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Yama, aka: Yāma, Yāmā; 22 Definition(s)

Introduction

Yama 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

Āstika (orthodox philosophy)

The king of the 21 hells. It is believed that Yama, Lord of Justice, puts human beings after death for appropriate punishment like in boiling oil.

Source: Wisdom Library: Indian Philosophy
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The term āstika refers to six mainstream schools of Hindu philosophy, accepting the Vedas as authorative. They are: Nyāyá (logic), Vaiśeṣika (atomism), Sāṃkhya (enumeration), Yoga (Patañjali’s school), Mimāṃsā (Vedic exegesis) and Vedanta (Upaniṣadic tradition). Together they also go by the name ṣaḍdarśana (‘six systems’).

Yoga (school of philosophy)

Moral Disciplines; First step of the Ashtanga;

In Yoga philoshopy, there are five or ethical standards called the Fice Yama's. They act as moral guidelines.

The five yama's are:

  1. Non-violence
  2. Non-lying
  3. Non-stealing
  4. Non-sensuality
  5. Non-greed
Source: Wisdom Library: Yoga

Yama (यम, “forbearance”) is a Sanskrit word referring to “respect for others”. It is one of the eight brances of yoga, also known as the eightfold-path (aṣṭānga). Also see the fifth section of the Varāha-upaniṣad.

Yama is of ten kinds:

  1. ahiṃsā (nonviolence)
  2. satya (truthfulness)
  3. asteya (not stealing)
  4. brahmacarya (celibacy when single, not cheating on one's partner)
  5. kṣamā (forgiveness)
  6. dhṛti (fortitude)
  7. dayā (compassion)
  8. ārjava (non-hypocrisy, sincerity)
  9. mitāhāra (measured diet)
  10. śauca (purity, cleanliness)
Source: Wisdom Library: YogaYoga book cover
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Originally, Yoga is considered a branch of orthodox Hindu philosophy (astika), but both ancient and modern Yoga combine the physical, mental and spiritual. Yoga teaches various physical techniques also known as āsanas (postures), used for various purposes (eg., meditation, contemplation, relaxation).

Rasaśāstra (chemistry and alchemy)

Yāma (याम):—Sanskrit technical term corresponding to 3 hours (or, 1/8th of a day and night), used in Rasaśāstra literature (Medicinal Alchemy) such as the Rasaprakāśasudhākara or the Rasaratna-samuccaya.

Source: Wisdom Library: Rasa-śāstraRasaśāstra book cover
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Rasaśāstra (रसशास्त्र, rasa-shastra) is an important branch of Āyurveda, specialising in chemical interactions with herbs, metals and minerals. Some texts combine yogic and tantric practices with various alchemical operations. The ultimate goal of Rasaśāstra is not only to preserve and prolong life, but also to bestow wealth upon humankind.

Nāṭyaśāstra (theatrics and dramaturgy)

Yama (यम) is the Sanskrit name of one of Bharata’s sons, mentioned in the Nāṭyaśāstra 1.26-33. After Brahmā created the Nāṭyaveda (nāṭyaśāstra), he ordered Bharata to teach the science to his (one hundred) sons. Bharata thus learned the Nāṭyaveda from Brahmā, and then made his sons study and learn its proper application. After their study, Bharata assigned his sons (eg., Yama) various roles suitable to them.

Source: Wisdom Library: Nāṭya-śāstraNāṭyaśāstra book cover
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Nāṭyaśāstra (नाट्यशास्त्र, natya-shastra) refers to both the ancient Indian tradition of performing arts, (e.g., 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 (nāṭya) and poetic works (kāvya).

