Yajna, aka: Yajña; 11 Definition(s)


Yajna means something in 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

Purana and Itihasa (epic history)

Yajña (यज्ञ).—An incarnation of Mahāviṣṇu. Svāyambhuva Manu had two sons, Priyavrata and Uttānapāda and three daughters, Ākūti, Devahūti and Prasūti. Ruci Prajāpati married Ākūti. Yajña was their son. Devī Bhāgavata, 8th Skandha mentions that this Yajña was an incarnation of Ādi Nārāyaṇa.

Yajña had a sister named Dakṣiṇā. They were twins. They married each other. The twelve sons who were born to them were the Devas known as Yāmas, during the Svāyambhuva Manvantara. (Viṣṇu Purāṇa, Part 1, Chapter 7).

Yajña’s twelve sons were:—Toṣa, Pratoṣa, Santoṣa, Bhadra, Śānti, Iḍaspati, Iddhma, Kavi, Vibhu, Sraghna, Sudeva and Virocaka. Their father Yajña was the Indra of Svāyambhuva Manvantara. (Bhāgavata, 4th Skandha).

Source: archive.org: Puranic Encyclopaedia

1a) Yajña (यज्ञ).—The seventh avatār of Viṣṇu; born with Dakṣiṇā as twins to Akūtī and Ruci. Adopted as his son by his grandfather Svāyambhuva Manu.1 Followed by the Yāma gods, slew the Asuras and Yātudhānas who attacked and sought to devour Svāyambhuva Manu engaged in contemplation of Hari, and ruled the celestial kingdom;2 worshipped for attaining celebrity;3 to Yajña and Dakṣiṇā were born twelve sons who were known as Yāmas in the period of Svāyambhuva; Yajña also Yāma;4 constitutes dharma and mantra; the Yajva goes to heaven;5 a soma yajus of paśu, dravya, havis, ṛtviks, dakṣiṇa.6

  • 1) Bhāgavata-purāṇa I. 3. 12; III. 19. 13; IV. 1. 4-5; VI. 8. 15; VIII. 1. 6.
  • 2) Ib. VIII. 1. 17-18; X. 6. 22.
  • 3) Ib. II. 3. 7; Brahmāṇḍa-purāṇa II. 34. 7.
  • 4) Vāyu-purāṇa 10. 19-20; Brahmāṇḍa-purāṇa II. 9. 44ff.
  • 5) Vāyu-purāṇa 32. 16.
  • 6) Ib. 57. 107; 59. 42.

1b) A Jayādeva.*

  • * Brahmāṇḍa-purāṇa III. 3. 7; 4. 3; Vāyu-purāṇa 66. 7.

1c) Origin of, in Treta and dispute on its nature, whether hiṃsā or not;1 trees fit for; samāna, plakṣa, nyagrodha, aśvattha, udumbara, vikarika, bilva, candaṇa, sarala, devadāru, śāla, khadira; unfit are: śleṣmātaka, naktamāla, kapittha, śālmali, nīpa, vibhītaka and those which are enveloped by creepers and are the residence of birds;2 of Śūdras by Brahmanas for livelihood (vṛtti);3 performance of, pleases the gods who give rain;4 personified as God with wife Dakṣiṇā and twelve sons, generally known as Yāmas;5 born of Viṣṇu and Ākūtī in the Svāyambhuva epoch; of Tuṣitā in Svārociṣa, of Satyā in Uttama, of Havya in Tāmasa and Sambhūti in Raivata;6 duty of all.7

  • 1) Vāyu-purāṇa 57. 86-125.
  • 2) Ib. 75. 71-76.
  • 3) Ib. 99. 426; 101. 296; 112. 1 and 14.
  • 4) Viṣṇu-purāṇa I. 6. 8.
  • 5) Ib. I. 7. 21.
  • 6) Ib. III. 1. 36-40.
  • 7) Ib. III. 8. 22

1d) (Japa) for Brahmanas;1 introduced by Indra in Tretāyuga; questioned by the sages as to hiṃsā of animals. Vasu, son of Uttānapāda who was appointed arbitrator said that yajña pleases the gods and tapas, Vairāja leading to Kaivalya. Not favoured in Kaliyuga;2 prohibited by Vena, but reintroduced by Vainya in the Vaivasvata epoch;3 Sruca clan of apsaras born of;4 the five to be done by householders daily, chanting of the Vedas, homas, śrāddha for pitṛs, gifts of rice, etc. to bhūtas and balikarma;5 performed by the Asuras.6

