Vijja, aka: Vijjā; 5 Definition(s)


Vijja means something in Buddhism, Pali. 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 Buddhism

Theravada (major branch of Buddhism)

Clear knowledge; genuine awareness; science (specifically, the cognitive powers developed through the practice of concentration and discernment).Source: Access to Insight: A Glossary of Pali and Buddhist Terms

F Knowledge (of dhamma). Knowledege of the four Noble Truths. Extraordinary kowledge, the three vijjas:

  • Vision of past lives.
  • Vision and hearing of beings living in other plans of existence.
  • Eradication of the kilesas.
  • Source: Dhamma Dana: Pali English Glossary

    '(higher) knowledge', gnosis. For the 3-fold k., s. abhiññā and te-vijjā. Cf. foll.

    Source: Pali Kanon: Manual of Buddhist Terms and Doctrines
    context information

    Theravāda is a major branch of Buddhism having the the Pali canon (tipitaka) as their canonical literature, which includes the vinaya-pitaka (monastic rules), the sutta-pitaka (Buddhist sermons) and the abhidhamma-pitaka (philosophy and psychology).

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    Languages of India and abroad

    Pali-English dictionary

    Vijja in Pali glossary... « previous · [V] · next »

    vijjā : (f.) higher knowledge; science.

    Source: BuddhaSasana: Concise Pali-English Dictionary

    Vijja, (adj.) (—°) (=vijjā) having vijjā, possessed of wisdom; in vatthu°, tiracchāna°, nakkhatta° etc. (referring to the lower arts condemned as heretic: vijjā c.) S. III, 239. te° possessed of threefold wisdom: see vijjā b. (Page 617)

    — or —

    Vijjā, (f.) (cp. Vedic vidyā knowledge: etym. see under vindati) one of the dogmatic terms of Buddhist teaching, varying in meaning in diff. sections of the Canon. It is not always the positive to avijjā (which has quite a welldefined meaning from its first appearance in Buddhist psych. ethics), but has been taken into the terminology of Buddhism from Brahmanic and popular philosophy. The opposite of avijjā is usually ñāṇa (but cp. S. III, 162 f. 171; V, 429). Although certain vijjās pertain to the recognition of the “truth” and the destruction of avijjā, yet they are only secondary factors in achieving “vimutti” (cp. abhiññā, ñāṇa-dassana & paññā). That vijjā at M. I, 22 is contrasted with avijjā is to be expld as a word-play in a stereotype phrase.—A diff. side of “knowledge” again is given by “bodhi. ” ‹-› (a) Vijjā is a general, popular term for lore in the old sense, science, study, esp. study as a practice of some art (something like the secret science of the medicine man: cp. vejja!); hence appld in special, “dogmatic” sense as “secret science, ” revelation (put into a sort of magic formula), higher knowledge (of the learned man), knowledge which may be applied and used as an art (cp. magister artium!), practical knowledge; but also mysterious knowledge: “charm. ” — (b) vijjā, having a varying content in its connotation, is applied to a series of diff. achievements. A rather old tabulation of the stages leading by degrees to the attainment of the highest knowledge is given in the Sāmañña-phala-sutta (D. I, 63—86), repeated in nearly every Suttanta of D 1. It is composed of the 3 sampadās, viz. sīla°, citta° & paññā°. Under the first group belong sīla(—kkhandha), indriya-saṃvara, sati-sampajañña, santuṭṭhi; the second is composed (1) of the overcoming of the nīvaraṇas, (2) of the 4 jhānas; the third consists of 8 items, viz. (1) ñāṇa-dassana, (2) manomaya-kāya, (3) iddhi, (4) dibba-sota, (5) ceto-pariyañāṇa, (6) pubbe-nivās’ânussatiñāṇa, (7) cut’ûpapatti-ñāṇa, (8) āsavānaṃ khaya-ñāṇa. Other terms used are: for the 2nd sampadā: caraṇa (D. I. 100), and for the 3rd: vijjā (ibid.). ‹-› The discussion at D. I, 100 is represented as contradicting the (brahmaṇic) opinion of Ambaṭṭha, who thought that “vijjā nāma tayo Vedā, caraṇaṃ pañca sīlāni” (DA. I, 267 sq.).—In the enumn of 3 vijjās at M. I, 22 sq. only Nos. 6—8 of the 3rd sampadā (said to have been attained by the Buddha in the 3 night watches) with the verbs anussarati (No. 6), pajānāti (7), abhijānāti (8), each signifying a higher stage of (“saving”) knowledge, yet all called “vijjā. ” Quoted at Vism. 202, where all 8 stages are given as “aṭṭha vijjā, ” and caraṇa with 15 qualities (sīla-saṃvara, indriyesu guttadvāra etc.). The same 3 vijjās (No. 6, 7, 8) are given at D. III, 220, 275, and poetically at A. II, 165 as the characteristics of a proper (ariya, Buddhist) monk (or brāhmaṇa): “etāhi tīhi vijjāhi tevijjo hoti brāhmaṇo, ” opposing the threeVeda-knowledge of the Brahmins.—Tevijja (adj.) in same meaning at S. I, 146 (where it refers to Nos. 3, 5, 8 of above enumn), 192, 194. In brahmanic sense at Sn. 594 (=tiveda SnA 463). Both meanings compared & contrasted at A. I, 163 (aññathā brāhmaṇā brāhmaṇaṃ tevijjaṃ paññāpenti, aññathā ca pana ariyassa vinaye tevijjo hoti “different in the Brahmanic and diff. in the Buddhist sense”).—Tisso vijjā (without specification, but referring to above 6, 7, 8) further at Vin. II, 183; Sn. 656; Ps. I, 34; II, 56; Pv IV. 134; Miln. 359 (+chaḷabhiññā); DhA. IV, 30 (id.). It is doubtful whether the defn of ñāṇa as “tisso vijjā” at Vin. III, 91 is genuine. ‹-› On vijjā-caraṇa see also D. III, 97, 98, 237; S. I, 153, 166; II, 284; V, 197; A. II, 163; IV, 238; V, 327; Sn. 163, 289, 442.—On vijjā in the doctrinal appln see: D. III, 156, 214, 274; S. II, 7 sq. (cakkhu, ñāṇa, paññā, vijjā, āloka); III, 47; 163; 171; IV, 31, 49 sq. A. I, 83; II, 247; Sn. 334 (simply meaning “wisdom, ” craft, care, but Bdhgh SnA 339 takes it as “āsavānaṃ—khaya-ñāṇa”), 1026 (opposed to avijjā); Pug. 14, 57; Vbh. 324; Nett 76, 191.—(c) popular meanings & usage of vijjā: science, craft, art, charm, spell D. I, 213 (Gandhārī nāma v. also mentioned at J. IV, 498 as practised by physicians), 214 (Maṇika n. v.); J. III, 504 (Cintāmaṇi v.); IV, 323 (vatthu°: see under vatthu), 498 (ghora°); V, 458 (aṅga° palmistry); Miln. 200; Dh. I, 259 (bhūmicala n. v. “earthquake” charm), 265 (dhanu-agamanīyaṃ Ambaṭṭha n. v.); KhA 237 (vatthu°, khetta°, aṅga°); and see the list of forbidden crafts at D. I, 9 (aṅga°, vatthu°, khetta° etc.; cp. Dial. I. 18, 19).

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