Purāṇa

1a) Yama (यम).—(Vaivasvata) the Lord of Pitṛs; punishes men after death according to their actions, sinful or otherwise.1 A son of Vivasvat (Sūrya) and Samjñā; explains the nature of dharma and the glory of Hari to his messengers (Yamadūtas). Appeared in the form of a child before the queen and the subjects of Suyajña weeping over his dead body and showed the truth that no amount of wailing would bring the dead back to life;2 welcomed Rāma and Kṛṣṇa and fulfilled their desire by restoring Sāndipāni's son; presented Pṛṭhu with a rod of justice. Punished Nṛga to be a lizard for having given a cow of a Brahmaṇa as a gift to another, and as the owner refused to accept the apologies and compensation offered by Nṛga;3 fought with Kālanābha in the Devāsura war; rode on buffalo to help Indra against Kṛṣṇa taking away pārijāta, but discomfited, ran away in fear;4 his authority set aside in the case of Ajāmila. Dhruva is said to have set his foot on his head; was a Śudra for a hundred years owing to a curse;5 His penance at Gokarṇa and Śiva made him lokapāla; his city being Samyamana; represents the planet Śanaiścara; served as calf for Pitṛs milking the earth; Dharmarāja; Lord of three deva gaṇas— Amarttas, Aprakāśas, and Jyotiṣmantas;6 narrated to Śaśabindu varieties of śrāddha; protested against the ill-treatment by his stepmother Chāyā and was cursed by her to lose his legs. [Cursed his legs to be sores and worms. His father gave him a cock to eat them. m.p.]. The father assured their restoration after a temporary loss; overlord of Pitṛs.7 in charge of hells;8 buffalo, his riding animal;9 his active part in Tripuram, defeated by Kālanemi;10 burnt with Kāma and attained godhood again by pleasing Śankara by tapas;11 dialogue of, with his servant about those who could not be taken to his region.12 acted as calf when Antaka milked the cow-earth; other names of; world of;13 in the war against Tāraka: war with Grasana and the latter's success.14 saṃvāda with Sāvitrī; the latter's praise of;15 Kāla and Mṛtyu are assistants; god to be worshipped in house building.16 Image of, with Citragupta by the side; gift of buffalo pleasing to;17 (Dharmarāja): a golden image of him standing on a copper plate to be given to guru in Saptamīsvapana;18 weapon of daṇḍa, used by, in the battle of Tripuram;19 seen by Sāvitrī while taking the life of her husband; blessed her with three requests of hers and finally the life of her husband;20 meting out justice impartially;21 father of two daughters Upadānavī and Himā.22

  • 1) Bhāgavata-purāṇa V. 26. 6; Matsya-purāṇa 8. 5; Vāyu-purāṇa 62. 186; 65. 52; 70. 8; Viṣṇu-purāṇa I. 22. 5.
  • 2) Bhāgavata-purāṇa VI. 6. 40; VIII. 13. 9; VI. 3. 12-34; VII. 2. 36-58;
  • 3) Ib. X. 45. 42-6; IV. 15. 15; III. 30. 23; X. 64. 16-24.
  • 4) Ib. VIII. 10. 29; X. [65 (v) 41]; [66 (v) 33-5]; Viṣṇu-purāṇa V. 30. 60; VI. 5. 44.
  • 5) Bhāgavata-purāṇa VI. 3. 2; IV. 12. 30; I. 13. 15.
  • 6) Brahmāṇḍa-purāṇa II. 21. 31; 24. 49; 29. 65; 36. 208; III. 1. 52; 7. 253 and 330; 13. 72; Matsya-purāṇa 93. 14; 266. 21 and 63; Vāyu-purāṇa 50. 88; 69. 215; Viṣṇu-purāṇa II. 8. 9; III. 7. 19, 35.
  • 7) Brahmāṇḍa-purāṇa III. 18. 1; 24. 4; 59. 23, 52-80; Matsya-purāṇa 11. 4-20.
  • 8) Brahmāṇḍa-purāṇa IV. 2. 151; 7. 54.
  • 9) Matsya-purāṇa 67. 11.
  • 10) Ib. 133. 63; 137. 32; 138. 25; 177. 50.
  • 11) Ib. 191. 112-4.
  • 12) Viṣṇu-purāṇa II. 6. 6; III. 7. 5, 13-20.
  • 13) Matsya-purāṇa 10. 19; 31. 12; 93. 14; 102. 22-3; 124. 22; 146. 77.
  • 14) Ib. 148. 79-81; 150. 1-49; Viṣṇu-purāṇa III. 2. 2.
  • 15) Matsya-purāṇa 211. 14-28 and ch. 213 (whole).
  • 16) Ib. 250. 46; 253. 25.
  • 17) Ib. 261. 12; 268. 13.
  • 18) Ib. 68. 20.
  • 19) Ib. 135. 77.
  • 20) Ib. 210. 5, chh. 211-14.
  • 21) Ib. 213. 3.
  • 22) Vāyu-purāṇa 68. 23; 69. 61; 75. 56; 82. 1; 101. 150, 286; 106, 46; 108. 4 and 31; 110 10 and 38.