  • 1) Brahmāṇḍa-purāṇa II. 29. 55.
  • 2) Ib. II. 30. 4-42; 31. 64; 32. 47; 34. 6; Matsya-purāṇa Ch. 143 (whole).
  • 3) Brahmāṇḍa-purāṇa II. 36. 130; III. 72. 2; 73. 72; IV. 6. 55, 73.
  • 4) Brahmāṇḍa-purāṇa III. 4. 24; 7. 22.
  • 5) Matsya-purāṇa 10. 34; 52. 14-15.
  • 6) Ib. 83. 3, 8; 130. 19.

1e) The son of Brahmadhana.*

  • * Vāyu-purāṇa 67. 28; 69. 132.
Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: The Purana Index
Purana book cover
context information

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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Shaktism (Shakta philosophy)

The cosmic sacrifice (yajña) expresses this process of universal metabolism, and the ritual sacrifices (yajñas) are performed with the intention of harmonising and co-operating with the cosmic process. Yajña is the exchanging of energies between differing levels. The aspect of Śiva which presides over the cosmic sacrifice is the Headless (Kabandha).

Source: Red Zambala: The 10 Great Wisdom Goddesses
Shaktism book cover
context information

Shakta (शाक्त, śākta) or Shaktism (śāktism) represents a tradition of Hinduism where the Goddess (Devi) is revered and worshipped. Shakta literature includes a range of scriptures, including various Agamas and Tantras, although its roots may be traced back to the Vedas.

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Pancaratra (worship of Nārāyaṇa)

Yajña (यज्ञ) refers to an aspect of nṛsiṃha (‘man-lion’), according to the Vihagendra-saṃhitā 4.17, which mentions seventy-four forms (inlcuding twenty forms of vyūha). He is also known as Yajñanṛsiṃha or Yajñanarasiṃha. Nṛsiṃha is a Tantric deity and refers to the furious (ugra) incarnation of Viṣṇu.

The 15th-century Vihagendra-saṃhīta is a canonical text of the Pāñcarātra corpus and, in twenty-four chapters, deals primarely with meditation on mantras and sacrificial oblations.

Source: Wisdom Library: Pāñcarātra
Pancaratra book cover
context information

Pancaratra (पाञ्चरात्र, pāñcarātra) represents a tradition of Hinduism where Narayana is revered and worshipped. Closeley related to Vaishnavism, the Pancaratra literature includes various Agamas and tantras incorporating many Vaishnava philosophies.

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General definition (in Hinduism)

Yajña is the central concept of Śrauta -- the tradition that follows from the Śruti (Veda).

There are many concepts that are based on and evolved from the concept of yajña. The word yajña comes from the root-"yaj" which means to worship. Yajña is a broad concept which is hard to translate into English. The closest single English word for yajña is sacrifice. There are multiple synonyms of the word yajña that convey different aspects of this broad concept. For instance it is also called “karma”, meaning action or the act of sacrifice/offering/worshiping. In the general sense it can be understood as any action done with the sense of sacrifice, like praying, remembering, meditating. In the specific sense it is the act of offering oblations to propitiate a Devata.

The primary constituents of a Yajña are the

  • inspiration or urge of the doer (bhāvana),
  • learning (svādhyāya),
  • rites involved (karma),
  • offerings (tyāga),
  • devata
  • and the results (phala).
Source: Hindupedia: The Hindu Encyclopedia

In Hinduism,yajña is a ritual of offerings accompanied by chanting of Vedic mantras (also "worship, prayer, praise, offering and oblation, sacrifice" according to Monier-Williams) derived from the practice in Vedic times. Yajna is an ancient ritual of offering and sublimating the havana sámagri (herbal preparations) in the fire. The sublime meaning of the word yajna is derived from the Sanskrit verb yaj, which has a three-fold meaning of worship of deities (devapujana), unity (sangatikarana) and charity (dána). An essential element is the ritual fire – the divine Agni – into which oblations are poured, as everything that is offered into the fire is believed to reach God.

