskrit to German] (Deutsch Wörterbuch)

Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: Böhtlingk and Roth Grosses Petersburger Wörterbuch

Upāya (उपाय):—(von 3. i mit upa) m.

1) Herbeikunft [Medinīkoṣa y. 75.] aho duṣṭaḥ kāyastadapi maraṇopāyacakitaḥ [Bhartṛhari 3, 10.] —

2) wodurch man zu seinem Ziel gelangt, Mittel, Weg, fein angelegtes Mittel, List [Amarakoṣa 3, 4, 3, 23. 23, 142.] [Muṇḍakopaniṣad 3, 2, 4.] sarvopāyaistathā kuryānnītijñaḥ pṛthivīpatiḥ . yathāsyābhyadhikā na syurmitrodāsīnaśatravaḥ .. [Manu’s Gesetzbuch 7, 177. 8, 48. 190. 9, 312. 11, 112.] [Bhagavadgītā 6, 36.] [Nalopākhyāna 26, 9.] [Viśvāmitra’s Kampf 13, 27.] [Rāmāyaṇa 1, 8, 15. 9, 1. 8.] [Amaruśataka 21.] [Kathāsaritsāgara 20, 2. 25, 32.] [BURN. Lot. de Lassen’s Anthologie b. l. 549. fg.] upāyena hi tatkuryādyanna śakyaṃ parākramaiḥ [Pañcatantra I, 233.] upāyo vihitaścāyaṃ tvadarthamatulo nayā [Nalopākhyāna 24, 33.] ayamupāyaścintito mahān [19, 4.] upāyo yaṃ mayā dṛṣṭo nirapāyaḥ [4, 19.] upāyamanapāyam [Rāmāyaṇa 3, 44, 8.] saṃśayātmakaḥ [Pañcatantra I, 10.] cintayitvā ca tasyopāyānbahūṃstataḥ Mittel dieses in’s Werk zu setzen [Rāmāyaṇa 1, 8, 21.] nānyo sti kaścidupāyo smākaṃ jīvitasya [Pañcatantra 161, 9.] kaṃ kariṣyatyupāyam [Rāmāyaṇa 5, 6, 5.] vadhārthaṃ tasya bhagavannupāyaṃ kartumarhasi [1, 14, 19.] mayā tāvadeteṣāṃ vadhāyopāyaścintanīyaḥ [Pañcatantra 191, 9.] upāyo yaṃ mayā dṛṣṭo naiṣadhānayane tava [Nalopākhyāna 24, 24.] sarvopāyaṃ ca vartiṣye vinivartayituṃ vanāt [Rāmāyaṇa 2, 82, 18.] etairupāyayogaiḥ [Manu’s Gesetzbuch 9, 10.] saṃyuktānviyuktāṃśca sarvopāyāṃsṛjedbudhaḥ [7, 214.] bhedo daṇḍaḥ sāma dānamityupāyacatuṣṭayam (den Feind zu bezwingen) [Amarakoṣa 2, 8, 1, 20.] [Hemacandra’s Abhidhānacintāmaṇi 736.] [Medinīkoṣa y. 75.] [Manu’s Gesetzbuch 7, 108. 109. 200.] [Yājñavalkya’s Gesetzbuch 1, 345.] kaccidrājaguṇaiḥ ṣaḍbhiḥ saptopāyāṃstathānagha (die [4] eben erwähnten und die [3] sogenannten kṣudropāyāḥ; s. [Hemacandra’s Abhidhānacintāmaṇi 738]) .. balābalena samyaktvaṃ caturdaśa parīkṣase [Mahābhārata 2, 155.] in comp. mit dem Ziel: vṛttyupāyān [Manu’s Gesetzbuch 10, 2.] hantāyaṃ vihitastasya vadhopāyaḥ [Rāmāyaṇa 1, 14, 20.] [Pañcatantra 55, 6.] āharaṇopāya [Suśruta 1, 23, 15.] sādhanopāya [2, 46, 11.] arthopāyāścintanīyāḥ kartavyāśca [Pañcatantra 6, 7. 92, 3.] [Kathāsaritsāgara 10, 43. 138.] [Hemacandra’s Abhidhānacintāmaṇi 77.] mit dem Mittel selbst: śasyopāya [Aśvalāyana’s Śrautasūtrāni 9, 10.] hanyāccitrairvadhopāyairudvejanakarairnṛpaḥ [Manu’s Gesetzbuch 9, 248.] [Suśruta 1, 26, 20.] yantropāya [359, 11.] sukhopāyena auf eine leichte Art [Pañcatantra 211, 10.] am Ende eines adj. comp. f. āḥ buddhimāsthāya sopāyām [Mahābhārata 3, 1306.] —

3) das Einstimmen in den Gesang: tatra hoturnidhanopāyaḥ [Śāṅkhāyana’s Gṛhyasūtrāṇi 5, 12, 4.] — Vgl. upakrama und apāya .

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Upāya (उपाय):—

2) gavāmayanasyopāyāṃścaturaḥ pratipādayet vier Wege zu [WEBER, Nakṣ. 2, 284.] dvāvupāyāviha proktau vimuktau śatrudarśane zwei Mittel zur Rettung [Spr. 1275.] durjanaṃ sajjanaṃ kartumupāyo nahi bhūtale [4195.] evaṃ rāṣṭramupāyena bhuñjāno labhate phalam auf die rechte Weise [4917.] upāyopanyāsa Titel des 1ten Acts im Madhurāniruddha [Oxforder Handschriften 142,a. No. 290.]

Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: Sanskrit-Wörterbuch in kürzerer Fassung

Upāya (उपाय):—m.

1) Annäherung [Indische sprüche 3772] v.l. —

2) Mittel [Gautama's Dharmaśāstra] Weg zu , fein angelegtes Mittel , Kunstgriff , List. upāyena und upāyatas ([136,5]) auf die rechte Weise , auf kluge Weise.

3) das Anstimmen eines Gesanges [Śāṅkhāyana’s Śrautasūtra (Weber) 5,12,4.]

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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 (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

Source: DDSA: A practical Hindi-English dictionary

Upāya (उपाय) [Also spelled upay]:—(nm) way, measure; device; cure, remedy.

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