1b) A Yājñiya god.*

  • * Brahmāṇḍa-purāṇa II. 36. 33.

1c) A muhūrta of the night.*

  • * Brahmāṇḍa-purāṇa III. 3. 42.

1d) A Sukha god.*

  • * Brahmāṇḍa-purāṇa IV. 1. 18.

1e) A son of Havirdhāna.*

  • * Matsya-purāṇa 4. 45.

1f) An Āditya.*

  • * Matsya-purāṇa 6. 4.

1g) The father of Ilinā, (s.v.).*

  • * Matsya-purāṇa 49. 9.

1h) A Vasu; a son of Dharma and Sudevī.*

  • * Matsya-purāṇa 171. 47.

1i) The agent of a class of devas.*

  • * Vāyu-purāṇa 10. 72.

1j) The son of Sureṇu and Vivasvan; ill-treated by stepmother Chāyā, was about to kick her when she cursed him that he would lose his leg; he became Dharmarāja, lord of Pitṛs and Protector of the world.*

  • * Vāyu-purāṇa 84. 22, 56-61.

1k) A mukhya gaṇa.*

  • * Vāyu-purāṇa 100. 18.

1l) Prescriptions.*

  • * Vāyu-purāṇa 104. 14.

2) Yāma (याम).—The twelve devas born of Yajña and Dakṣiṇā and waited on Hariyajña;1 they are Yadu, Yayāti, Vivadha, Srāsata, Mati, Vibhāsa, Kratu, Prayāti, Viśruta, Dyuti, Vāyavya and Samyama,2 born in the epoch of Svāyambhuva Manu.3

  • 1) Bhāgavata-purāṇa I. 3. 12; VIII. 1. 18.
  • 2) Brahmāṇḍa-purāṇa II. 9. 45; 13. 89-90; Vāyu-purāṇa 10. 20; 31. 3, 6-7.
  • 3) Matsya-purāṇa 9. 3; 51. 40; Viṣṇu-purāṇa I. 7. 21; 12. 12.
Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: The Purana IndexPurāṇa book cover
context information

The Purāṇas (पुराण, purana) refers to Sanskrit literature preserving ancient India’s vast cultural history, including historical legends, religious ceremonies, various arts and sciences. The eighteen mahāpurāṇas total over 400,000 ślokas (metrical couplets) and date to at least several centuries BCE.

Kathā (narrative stories)

Yama (यम).—Yama also called Daṇḍa and Antaka bas been mentioned fifty times in Ṛgveda and three whole hymns are dedicated to him in the 1st and the 10th maṇḍalas. He gives bliss to the good and woe to the bad in Ṛgveda. He is the god of death who destroys the world.

Yama in his epithet Antaka or Kṛtānta has been referred to by Soḍḍhala as devouring the worlds, Bhuvanabhojin and also bearing the deadly daṇḍa.

Source: Shodhganga: A critical appreciation of soddhalas udayasundarikathaKathā book cover
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Kathās (कथा) are special kind of Sanskrit literature: they are a kind of a mix between Itihāsa (historical legends) and Mahākāvya (epic poetry). Some Kathās reflect socio-political instructions for the King while others remind the reader of the historical deeds of the Gods, sages and heroes.

Itihāsa (narrative history)

Yama (यम).—In the Mahābhārata (XII.92: 38), Yama is subordinate to Śiva by whose appointment he becomes Lord of the Ancestors (Pitṛpati)—in other words Yama loses his automatic right to this position which he had initially earned through blazing a trail to the underworld as the first mortal. He does however gain compensation in other areas.