Rituals associated with temple worship in Hinduism are called agamic, while those involving communication with divinity through Agni are considered to be Vedic. Temple rites in modern-day Hinduism are a combination of both Vedic and agamic rituals. The ritualistic portion of the Hindu scriptures is called Karma-Kanda. Parts of Vedas which describe or discuss Yajnas fall into this portion.

etymology: yajña (Sanskrit: यज्ञ; IAST: yajña, also transliterated yagya, yaga or yadnya) or yagam (Tamil: யாகம்)

Source: WikiPedia: Hinduism

Languages of India and abroad

Marathi-English dictionary

yajña (यज्ञ).—m (S) Sacrificing; a sacrifice: also an offering of whatever subject (bloody or bloodless). 2 An oblation, observance or act in general for the propitiation of a deity.

Source: DDSA: The Molesworth Marathi and English Dictionary

yajña (यज्ञ).—m A sacrifice; sacrificing. An oblation.

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

Yajña (यज्ञ).—[yaj-bhāve na]

1) A sacrifice, sacrificial rite; any offering or oblation; यज्ञेन यज्ञमयजन्त देवाः (yajñena yajñamayajanta devāḥ); तस्माद्यज्ञात् सर्वहुतः (tasmādyajñāt sarvahutaḥ) &c.; यज्ञाद् भवति पर्जन्यो यज्ञः कर्मसमुद्भवः (yajñād bhavati parjanyo yajñaḥ karmasamudbhavaḥ) Bg.3.14.

2) An act of worship, any pious or devotional act. (Every householder, but particularly a Brāhmaṇa, has to perform five such devotional acts every day; their names are :-bhūtayajña, manuṣyayajña, pitṛyajña, devayajña, and brahmayajña, which are collectively called the five 'great sacrifices'; see mahāyajña, and the five words separately.)

3) Name of Agni.

4) Of Viṣṇu; ऋषयो यैः पराभाव्य यज्ञघ्नान् यज्ञमीजिरे (ṛṣayo yaiḥ parābhāvya yajñaghnān yajñamījire) Bhāg.3.22.3.

Derivable forms: yajñaḥ (यज्ञः).

Source: DDSA: The practical Sanskrit-English dictionary

Yajña (यज्ञ).—m.

(-jñaḥ) A sacrifice, a ceremony in which oblations are presented. E. yaj to worship, aff. naṅ .

--- OR ---

Yājñā (याज्ञा).—f.

(-jñā) Asking, begging. E. yāc to ask, naṅ aff.

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

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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Relevant definitions

Search found 496 related definition(s) that might help you understand this better. Below you will find the 15 most relevant articles:

Yajñopavīta (यज्ञोपवीत).—n. (-taṃ) The sacrificial cord, originally worn by the three principal...
Brahmayajña (ब्रह्मयज्ञ) refers to the “regular study of the Vedas”, as defined in the Śivapurā...
Pitṛyajña (पितृयज्ञ).—m. (-jñaḥ) 1. Obsequial rites. 2. Oblations of water daily offered to the...
Devayajña (देवयज्ञ) refers to “ceremonial sacrifices for the propitiation of gods”, as defined ...
Pañca-mahāyajña.—(EI 29; CII 3, 4), ‘the five great sacri- fices’; the five daily duties of a B...
Manuṣya-yajña.—(CII 4), reception of guests; one of the five mahāyajñas. Note: manuṣya-yajña is...
bhūtayajña (भूतयज्ञ).—n (S) The third of the five mahāyajña,--offering of food, out of the read...
Yajñasena (यज्ञसेन) was a soldier in Sunītha and Sūryaprabha’s army whose strength is considere...
Yajñāṅgā (यज्ञाङ्गा) is another name for Somavallī, a medicinal plant identified with Sarcostem...
Pañcayajña (पञ्चयज्ञ).—m. plu, (-jñāḥ) The five rites of a house-keeper: see pañcamahāyajña . E...
Japayajña (जपयज्ञ).—muttering prayers as a sacrifice; विधियज्ञाज्जपयज्ञो विशिष्टो दशभिर्गुणैः (...
Yajñapuruṣa (यज्ञपुरुष).—epithets of Viṣṇu. Derivable forms: yajñapuruṣaḥ (यज्ञपुरुषः).Yajñapur...
Yajñavaṭa or Yajñavaṭatīrtha is the name of a sacred place, as mentioned in the “Ghūmlī plates ...
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