Vijnana, aka: Vijñānā, Vijñāna; 12 Definition(s)


Vijnana means something in Buddhism, Pali, Hinduism, Sanskrit, 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

Vyakarana (Sanskrit grammar)

Vijñāna (विज्ञान).—Specific knowledge or understanding; cf. सिद्धं तु धर्मोपदेशने अनवयव-विज्ञानाद्यथा लौकिकवैदिकेषुः (siddhaṃ tu dharmopadeśane anavayava-vijñānādyathā laukikavaidikeṣuḥ) M. Bh. on P. VI.1. 84 Vart.5.

Source: Wikisource: A dictionary of Sanskrit grammar
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Vyakarana (व्याकरण, vyākaraṇa) refers to Sanskrit grammar and represents one of the six additional sciences (vedanga) to be studied along with the Vedas. Vyakarana concerns itself with the rules of Sanskrit grammar and linguistic analysis in order to establish the correct context of words and sentences.

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Shaivism (Shaiva philosophy)

Vijñānā (विज्ञाना):—Third of the eight Mātṛs born from the body of Ātmī, according to the Kubjikāmata-tantra. These eight sub-manifestations (mātṛ), including Vijñānā, symbolize the different kinds of souls, as well as the impurities by which these souls are bound (except for Niṣkala or Śiva). They are presided over by the Bhairava Caṇḍa and his consort Brāhmī. Ātmī is the second of the Eight Mahāmātṛs, residing within the Mātṛcakra (third of the five cakras) and represents the ātman.

Source: Wisdom Library: Kubjikāmata-tantra

Vijñāna (विज्ञान) or Vijñānāgama refers to one of upāgamas (supplementary scriptures) of the Prodgītāgama which is one of the twenty-eight Siddhāntāgama: a classification of the Śaiva division of Śaivāgamas. The Śaivāgamas represent the wisdom that has come down from lord Śiva, received by Pārvatī and accepted by Viṣṇu. The purpose of revealing upāgamas (eg., Vijñāna Āgama) is to explain more elaborately than that of mūlāgamas (eg., Prodgīta-āgama) and to include any new idea if not dealt in mūlāgamas.

Source: Shodhganga: Iconographical representations of Śiva
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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Purana and Itihasa (epic history)

Vijnana in Purana glossary... « previous · [V] · next »

Vijñāna (विज्ञान) refers to “true knowledge”, according to the Śivapurāṇa 2.1.12, while explaining details of worship:—“[...] the root of true knowledge (vijñāna) is unswerving devotion (bhakti). The root of knowledge (jñāna) too is devotion. The root of devotion is good action and the worship of one’s own favourite deity. The root of that is the good preceptor. A good preceptor is secured only through association with good people”.

Source: Siva Purana - English Translation
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)

Vijñāna (or viññāṇa) is translated as "consciousness," "life force," "mind," or "discernment."

Sri Ramakrishna defines vijñāna as

"He alone who, after reaching the Nitya, the Absolute, can dwell in the Līlā, the :Relative, and again climb from the Līlā to the Nitya, has ripe knowledge and :devotion. Sages like Narada cherished love of God after attaining the Knowledge of :Brahman. This is called vijnāna." Also: "What is vijnana? It is to know God distinctly by realizing His existence through an intuitive experience and to speak to Him intimately."

Source: WikiPedia: Hinduism

In Buddhism

Mahayana (major branch of Buddhism)

Vijñāna (विज्ञान, “consciousness”) (pali viññāṇa) refers to the third of twelve pratītyasamutpāda (dependent origination) according to the 2nd century Mahāprajñāpāramitāśāstra chapter X. From saṃskāra there arises a defiled mind (samalacitta), initial cause of the present existence. Because it is aware in the way that a calf (vatsa) is aware of its mother, it is called vijñāna, consciousness. This vijñāna produces both the four formless aggregates (arūpiskandha) [perception (saṃjñā), feeling (vedanā), volition (saṃskāra), consciousness (vijñāna)] and form (rūpa) which serves as base them. This is name and form, nāmarūpa.

Source: Wisdom Library: Maha Prajnaparamita Sastra
Mahayana book cover
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Mahayana (महायान, mahāyāna) is a major branch of Buddhism focusing on the path of a Bodhisattva (spiritual aspirants/ enlightened beings). Extant literature is vast and primarely composed in the Sanskrit language. There are many sūtras of which some of the earliest are the various Prajñāpāramitā sūtras.

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General definition (in Buddhism)

Vijñāna (विज्ञान, “consciousness”) refers to the last of the “five components” (pañcaskandha) as defined in the Dharma-saṃgraha (section 22). The Dharma-samgraha (Dharmasangraha) is an extensive glossary of Buddhist technical terms in Sanskrit (eg., vijñāna). The work is attributed to Nagarjuna who lived around the 2nd century A.D.

Vijñāna also refers to the third of the “twelve factors of conditional origination” (pratītyasamutpāda) as defined in the Dharma-saṃgraha (section 42).

Vijñāna also refers to one of the “six elements” (ṣaḍdhātu) as defined in the Dharma-saṃgraha (section 58 respectively).

Source: Wisdom Library: Dharma-samgraha

Languages of India and abroad

Marathi-English dictionary

Vijnana in Marathi glossary... « previous · [V] · next »

vijñāna (विज्ञान).—n S Knowledge, science, learning, any department or field of worldly knowledge. 2 Knowledge of; acquaintance with; understanding of (any subject of worldly knowledge). 3 Experience or experimental knowledge. 4 Popularly understood to mean Knowledge of God or Truth. Ex. aisā jō jhālā paripūrṇa || tyāsi samādhi āṇi vijñāna || (prāpta hōtāta.)