Source: Institute of Buddhist Studies: Buddhist Forum, Volume 4 (itihasa)
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Itihāsa (इतिहास) refers to ‘epic history’ and represents a branch of Sanskrit literature which popularly includes 1) the eighteen major Purāṇas, 2) the Mahābhārata and 3) the Rāmāyaṇa. It is a branch of Vedic Hinduism categorised as smṛti literature (‘that which is remembered’) as opposed to śruti literature (‘that which is transmitted verbally’).

Upaniṣad (dialogues on the Vedas)

In the Katha Upanishad, Yama is portrayed as a teacher. He is the father of Yudhisthira (also known as Dharmaraja), the oldest brother of the 5 Pandavas (Karna was born prior to Kunti's wedlock, so technically Karna is Yudhishthira's older brother) and is said to have incarnated as Vidura by some accounts in the Mahabharata period.

Source: WikiPedia: UpanishadsUpaniṣad book cover
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Upaniṣads (उपनिषद्, upanishad) convey the highest purpose of the Vedas. They are a category of sacred Sanskrit literature forming the basis of Vedānta (a school of orthodox Hindu philosophy). The Upaniṣads are usually found attached to the last part of the Brāhmaṇas and Āraṇyakas.

General definition (in Hinduism)

Yama (यम, “binder, restraint”):—He is the vedic deity of death and judges them before his throne. He represents the embodiment of righteousness (Dharma). He is the son of Vivasvat, the Sun God, his brother is Manu and his twin sister is Yamī. He is married to ten daughters of Dakṣa (‘ritual skill’) and lives in Samyamini with his scribe Citragupta.

Source: Wisdom Library: Hinduism

Yama (यम) denotes ‘twins’, the birth of which is frequently alluded to in Vedic literature. Twins of different sex seem to be indicated by the expression yamau mithunau. There are traces of the belief—widely spread among negro and other races—that twins are uncanny and of evil omen, but there are also vestiges of the opposite opinion, that twins are lucky.

Source: archive.org: Vedic index of Names and Subjects

In the Rig Veda, Yama is the son of Saranyu (daughter of Tvashta, the artisan God) and Vivasvant (associated with the sun). His twin sister Yami calls him “the only mortal” in her dialogue (R.V.10.10), where she incites him to commit incest with her. He is righteous and rejects her sinful advances. He states, “The Gods are always watching our actions and shall punish the sinful”.

By the time of the Puranas, Yama is said to be the son of Surya and Sangya (who is the daughter of Vishwakarma), and is the brother of the planet Shani. He is one of the eight guardians of directions, responsible for south. He is the lord of the dead, and all mortals go to his court to be judged. His scribe Chitragupta, keeps a record of all the deeds of men. Yama sentences the soul to either heaven or hell based on the balance of Karma. In his role as the judge, Yama is also referred to as Dharmaraja, the lord of justice. His knowledge of the scriptures is immense and and he is the ultimate arbiter of truth and falsehood.

Source: Apam Napat: Indian Mythology

In Hindu mythology, Yama is the lord of death, first recorded in the Vedas. Yama is also the lord of justice and is sometimes referred to as Dharma, in reference to his unswerving dedication to maintaining order and adherence to harmony.

Yama is a Lokapāla and an Aditya. He is the son of Surya (Sun) and twin brother of Yami, or Yamuna, traditionally the first human pair in the Vedas. He is one of the Guardians of the directions and represents the south. Yama is assisted by Chitragupta who is assigned with the task of keeping complete records of actions of human beings on the earth, and upon their death deciding to have them reincarnated as a superior or inferior organism, depending on their actions on the earth (Karma).

In the Rig Veda, Yama is mentioned as the son of Vivasvat and of Saranya, the daughter of Tvastar, with a twin sister named Yami. Only three hymns (10.14, 10.135, and 10.154) in the Rig Veda are addressed to him. There is one other (10.10) consisting of a dialog between Yama and his sister Yami. Yama's name is mentioned about 50 times in the Rig Veda but almost exclusively in the first and (far oftener) in the tenth book.

Source: WikiPedia: Hinduism

Yama (the Binder) is the god of death, the sovereign of the infernal regions. The wrathful one, who judges the dead, whom his messengers drag before his throne. He is the embodiment of righteousness (Dharma) and the king- of-justice (dharma-rāja). He is, however, compassionate. In the Vedas, Yama is the First Ancestor and the king-of- Ancestors (pitṛ-rāja). He rules over the kingdom of the dead where the Ancestors dwell. He is also the king-of- ghosts (preta-rāja).

Yama is the son of the resplendent Sun god —Vivasvat (Rig Veda 10.14.5), the embodiment of social morality represented as one of the aspects of the Sun and envisaged as the progenitor of humankind. Yama's brother is the Lawgiver, Manu, who shares with him the title of progenitor of humankind.

Source: Red Zambala: Iconography of the Vedic Deities

Yama (यम) is called Death (mṛtyu) and Ender (antaka); he is now the god of Death itself, not merely god of the dead. He grows in significance and menace along with the doctrine of transmigration which, in the Brāhmaṇas, is invariably seen as an unpleasant succession of deaths:

“Verily there are deaths connected with all the worlds and were he not to offer oblations to them, Death would get hold of him in every world; when he offers oblations to the Deaths he wards off death in every world.” (Śatapatha-brāhmaṇa XIII, 5.1.2)

As Death Yama has knowledge of death and knowledge of the means of escaping its clutches. Occasionally, he can be made to reveal aspects of this knowledge, which he does in ways which belie his dread nature.

Source: Institute of Buddhist Studies: Buddhist Forum, Volume 4 (hinduism)

In Buddhism

Theravada (major branch of Buddhism)

The god of death. (See, e.g., DhA.iii.337; Yamassa santikam = Maranasantikam).

When beings die they are led before him to be judged according to their deeds. Birth, old age, illness, punishment for crime and death, are regarded as his messengers, sent among men as a warning to abstain from ill and do good. Yama questions beings brought before him as to whether they have seen these messengers and profited by them. If the answer is in the negative, the nirayapalas take them away to the different hells (M.iii.179ff).

In the Mahasamaya Sutta (D.ii.259) mention is made of two Yamas (duve Yama), which the Commentary explains (DA.ii.690) by dve Yamakadevata (the twins, whom Rhys Davids calls the Castor and Pollux of Indian Mythology, in Dial.ii.290, n.1). Elsewhere (AA.i.374; MA.ii.953) Buddhaghosa speaks of four Yamas (im c esa eko va hoti, catusu pana dvaresu cattaro jana honti) at the four gates (of the Nirayas?). He says that Yama is a Vemanikapetaraja, who sometimes enjoys all the pleasures of heaven, in a celestial mansion, surrounded by kapparukkhas, and at other times experiences the fruits of his kamma. He is a good king.

In the Jatakas* the Nirayas are particularly mentioned as Yamas abode (Yamakkhaya, Yamanivesana, Yamasadana, etc.); but, more generally, all Samsara is considered as subject to Yamas rule, and escape from samsara means escape from Yamas influence, Yama being the god of Death. It is evidently in this sense that Yama is called Vesayi (q.v.) (J.ii.317, 318). Yama is sometimes mentioned** with Indra, Varuna, Soma, Pajapati, etc., as a god to whom sacrifices are offered. There is a tradition (A.i.142) that once Yama longed to be born as a human being and to sit at the feet of a Tathagata.

Yamas Nayanayudha is mentioned (SNA.i.225) among the most destructive of weapons.

* E.g., J.ii.318; iv.273; v.268, 274, 304. The Vetarani is mentioned as forming the boundary of Yamas kingdom (i.21; J.ii.317; iii.472; but see ii.318). At J.iv.405, Yamas abode is called Ussadaniraya. DhA.i.334 explains Yamaloka by Catubbidham apayalokam. Cp. PvA.33 (Yamaloko ti petaloko); ibid., 107 (Yamavisayam = Petalokam).