Source: DDSA: The Molesworth Marathi and English Dictionary

vijñāna (विज्ञान).—n Knowledge, science. Ex- perience.

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

Vijñāna (विज्ञान).—1 Knowledge, wisdom, intelligence, understanding; यज्जीव्यते क्षणमपि प्रथितं मनुष्यैर्विज्ञानशौर्यविभवार्यगुणैः समेतम् । तन्नाम जीवितमिह (yajjīvyate kṣaṇamapi prathitaṃ manuṣyairvijñānaśauryavibhavāryaguṇaiḥ sametam | tannāma jīvitamiha) ... Pt.1.24;5.3; विज्ञानमयः कोशः (vijñānamayaḥ kośaḥ) 'the sheath of intelligence' (the first of the five sheaths of the soul).

2) Discrimination, discernment.

3) Skill, proficiency; प्रयोगविज्ञानम् (prayogavijñānam) Ś.1.2.

4) Worldly or profane knowledge, knowledge derived from worldly experience (opp. jñāna which is 'knowledge of Brahma or Supreme Spirit'); ज्ञानं तेऽहं सविज्ञानमिदं वक्ष्याम्यशेषतः (jñānaṃ te'haṃ savijñānamidaṃ vakṣyāmyaśeṣataḥ) Bg.7.2;3.41;6.8; (the whole of the 7th Adhyāya of Bg. explains jñāna and vijñāna).

5) Business, employment.

6) Music.

7) Knowledge of the fourteen lores.

8) The organ of knowledge; पञ्चविज्ञानचेतने (pañcavijñānacetane) (śarīre) Mb.12.187. 12.

9) Knowledge beyond the cognisance of the senses (atīndriyaviṣaya); विज्ञानं हि महद्भ्रष्टम् (vijñānaṃ hi mahadbhraṣṭam) Rām.3.71.3.

1) Information; लब्धविज्ञानम् (labdhavijñānam) Mb.12.44.5.

Derivable forms: vijñānam (विज्ञानम्).

Source: DDSA: The practical Sanskrit-English dictionary

Vijñāna (विज्ञान).—nt. (in mgs. 3—5 = Pali viññāna; orig. in Sanskrit, practical knowledge, opp. to jñāna, theoretical know- ledge, see Edgerton, Festschrift Winternitz, 217 ff.), (1) practical knowledge, applied knowledge, as in Sanskrit, still clearly in LV 422.13 durvijñānaṃ (or v.l. °jñeyaṃ) tac cakraṃ jñāna-vijñāna-samatānubaddhatvāt, this wheel (of the Doctrine) is hard to know (practically), because it is [Page486-a+ 71] inseparably connected with identify of theoretical and prac- tical knowledge (i.e. can only be known by one whose theoretical knowledge is at the same time applied in practice); in Laṅk 156.11 ff. a dissertation on the dif- ference between jñāna and vi°, rendered by Suzuki, Studies 272, transcendental (i.e. absolute) and (merely) relative knowledge; I should prefer abstract and applied knowledge; but it is true that to the author of Laṅk applied knowledge (vij°) has only practical, and hence in the last analysis no real, application; the passage cited makes this very clear. Essentially similar is the contrast in jñāna-prati- saraṇena bhavitavyaṃ, na vijñāna-pratisaraṇena Mvy 1548; more at length Bbh 257.16 ff. bodhisattvaḥ adhi- gama-jñāne sāradarśī bhavati, na śruta-cintā-dharmārtha- vijñāna-mātrake; sa yad bhāvanāmayena jñānena jñāta- vyaṃ na tac chakyaṃ śrutacintā-vijñāna-mātrakeṇa vijñātum iti viditvā paramagambhīrān api tathāgatabhā- ṣitāṃ dharmān śrutvā na pratikṣipati; (2) two kinds of vi°, khyāti-vi° and vastuprativikalpa-vi°, qq.v., Laṅk 37.14 f.; vi° is aṣṭa-lakṣaṇa, ib., the list of 8 being given 235.7 ff., Suzuki, Studies, 189 (‘Ālaya, Manas, Manovi- jñāna, and the five sense-vijñāna’, on which see dhātu 3; the sixth is mano-vij°); (3) the sixth of the six ‘elements’, see dhātu 1b; (4) the fifth of the five (upādāna-)skandha, qq.v.; (5) the third link in the pratītyasamutpāda, q.v. In the last four categories often rendered consciousness, etc.; no single word or brief phrase can, of course, really suffice. In Bbh 49.17—18 (see s.v. naivasaṃjñānāsaṃjñā°) short for vijñānānantyāyatana, in a cpd.

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Vijñāna (विज्ञान) or Vijñānaka.—(-vijñānaka) , ifc. Bhvr., in sa-°ke kāye Divy 534.25, the body possessing consciousness (same phrase in Pali, saviññānake kāye).

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

Vijñāna (विज्ञान).—n.

(-naṃ) 1. Knowledge, science, learning, worldly knowledge or wisdom, that which comprehends any subject, except an understanding of the true nature of God or Brahma, acquirable by abstract meditation and the study of the Vedas; it is also described as conversancy with the arts of painting, &c., and with books, as the Smriti-Shastras or works on law, and other branches of science or literature. 2. Business, employment. 3. Music. E. vi implying variety, and jñāna knowledge.

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