** E.g., J.vi.201; D.i.244; at Mil.37 the list includes Kuvera, Suyama and Santusita; cp. Mtu i.265; iii.68, 77; 77, 307.

-- or --

1. Yama. A class of Devas, mentioned in lists of devas between those of Tavatimsa and those of Tusita (E.g., Vin.i.12, A.i.228; iii.287; M.ii.194; iii.100, etc.). Two hundred years of human life are but one day to the Yama deva, and two thousand Years, composed of such days, form their life period (A.i.213; iv.253). Sirima, sister of Jivaka, was born after death in the Yama world and became the wife of Suyama, king of

Yamabhavana. From there she visited the Buddha with five hundred others. SNA i.244f.; see also VvA.246 for an upasaka born in the Yama world.Source: Pali Kanon: Pali Proper Names

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).

Pali

yama : (m.) the ruler of the kingdom of the dead. || yāma (m.), a watch of the night; 1/3 of a night.

Source: BuddhaSasana: Concise Pali-English Dictionary

1) Yama, 3 (m. nt.) (Vedic yama=yama2; fr. yam in meaning “to combine, ” cp. Av. y&schwamacr; ma twin, Mir. emuin id. ) (nt.) a pair, (m.) a twin Abhp 628. See der. yamaka. (Page 551)

2) Yama, 2 (Vedic Yama) the ruler of the kingdom of the dead. See details in Dicty. of Names. In cpds. often in general sense of “death” or “manes, ” or “petā”; e.g. —dūta Death’s messenger Sdhp. 287; cp. Yamassa dūtā Vv 522 (see VvA. 224), or deva-dūta A. I, 138 (see under dūta), alias niraya-pāla A. I, 138 and passim. —purisa (a)=°dūta Dh. 235 (cp. DhA. III, 335); VvA. 223; (b) °purisā Yama-people, i.e. Petas Pv IV. 33 (cp. PvA. 251). —loka the yama-world or world of the Petas Dh. 44, 45; PvA. 107 & freq. —visaya=°loka Pv. II, 82 & passim. —sādana Y’s kingdom, or the realm of the dead J. VI, 267, 304; VI, 457, 505. (Page 550)

3) Yama, 1 (fr. yam) restraint PvA. 98 (+niyama). (Page 550)

— or —

Yāma, (fr. yam in both meanings of yamati & yama3) 1. restraint, only as cpd. cātu-yāma 4—fold restraint D. I, 57; III, 48; S. I, 66; M. I, 377; Vism. 416. Cp. Dial. I. 751.—2. a watch of the night. There are 3 watches, given as paṭhama, majjhima & pacchima (first, middle & last) Nd1 377 sq.; or purima, m. & pacchima Nd2 631 (under sadā).—A. I, 114; IV, 168; Dh. 157 (one of the 3; interpreted as the 3 vayas at DhA. III, 138); J. I, 243 (tīsu yāmesu ekasmiṃ yāme); Mhvs 21, 33; PvA. 217, 280.—3. (usually pl. Yāmā devā) one who belongs to Yama or the ruler of the Underworld; a subject of Yama; the realm of Yama;— pl. inhabitants of Yamaloka A. I, 210 (yāmā devā); SnA 244 (°bhavana the abode of the Y.); KhA 166 (Yāmato yāva Akaniṭṭhaṃ from the Underworld to the Highest Heaven); Vism. 225 (Yāmā); VbhA. 519 (Yāmā); VvA. 246 (id.); ThA. 169 (Y. devā).

—kālika of a restricted time, for a (relatively) short period (lit.) only for one watch of the night, but longer than yāva-kālika temporary. It is one of the three regulation-terms for specified food, viz. y. —k. sattāhakālika & yāvajīvika, or short period, of a week’s duration, and life-long food Vin. IV, 83, 86, 176, 311; to which is added yāva-kālika, temporary at Vin. I, 251 (where mutual relations of the 4 are discussed). —gaṇḍika(ṃ) koṭṭeti to beat the block of restraint (?), i.e. exercise self-control (?) (or does it belong to yāma 3?) KhA 233. (Page 554)

Source: Sutta: The Pali Text Society's Pali-English DictionaryPali 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.

Vajrayāna (Tibetan Buddhism)

Yama (यम).—Protector deity of the southern cremation ground.—Yama is associated with the south and with the sun (vivasvat, descended from Sūrya), hence he is also Vaivasvata (Guhyasamayasādhanamālā 34) or “Yamavaivasvata”. He is also god of death, Kāla, whose agents brings departed souls to Yamapurī. Iconographically, the Śmaśānavidhi describes Yama as mounted on a buffalo (mahiṣārūḍha), black, red-eyed, fat, fearsome, holding a stick/cudgel (daṇḍa) and a skull bowl.

Source: Google Books: Vajrayogini

Yama (यम) is the name of the protector (dikpati) associated with Subhīṣaṇa: the southern cremation ground (śmaśāna) according to the Vajravārāhī-sādhana by Umāpatideva as found in te Guhyasamayasādhanamālā. As a part of this sādhana, the practicioner is to visualize a suitable dwelling place for the goddess inside the circle of protection which takes the form of eight cremation grounds.

These protectors (eg., Yama) are variously known as dikpati, dikpāla and lokāpala and can be traced to purāṇic legends where eight protectors are assigned to each direction by Brahmā. According to the Śmaśānavidhi verse 20, these protectors are in union with their wives and have four arms, two of which make the añjali gesture of obeisance, while the second pair usually holds a skull bowl and a tantric weapon. They are variously depicted upon their respective mounts, or sitting at the base of the tree.

The Guhyasamayasādhanamālā by Umāptideva is a 12th century ritualistic manual including forty-six Buddhist tantric sādhanas. The term sādhana refers to “rites” for the contemplation of a divinity.

Source: Wisdomlib Libary: VajrayoginiTibetan Buddhism book cover
context information

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.

Languages of India and abroad

Marathi-English dictionary

yama (यम).—m (S) Yama, the deity that judges the dead, and sends them, according to their deeds, to Swarg or Narak, Elysium or Tartarus. He corresponds with Pluto or Minos. In common use Yama is understood simply as the Punisher of the wicked. 2 Hence applied to a fierce, savage, pitiless man. yamācēṃ bulāviṇēṃ The summons of Yama; the call of Death. 2 fig. A summons from a very rigorous or severe person; any irresistible, imperative, and strongly disagreeable call or occasion.

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yama (यम).—m S Restraining, confining, controlling. (As distinguished from niyama Any religious and voluntary observance.) Restraint or government of the senses, affections, and passions. 2 The eight great observances or courses incumbent upon one who would work out his salvation (i. e. emancipation from personality and absorption into Brahma) are yama, niyama, āsana, prāṇāyāma, pratyāhāra, dhyāna, dhāraṇā, samādhi. 3 A common term for five great acts or excellencies; viz. Refraining from violence, patience, sincerity, obedience to a Guru, observance of all purificatory ceremonies.

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yama (यम).—a S Twin, fellow, one of a pair or brace.

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yāma (याम).—m S The eighth part of a day; a watch of three hours. 2 Forbearance. 3 Cessation or desisting.

Source: DDSA: The Molesworth Marathi and English Dictionary

yama (यम).—m The god of hell. A pitiless man. Confining, restraining. yamācēṃ bōlāvaṇēṃ The call of death. yamācyā dāḍhēnta paḍaṇēṃ-asaṇēṃ Be under or fall under some great tormentor or trouble.

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yama (यम).—a Twin, fellow.

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yāma (याम).—m The eighth part of a day Forbearance.

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.

Relevant definitions

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Yamaduta
yamadūta (यमदूत).—m A messenger or angel of yama.
Yamadanda
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Yama-muhurta
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Yamavaivasvata
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Yama Deva
are a kind of heavenly beings of the sensuous world; s. deva.
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Yamadamshtrini
Yamamathanī (यममथनी) is the presiding deity of the north-eastern outer corner of the vārāhyabhy...
Kala
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Deva
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